NPR newscasters sign off for final time after taking buyouts

By Ben Mook

It was a bittersweet broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition Dec. 20 as the show and network said goodbye to five staffers who opted to take an offer for a voluntary buyout.

NPR newscaster Jean Cochran gave her final newscast Friday, concluding her 33-year career with the network. Cochran said she planned to travel and pursue new career options, possibly to include consulting and voice-over work.

Last Newscast from Ben Mook on Vimeo.

Mostly, she said, she was looking forward to keeping normal hours.

“My whole life has been NPR,” she said. “And I say that happily, but I won’t miss having to get to work at 3 a.m. and working nine hours until noon.”

An hour before Cochran signed off, veteran newscaster Paul Brown gave his final newscast. Brown also opted for the voluntary buyout.

Brown joined NPR full-time in 2001 and has worked as a reporter and a producer on Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation. Prior to joining NPR, he spent 13 years at NPR affiliate WFDD-FM in Winston-Salem, N.C.

In addition to Brown and Cochran, Morning Edition bid farewell to editor Anne Hawke, producer Jim Wildman and Steve Munro, who took buyouts as well.

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