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'All Things Considered' Welcomes Mary Louise Kelly As Newest Host

Friday, January 12, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mary Louise Kelly, NPR's veteran National Security Correspondent, joins All Things Considered as the program's newest host. NPR's Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers welcome her to the program.



We're going to take a few minutes right now to give a big welcome to our newest colleague on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, Mary Louise Kelly. Hey.


Mary Louise Kelly has sat next to me for many a day as she has filled in on this program. And I am so happy that you are now sitting here full-time for good. Welcome.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, BYLINE: I snuck into the studio a few days before I actually make my debut. I'll actually be on the show on Wednesday, but I wanted to come in and say hi.

SHAPIRO: This is great for us because last Friday was a day of tears and champagne as we said goodbye to Robert Siegel. You have some very big shoes to fill.

KELLY: Oh, boy, do I have big shoes to fill. There is a certain elegance to this in that I was hired at NPR in the first place back in 2001 to be Robert Siegel's editor, to be the editor of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

SHAPIRO: You were the editor on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

KELLY: I was. And when NPR sent out the press release last month saying that I was going to be stepping into this job, media reporters started calling, and there were a few articles. And one of the first headlines was Mary Louise Kelly to replace Robert Siegel. And I have to say, Ari, my first thought was, I've got a quibble with that word choice.


SHAPIRO: He's irreplaceable.

KELLY: He is irreplaceable. I mean, just being asked to succeed him is about the scariest assignment I have ever been given.

SHAPIRO: Well, you have been given some scary assignments. In recent years, you have covered national security, spies, intelligence, counterterrorism. Tell us what you plan to bring to the host seat.

KELLY: Well, this is true. I've spent a couple of decades covering national security and the intelligence beat. And I took a few years away from NPR to write espionage fiction, so...

SHAPIRO: Novels that are really great (laughter).

KELLY: Thank you. Rest assured that I will be bringing some spy stories to the airwaves at ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I also - you know, whatever your politics, these are fraught times, and I look forward to bringing some joy, some laughter. And that's not something you get to do a lot on the national security beat. So that's going to be fun.

SHAPIRO: Well, Mary Louise, it is great to have you here. Your first full-time day as permanent host of this show is Wednesday of next week.

KELLY: It is Wednesday of next week, the 17th. I can't wait.

SHAPIRO: All right, well, I'm sure everybody will tune in. It's great to have you.

KELLY: Thank you.


SHAPIRO: Mary Louise, why don't you end the segment?

KELLY: Here it goes. With Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers and Audie Cornish here in spirit, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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