Susan Stamberg

Nationally renowned broadcast journalist Susan Stamberg is special correspondent for NPR. Stamberg is the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program, and has won every major award in broadcasting. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame. Beginning in 1972, Stamberg served as co-host of NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered for 14 years. She then hosted Weekend Edition Sunday, and now serves as guest host of NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Saturday, in addition to reporting on cultural issues for all the NPR programs.

One of the most popular broadcasters in public radio, Stamberg is well-known for her conversational style, intelligence, and knack for finding an interesting story. Her interviewing has been called "fresh," "friendly, down-to-earth," and (by novelist E.L. Doctorow) "the closest thing to an enlightened humanist on the radio." Her thousands of interviews include conversations with Laura Bush, Billy Crystal, Rosa Parks, Dave Brubeck, and Luciano Pavarotti. Stamberg is one of the pioneers of NPR, on staff since the network began in 1971.

Prior to joining NPR, she served as producer, program director, and general manager of NPR member station WAMU-FM/Washington, DC. Stamberg is the author of two books, and co-editor of a third. TALK: NPR's Susan Stamberg Considers All Things chronicles her two decades with NPR. Her first book, Every Night at Five: Susan Stamberg's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED Book, was published in 1982 by Pantheon. Stamberg also co-edited The Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road, published in 1992 by W. W. Norton. That collection grew out of a series of stories Stamberg commissioned for Weekend Edition Sunday.

In addition to her Hall of Fame inductions, other recognitions include the Armstrong and duPont Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Ohio State University's Golden Anniversary Director's Award, the Distinguished Broadcaster Award from the American Women in Radio and Television. A native of New York City, Stamberg earned a bachelor's degree from Barnard College, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees including a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College. She is a Fellow of Silliman College, Yale University, and has served on the boards of the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award Foundation and the National Arts Journalism Program based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Stamberg has hosted a number of series on PBS, moderated three Fred Rogers television specials for adults, served as commentator, guest or co-host on various commercial TV programs, and appeared as a narrator in performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Her voice appeared on Broadway in the Wendy Wasserstein play An American Daughter.

Her husband, Louis C. Stamberg, passed away in 2007. Their son Joshua is an actor.

 

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3:49am

Thu March 6, 2014
Books News & Features

Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:19 am

James Baldwin, shown here in 1964, was the first in a series of authors Harry and Lynne Sharon Schwartz recorded.
Jenkins Getty Images

You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.

Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.

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5:27am

Fri February 28, 2014
The 86th Annual Academy Awards

Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:41 pm

On location for Walk of Shame, camera crew members Larry Nielsen (center) and Milan "Miki" Janicin (right) help set up a crane shot. The wireless focus remote Nielsen will use is hanging from that purple carabiner on his jacket.
Cindy Carpien NPR

You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.

"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."

Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.

"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."

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5:30am

Thu February 27, 2014
Hollywood Jobs

'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:12 am

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says." href="/post/clap-set-signature-sound-slate" class="noexit lightbox">
Milan "Miki" Janicin slates a scene on a location shoot for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says.
Sidney Ray Baldwin

More than the roar of the MGM lion, more than the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the iconic sound of moviemaking is the sharp clap of a slate — although film folks have a language of their own to describe it.

"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to his assistant.

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3:22pm

Wed February 12, 2014
Remembrances

Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:00 pm

Actor/comedian Sid Caesar
NBC NBC via Getty Images

Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.

Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did skits: grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.

In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.

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5:45am

Mon February 10, 2014
The Picture Show

'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:05 am

Fon appliqué workers in 1971, Abomey, Republic of Benin.
Eliot Elisofon National Museum of African Art

Before World War II, many Americans got exaggerated ideas about Africa from movies like Tarzan the Ape Man — movies that were filmed on Hollywood sound stages.

It took time to change that view. But after the war, Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon sought to shed a new light on the vast and variegated continent.

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