Fifteen minutes before “Morning Edition” is beamed to radios across the country, Renee Montagne is ready to record her one-minute introduction. To cue her, the director points his index finger. “Good morning. It was the president’s turn to court Latino voters…”
And she’s off. Here in the soundproof studio, though, “Good night” seems like the more appropriate greeting. It is only 1:45 a.m.
NPR’s “Morning Edition” has one of the most peculiar formats of any morning show on radio or television: it’s split between the East Coast, with the co-host Steve Inskeep in Washington, and the West, with Ms. Montagne. The director cues Ms. Montagne through a videoconferencing system, and the co-hosts routinely add what they call “splits” to their scripts, so that they share the responsibility for introductions and interviews. “We are functionally sitting next to one another,” Ms. Montagne said, yet by staying on separate coasts, they are reflecting the audience’s geographic diversity.