Edwards appreared at two events for WVXU listeners who paid premiums for the chance to participate. The first was a luncheon at Great American Ballpark’s Riverfront Club, where patrons met Edwards, had pictures taken with him, ate lunch together and caught the Reds’ afternoon game.
Edwards gathered with a second group of admirers at an evening reception at the Marriott Hotel at Covington Landing. Patrons met with Edwards, posed for pictures with him in the gazebo, had dinner in the ballroom and listened to a presentation by him.
At both events, patrons received an autographed copy of Edwards’ newly released book, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. Edwards will receive the framed original artwork of local political cartoonists Jeff Stahler of The Cincinnati Post and Jim Borgman of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Patrons will receive reprints of the cartoons.
Each artist created a piece published in their papers depicting reaction to the reassignment last month of Edwards from the Morning Edition host position he has held since 1979. He has been assigned to a new position as senior correspondent for NPR News.
Stahler’s cartoon depicted Edwards holding a morning paper and a coffee mug with the words “Mourning Edition” on the mug. Borgman’s cartoon depicted a radio blaring Bubba the Love Sponge and a listener saying, “I miss Bob Edwards.”
The events were offered to WVXU listeners in May after Edwards’ reassignment was announced by NPR. Director Vickie Jones said about 50 people signed up for the afternoon event and nearly 130 people registered for the evening event.
The events were planned because of Edwards’ popularity among longtime public radio listeners, many of whom were stunned at his departure from Morning Edition. Edwards has been with NPR for 30 years.
“We got a lot of feedback from listeners when the news was announced he would step down, and we wanted to do something to honor him and to allow our members the opportunity to meet him and thank him for his years of service to NPR,” Jones said. “We were disappointed in the fact that our station was not given more than two hours notice before the news conference [announcing his reassignment].”
Edwards is traveling this summer visiting communities across the country and appearing at book-signing events. He made a stop at Joseph Beth Booksellers on Saturday, June 26, signing copies of his new book and meeting with listeners of other radio stations through the weekend.
The events were co-sponsored by WVXU, WNKU (89.7 FM) of Northern Kentucky University and WMUB (88.5 FM) of Miami University at Oxford. A biography of Edwards is available online at the National Public Radio web site.