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St. Paul, Minn. — Veteran National Public Radio announcer Bob Edwards is leaving the network to host a new interview program on XM Satellite Radio.
The satellite broadcaster also is set to unveil a new public radio channel Sept. 1 that will feature programming from Minnesota Public Radio's national production and distribution arm American Public Media, as well as from WBUR in Boston and from Public Radio International.
"The Bob Edwards Show" is scheduled to debut Oct. 4, XM Satellite Radio announced Thursday. XM described the one-hour weekday morning show as the centerpiece of the new public radio channel, which will broadcast 24 hours a day. The show will be produced in Washington, D.C.
NPR removed Edwards, 57, from "Morning Edition" in March, and named him a senior correspondent with unspecified duties. He has been on a national tour promoting his book on broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow.
When his departure from "Morning Edition" was announced, many listeners were upset and sent thousands of e-mails and letters to NPR. In recent weeks, Edwards has hinted in some public appearances that he may not return to NPR after his book tour is over.
"XM is the most exciting thing happening in radio," Edwards said in a statement released by XM. "I think XM is reviving and reinventing radio. It's something entirely new, and at the same time it brings radio back to its past glory. Thirty years is a long time to bond with a particular audience, an audience I love. I hope a great many of my listeners will be interested in this new show on XM."
"I've always been a fan of Bob Edwards," said Hugh Panero, XM's president and CEO. "He's an amazing talent who has been the preeminent voice of public radio for decades. We are thrilled to be serving up to our millions of subscribers his unique, intelligent style of journalism."
American Public Media-produced programs that will be heard on XM Channel 133 include "American Mavericks," "American RadioWorks," "Composers Datebook," "Future Tense," "Pop Vultures," "Speaking of Faith" and "The Writer's Almanac."
Minnesota Public Radio would not reveal financial terms of its arrangement with XM, but spokeswoman Suzanne Perry said the two have been talking for "several years." American Public Media programs also are heard on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, XM's major competitor. In an e-mail to Minnesota Public Radio employees, Chief Operating Officer Jon McTaggart said the deal with XM will not affect those programs, which are carried over National Public Radio's and Public Radio International's channels on SIRIUS.
XM Satellite Radio says it has more than 2.1 million subscribers to its service. SIRIUS has more than 480,000 subscribers.