WBUR Names Rupa Shenoy To Replace Bob Oakes As Morning Edition Host

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WBUR named Rupa Shenoy to be the next Morning Edition host. (Courtesy Steven Davy)
WBUR named Rupa Shenoy to be the next Morning Edition host. (Courtesy Steven Davy)

For the first time in nearly three decades, WBUR's Morning Edition will have a new host.

WBUR announced Thursday that journalist Rupa Shenoy will replace longtime anchor Bob Oakes — who plans to return to reporting for the station.

Shenoy joins WBUR after eight years at GBH, first as an investigative reporter and most recently as a reporter for The World, a national radio program co-produced by GBH and PRX and based in Boston. She covered human rights for the program.

The 42-year-old said she’s ready to take on one of the most public jobs in the Boston media market after more than two decades in journalism.

"I really feel quite lucky to have been chosen and I know it's a big responsibility," Shenoy said in an interview.

Shenoy said she identifies as a "punk," because she asks the difficult questions of newsroom managers.

"I've always been the one that says the inconvenient thing … what the leadership would rather not hear," Shenoy added. She said WBUR’s leaders already know that about her and hired her anyway.

Before joining GBH, Shenoy worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, the Associated Press, the Daily Herald in Illinois, and The Chicago Reporter. Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Shenoy is the daughter of immigrants from Maharashtra in India.

WBUR’s chief executive officer Margaret Low said Shenoy's broad experience makes her a good fit for the station’s future.

"She’s somebody who has reported. She has done podcasts. She has hosted shows," Low said. "And I think she has a sense of the deep relationship that a host of a program like Morning Edition forms with their audience."

Shenoy won the Radio Television Digital News Association's Kaleidoscope Award last year for 400 Years, a year-long series about slavery legacy in the Americas. And she was the creator and host of Otherhood, a PRX podcast exploring stories in underrepresented groups.

Oakes, who has hosted WBUR’s Morning Edition since 1992, had previously announced his desire to return to reporting. He plans to begin a new role as senior correspondent pursuing a mixture of features, profiles and political reports.

Editor’s note: WBUR’s Simón Rios and Todd Wallack reported this story, and WBUR’s Todd Wallack and Roberto Scalese are the story editors. None of them were involved in the hiring process. Under standard practices for reporting on WBUR, no other BU or WBUR staff were allowed to review the story before publication.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the location of Maharashtra. We regret the error.

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