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A Fond Farewell From WBUR To Robert Siegel, NPR's Longest-Serving Host02:32
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It's Robert Siegel's final day hosting NPR's All Things Considered. He's had that job for the past 30 years, and held many other positions at NPR before that.

As both a colleague and a listener, WBUR's Managing Director of News and Programming Sam Fleming has few thoughts on Siegel and his career.

As with everything Robert has done at NPR, he's going out with the same dignity, class and decorum that have characterized his tenure as the longest-serving host in NPR history.

Robert Siegel hosted NPR's <em>All Things Considered</em> for 30 years. He retires after working at NPR for over 40 years. (Stephen Voss/NPR)
Robert Siegel hosted NPR's <em>All Things Considered</em> for 30 years. He retires after working at NPR for over 40 years. (Stephen Voss/NPR)

Robert’s impact on All Things Considered and NPR is immeasurable. NPR’s audience probably grew tenfold during his long tenure at ATC. NPR has changed, but in many ways Robert Siegel has not.

He always upheld the highest journalistic standards, treated his interviewees with respect and was a strong editorial voice at NPR, asking just the right question at just the right time, in his calm but determined manner. He never revealed even a hint of his own point of view whether talking about Ronald Reagan’s ‘Iran-Contra’ controversy, or, most recently, about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

NPR listeners are losing one of journalism’s giants, and the newsman who gave NPR the credibility and gravitas that's made the network one the country's most distinguished news sources.

And behind those insightful and penetrating interviews on the urgent issues of the day, Robert also brought a light touch and humor to his role as host. His laugh, as most of his devoted listeners know, is infectious. In fact, it was rare to have a conversation with him without some laughter making its way into the exchange.

One more thing: Robert loves WBUR. We were one of the network’s first stations devoted to news and information, and that meant Boston delivered many, many additional listeners to NPR early in his ATC run. These listeners were devoted to All Things Considered, and to Robert Siegel. There was even a moment almost 20 years ago where Robert considered moving to Boston to host our then call-in show The Connection. In the end, it never happened, but the bond with Boston and 'BUR remained intact.

NPR listeners are losing one of journalism’s giants, and the newsman who gave NPR the credibility and gravitas that's made the network one the country's most distinguished news sources.

On behalf of WBUR's listeners, thank you, Robert Siegel. Thank you for your contributions over these past decades. You will be missed.

This segment aired on January 5, 2018.

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Sam Fleming Twitter Director of News and Programming
Sam Fleming has served as WBUR’s managing director of news and programming since 2004.

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