NPR's David Greene Talks Joys of Radio While in Milwaukee

Jun 23, 2016

WUWM listeners are familiar with the baritone voice of NPR's Morning Edition co-host David Greene.

Greene is one of the voices that bring national and international stories to listeners over their morning coffee or on commutes to work. He came to the hosting chair after working as an NPR foreign correspondent covering Russia. He also spent four years covering the White House and presidential politics for the network.

Longtime journalist Greene wasn't always in the medium of radio, though. Speaking with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich at WUWM's annual Edward R. Murrow event, the host talked about what led him to leave a successful career as a newspaper reporter.

"I was covering the White House [for the Baltimore Sun] and Don Gonyea was covering the White House for NPR," explained Greene. "And I would write these stories about President Bush, and then I would listen to Don's story in the morning. And it was like sound was magic. We were covering the same thing, but he was able to just bring what might have seemed like the most mundane story from the White House to life. I wanted to do that." 

He said he was lucky to find a mentor in Gonyea, who taught him that starting radio stories was not quite the same as writing leads in print. "Imagining the opening scene if this is going to be a three minute movie, and describe that moment that will just draw listeners in," described Greene. "It was things like that that got me totally hooked on radio."

David Greene with WUWM's Morning Host Rachel Owens.
Credit WUWM Radio

While he was in Milwaukee, David Greene also chatted with WUWM's Morning Edition host Rachel Owens about the singular joys of getting on an early schedule to broadcast the morning news. Greene said he often naps in the afternoons, and doesn't like to miss out on the things his normal-scheduled friends can do.

When Greene actually does have the chance to dine out on weekends, he says his schedule is even kind of messed up then. "My friends are scared because on a Friday night, if it gets late enough like 11 p.m. or 12 a.m., suddenly I get this new burst of energy because it gets close to when I would be waking up."

His friends, who are getting ready to call it a night, say, "let's get away from David," he joked.

Greene called it a "mind meld" with Owens when she discussed that she approaches her job like a tour guide taking listeners traveling through various stories.  He said that's "a really cool way to look at what we do."