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The Takeaway
The Takeaway logo.png
GenreNews: Global news, National USA News, analysis, commentary, interviews, discussion, perspectives, breaking news, UG content
Country of originUnited States
Home stationWNYC New York Public Radio
SyndicatesPRI Public Radio International
Hosted byTanzina Vega
Created byPRI Public Radio International & WNYC New York Public Radio
Executive producer(s)Arwa Gunja
Recording studioNew York, NY
Original release2008 – present
Audio formatStereophonic

The Takeaway is a morning radio news program co-created and co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC. Its editorial partner is WGBH-FM; at launch the BBC World Service And The New York Times were also editorial partners. In addition to co-producing/co-creating the program, PRI also distributes the program nationwide to its affiliated stations. The program debuted on WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, and WEAA in Baltimore.[1] To date, the program has approximately 280 carrying stations across the country, including markets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Portland, Boston, and more. The current hosts are Tanzina Vega (Monday through Thursday) and Amy Walter (Friday/Saturdays).


The program's stated intent is to deliver "national and international news and cultural stories through a conversational and unprecedented personality-driven format."[2] The program launched on April 28, 2008, initially airing in two separate live feeds—from 6 am to 7 am on WNYC 93.9 FM and from 8 to 9 am on AM 820.[3] [4]

On January 25, 2010, as part of WNYC-FM's new schedule the show was moved to WNYC-AM, a later hour, and expanded to four hours.[5] On September 3, 2012, the show was reduced to one hour.[6]

The program has received major philanthropic support from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,[7] the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,[8] Rockefeller Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation.[9]


The show initially launched with Nigerian-American broadcaster Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry as co-hosts. Udoji left the show after eight months.[10] Over the course of several months in 2009, The Takeaway featured various guest co-hosts, including African-American journalist Farai Chideya, WDET news director Jerome Vaughn; television presenters Daljit Dhaliwal and Lynn Sherr; and broadcast journalists Katherine Lanpher and Celeste Headlee. In addition, staffers Femi Oke and Todd Zwillich also guest-hosted. After several stints as guest co-host, Headlee joined the show as permanent co-host September 21, 2009[11] until her departure August 17, 2012.[12]

Hockenberry anchored until August 2017, stepping down without an appointed replacement.[13] Todd Zwillich served as an interim host.[14]

On March 27, 2018, it was announced that Tanzina Vega, formerly of CNN and The New York Times, would be the new host of The Takeaway. Vega started hosting the program on May 7, 2018. Later that year, Amy Walter, of the Cook Political Report, joined as Friday/Saturday host.


With the program's debut, public radio had more than one program available throughout the morning drive across time zones for the first time. The format of the program was influenced by discussions at the Stanford Joint Program in Design.[15] It has a different tone and approach from NPR's Morning Edition, delivering national and international news and cultural stories through a conversational and personality-driven format rather than a magazine, packaged pieces format like Morning Edition. The web presence of the program allows listeners to respond immediately to news and participate in editorial decision-making, as well as building a significant online community around the content.

Effective September 2012, with an expiration of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant and limited uptake at public radio stations, The Takeaway was reduced to one hour, feeding at 9 am Eastern with an updated hour feeding at 12 noon Eastern for the Pacific Time Zone and midday Eastern markets. WGBH Boston airs the program every weekday at 10 am and 2 pm Eastern.[16]

The difference between the expectations of public radio listeners and the tone of the program initially led to a negative response from some listeners.[17][18][19][20] However, a 2012 study noted that the program had succeeded in attracting a more diverse audience, with African American listenership exceeding public radio averages by 60%.[21] The show also received multiple awards, including The Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Community Lifeline Award (shared with WNYC for coverage of Hurricane Sandy in 2012) and the 2011 Radio and Television Digital News Association/UNITY Award (for their series "Fluid Identities").


In 2011, The Takeaway dismissed part-time freelancer Caitlin Curran, after she'd participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests. According to WNYC's company guidelines: "Individuals may not participate in an advocacy manner in events involving causes or issues that New York Public Radio covers or may cover." At the time, The Takeaway was covering the protests extensively. The dismissal was widely criticized.[22]

On December 1, 2017, New York magazine published journalist Suki Kim's story alleging that John Hockenberry had created a toxic work environment for his co-hosts and lower-level co-workers and had even crossed the line of sexual harassment.[23] In WNYC's own reporting about the story, journalist Ilya Marritz stated that four women had "approached WNYC News to say they recently filed harassment complaints with the station and have been dissatisfied with the response from human resources."[24] In the wake of these revelations former host Adaora Udoji published an editorial in U.S. online edition of The Guardian, describing her experience as "an excruciating, painful ride that would haunt me nearly 10 years later."[25]

Five days after the Hockenberry story was published in New York Magazine, WNYC suspended two of their best known hosts, Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz pending investigations into “inappropriate conduct.” Two weeks later WNYC announced that both hosts had been fired for violating WNYC's "standards for providing an inclusive, appropriate, and respectful work environment.”[26]

On January 26, 2018, WNYC announced that Chief Content Officer Dean Cappello would no longer oversee WNYC News and WNYC Studios, nor would he oversee any direct reports.[27]


  1. ^ "PRI and WNYC Radio's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji to Launch On Air and Online on Monday, April 28". WNYC. March 25, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "PRI and WNYC Radio's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji to Launch On Air and Online on Monday, April 28". WNYC. March 25, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "PRI and WNYC Radio's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji to Launch On Air and Online on Monday, April 28". WNYC. March 25, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Joe Nocera (May 3, 2008). "An Upstart Up Against a Jewel". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Ostrow, Joanne (December 21, 2009). "Takeaway takes on FM status quo". The Denver Post. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ Janssen, Mike (July 9, 2012). "Takeaway shifts to middays in bid for broader carriage". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ CPB: Corporation for Public Broadcasting Announces Funding Support for PRI and WNYC Radio's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji
  8. ^ PRI.ORG | PRI receives Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ PRI.ORG | PRI partners with Skoll Foundation Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Public Radio Icon John Hockenberry Accused of Harassing Female Colleagues". NY Magazine. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  11. ^ "WNYC and Public Radio International Announce New Co-Host for The Takeaway". WNYC News. September 16, 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Izzi Smith joins NPR programming, Headlee leaves The Takeaway, Brooks heads project for deaf/blind". Current. September 10, 2012. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  13. ^ "'Takeaway' host Hockenberry to step down in August". Current. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  14. ^ "Celeste Headlee on Twitter: "@silouette74 I left the Takeaway -- my last day was Friday."". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Fast Company". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  16. ^ " - Retreats from Morning Edition turf, 2012". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Nostalgic Rumblings - a radio blog". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Commentary by Skipp Porteus". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  19. ^ "" Archived 2008-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "The Errant Aesthete"
  21. ^ " - Retreats from Morning Edition turf, 2012". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  22. ^ On the Media Archived 2011-11-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "Public Radio Icon John Hockenberry Accused of Harassing Female Colleagues". NY Magazine. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Harassment and Bullying Allegations Rock WNYC After Departure of Celebrated Host". WNYC News. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  25. ^ "I was a co-host with John Hockenberry on WNYC. The experience was scarring". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  26. ^ "New York Public Radio Fires Hosts Lopate and Schwartz". WNYC News. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  27. ^ "New York Public Radio Reshuffles Executive Leadership Amid Harassment Allegations". WNYC News. Retrieved 29 January 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 March 2020, at 12:01
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