Bob Boilen, who directed “All Things Considered” and became one of the major tastemakers in American music when he helped create and host “All Songs Considered” and the Tiny Desk concert series, said he is 35. Will retire from NPR after years.
“This is a time to explore new challenges in life, and I’m excited about some of the possibilities,” Mr. Boilen, 70, said in a note distributed to NPR staff. Which was obtained by The New York Times on Friday. “I’m leaving at a time when new creative minds will look forward to an exciting new future for NPR Music.”
In a separate note on xOn the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Mr Boilen said working on the programs had been a “thrill”.
His last day will be October 2.
Mr. Boilen led NPR in new directions across the digital landscape by creating and producing some of the broadcaster’s most popular podcasts and shows, highlighting its decades of innovation, NPR executives said in the note to the radio network’s staff. .
His tenure at the company began in 1988 when, with determination, he “started showing up to NPR’s door every day.” Profile on NPR says, His persistence paid off. Within weeks, he was assigned to work on the major news program “All Things Considered” on a temporary basis. Less than a year later, he became the show’s director, a position he held for 18 years.
At “All Things Considered” he created music stories, brought in music writers, and edited and produced reviews. Musical excerpts from the show began an online show in 2000, when they were turned into full-length tunes on “All Songs Considered”.
“People are hungry for music,” Mr. Boilen told The Times in an interview shortly after the launch of “All Songs Considered” in 2000. “They like this music because it’s not like music you might hear elsewhere on the radio. We play music from all over the world and from all different eras.
It was later absorbed into NPR Music, which he helped create in 2007.
“For more than 35 years, Bob has been a fixture here, whether as the longtime producer and director of ‘All Things Considered’ or as a digital pioneer with NPR Music,” the staff statement said. “
As a composer himself, Mr. Boilen shared his ability to influence the work of other composers. Project Song, a documentary series, gave viewers a look at the songwriting process by challenging artists to write a song in a day or two on NPR. It won an Emmy Award.
In 2008, Mr. Boilen became co-founder of the Tiny Desk Concert Series, which invited artists to perform on video in a no-frills, eclectically decorated space, without music studio editing. The New York Times Magazine this month described it as “the premier venue for artists seeking authentic baptism”, including emerging and well-known musicians; Lyricist; and artists who perform a variety of styles at their desks in a simple, uncluttered office in Washington, D.C.
NPR said, it set the music industry’s agenda for the next 15 years.
“It’s really very difficult to go anywhere in the world – whether it’s a battlefield in Ukraine, an embassy in Washington, a farm in the Midwest or a restaurant in Asia – where people haven’t heard about and seen the Tiny Desk Concert. Is,” the company said in a staff note. “This is the definition of a global phenomenon.”
After launching NPR Music in 2007, Mr. Boilen and his co-producer, Stephen Thompson, found themselves unable to hear Laura Gibson perform at a South by Southwest concert in 2008 because the crowd was too loud. So “we half-jokingly invited her to our office for a concert,” he said. wrote in a Facebook post Last year marked the series’ 14th anniversary.
He added, “A few weeks later, on April 14, 2008, she appeared at the NPR office while in town for a concert.” “I set up some cameras and a microphone, edited the video and posted it online.” The Tiny Desk was born.
Last September, NPR Music celebrated its 1,000th Tiny Desk Concert with a performance by singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo. Other artists over the years include The Cranberries, whose Tiny Desk has received over 18 million views, and Taylor Swift, whose video with Alicia Keys has received over 15 million views. Megan Thee StallionHarry Styles and Mac Miller, whose performance was one of his last performances before his death.
Mr. Boilen said he approached NPR without any journalism or radio training.
“I was a musician and a video producer in 1988, but the people at NPR saw something in me and gave me opportunities to take chances and move forward,” he said in a statement to staff.
Mr. Boilen also wrote a book, “Your Song Changed My Life”, in which he asked famous and emerging musicians which single tune had the greatest impact on them and their work.