Changes in NPR’s ‘clock’

In the mornings, I have NPR on while I go about the various things that need to be done around the house while I get ready for work, and again on the drive to work. Doing so serves two purposes. One is that I get to hear various news items in the background while another is that the regular routine in the way that the segments are broken up gives me a sense of what time it is without actually having to look at the clock.

But on Monday, I became somewhat disoriented. I heard the headline news come on that usually signifies that it is half past the hour when my inner sense was it seemed that not enough time had elapsed since the main news headlines at the top of the hour. When I checked, I was right and it was just 20 minutes past the hour. The entire schedule mix of news headlines, major stories, local news and weather, and regular features were not where they usually were, and it was quite disorienting.

The puzzle was explained later in the day when I read a news item that said that NPR had changed its ‘clock’, the term used to identify how the hour was to be broken up, during its flagship programs of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. I thought I would share the new clocks with readers who also listen to NPR

Here is the new one for Morning Edition.


The bits in red are the paid promotions for underwriters. The blue bits with the ‘music’ label are where the local stations insert their news, weather, traffic reports, and other items. When I lived in New Mexico a few of decades ago where the local affiliate did not have a big operation to get their own news, there would actually be music in those slots.

The changes for All Things Considered seem to be much more minor, hardly noticeable. To compare with the older clock and see the one for All Things Considered, see here. This article explains in more detail what changes are involved.

It will take me a while to get used to the new routine and adjust my own clock expectations.


  1. Henry Gale says

    IIRC all the sponsorship stuff was usually at the end of a program. Now it seems that NPR is adopting a more commercial model. Or am I getting NPR confused with PBS?

  2. moarscienceplz says

    The San Francisco station, KQED-FM made many announcements that there were going to be changes. I’m sure they were trying to head off the flood of hysterical and angry complaints that are made whenever anything changes. And I’m also sure they still got a lot of angry, hysterical complaints. Personally, I like the changes because they have finally added Marketplace Morning Report.

    @Henry Gale,
    No, I’m pretty sure most, if not all NPR programs have had breaks in the middle for many years now where short ads, as well as local station stuff are inserted. Luckily, they haven’t started airing full-blown commercials like PBS now does, at least not yet.

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