Overnight News Coverage: The NPR Standard

August 2016

There’s no such thing as a 9-to-5 shift in a newsroom, especially not for the staff of Peabody Award-winning newsmagazine Morning Edition. Overnight news coverage is the NPR standard—one which our audience expects from us, especially as we move into election season.

So how does the staff of Morning Edition do it? It’s a finely tuned process that has been perfected over the years, so let’s take a look inside.


Morning news anchors operate in an entirely different world from the horde of nine-to-fivers. Not only are they fully awake at 3:00, 4:00 a.m., but they’re also competent in the brain, reporting, enunciating, and downright upbeat at that pitch-black hour.

Bon Appetit

Dedication, Grit & Overnight News Coverage

Morning Edition airs live on weekdays between 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. ET (a little NPR secret: you can’t make a 5-to-9 show happen if your staff only works 9-to-5). This means the show has to be staffed around the clock.

That’s not a joke—Morning Edition is staffed 24 hours a day. But how?

NPR Newsroom- Overnight News Coverage: The NPR Standard

The show is split up into three shifts:

The morning shift: these staffers are in the office typically between 4:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; this is the shift that sees stories come to fruition.

The day shift, typically somewhere between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

And last but certainly not least…

The overnight.

The overnight is something of a tall tale in the world of NPR. Overnight staff is on duty 11:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m., so most day staffers hardly ever even interact with the overnighters. This begs the question…do they even really exist?

The answer, of course, is yes, and they are arguably some of the most dedicated journalists at NPR. Overnight news coverage is an essential component of the NPR brand. The news doesn’t sleep, so neither do we.


Dedication Across the Board & Political Sponsorship Opportunities

This level of conviction extends past the overnight to all of our journalists, most notably with our politics team. With the conventions wrapping up, NPR’s political correspondents–including Asma KhalidSam Sanders & many, many more–have been working tirelessly to ensure audiences are in the know.

Moving forward, correspondents will extend the same level of commitment through debate season and into live election coverage come November, making NPR Politics the perfect sponsorship opportunity for brand alignment.

Learn how you can align your brand with NPR’s political coverage.