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Crushing on Cornish: Lessons Learned Hosting NPR's 'All Things Considered'

Doby Photography / NPR

Audie Cornish has held many positions in public radio. She started as a reporter for WBUR in Boston, then for NPR, covering everything from politics to natural disasters.

Cornish was then promoted host Weekend Edition Sunday after Liane Hansen stepped down. Just a few months after her first promotion, she became one of the hosts of All Things Consideredwhen Michele Norris stepped down from day-to-day news work. She's been in that seat since 2011.

Audie Cornish spoke with Lake Effect recently while she was in Milwaukee to speak at WUWM’s Edward R. Murrow event.

In the whirlwind of going from reporter to host, Cornish has learned to adapt to change very quickly.

"Being a reporter, you hack away like a mad scientist by yourself," says Cornish. "And all of a sudden, you are on a team with a capital 'T' when you’re on a show.  It’s just the only way it can be done."

Hosting a show with such a wide topic range has taught Cornish to not only find interest in areas she would not have previously considered, but to deliver it in a way that will appeal to all listeners.

"The show is called All Things Considered, and they actually take that really seriously," says Cornish. "I probably should have paid closer attention to that description when I took the job! Because the range of things you'll do in a day is just really so wide."

One key skill learned she has learned is the ability to not simply ask questions, but to ask the main question that needs to be answered.

"It's not really about being the smartest person in the room. It is about being the most curious, and it's about really listening," says Cornish.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.