Stop the music! NPR changed its Morning Edition theme

To see an example of how humans hate the disruption of change, look no further than the comments attached the New York Times’ story on the new Morning Edition music for NPR.

“Sounds like a voice should be popping on momentarily to assure me my call is important and will be answered in the order it was received,” said one NPR fan.

Some of the reaction mirrored the greatest challenge to legacy media inside and outside the institution: the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality.


“What they had for the last 40 years works. If it wasn’t told to me that the original theme was 40, I would’ve thought it was younger than that. It’s really bizarre how the media tries so hard to attract the youth that they do away with something that works just to get people they aren’t guaranteed to get. Silly move on NPR’s part. And the theme sounds better for an afternoon show than a morning one.”

It’s bad news for the jazz hands.

Some commenters insisted they will stop listening. They’re fibbing, of course, but public radio listeners love the old. That’s the problem.

“It’s not a decision that we took on lightly,” Meg Goldthwaite, NPR’s chief marketing officer, tells the New York Times. “We wanted to freshen the music and get it ready for what we hope will be another 50 years. It just felt like it was time.”

The new theme “is warm, fresh, weighted, smart, modern, energetic and very human” NPR’s boss says.

Move on, people. And Bob Edwards is never coming back.