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NPR's Morning Edition Just Debuted Their New Theme, And It's horible!
  • Hi All,

    Was listening to Morning Edition from NPR as I got ready for school, and a segment came on about "great theme music". Little did I know, that segment would debut a new theme for the program.

    https://files.noahcarver.com/radio/jingles/npr-morning-edition-man-made-music-2019-billboard.wav

    Personally, I think it's horrible. The old theme, which has been used for 40 years now, has a grand feeling that brought a no nonsense intelligence to the day's headlines. However, it also had the mysterious ability of *gasp* getting this lazy, "I hate mornings" high school student out of bed and ready to go in the morning. The new theme evokes nothing for me, and sounds like a bland, empty shell. Now, mom will have to kick me out of bed before school LOL.

    For reference, here's the old theme:

    https://files.noahcarver.com/radio/jingles/npr-morning-edition-bj-leiderman-billboard.mp3

    So what do you think? Is the theme truly awful, or am I overreacting to a new change?

    Edit: Replaced links to Current and YouTube with direct links to audio.
  • It does seem a bit bland - an American "McCasso" perhaps - no tune, no melody, its just a collection of ... something.

    The original does seem a bit more "thought out".
    Clearly at 40 years (!?) though a need of a "refresh", but why "go backwards"?
  • It does seem a bit bland - an American "McCasso" perhaps - no tune, no melody, its just a collection of ... something.



    Actually, when I heard the thing, I immediately thought of McCasso LOL. It's made by Man Made Music, who have done a lot of work for TV networks here in the u.S.

    Clearly at 40 years (!?) though a need of a "refresh", but why "go backwards"?



    Agreed. But they could have done a much better job of it imho.

    Actually, now I'm curious. What would a new take on the Morning Edition theme sound like if it were, say, done by someone like JAM?
  • Both themes are a little mellow for my tastes, which I guess is par for the course with NPR, but at least the old one had some personality. This new one just feels like musical wallpaper, which increasingly seems to be the trend with radio news sounders (for instance, the new ones on WCBS 880 also feel this way).

    Man Made Music also produced the new themes for KYW Philadelphia:

    https://mediaconfidential.blogspot.com/2019/05/philly-radio-kyw-unveils-new-logo-and.html?fbclid=IwAR2rCmVcrtFXeqP6GekMhtdOn22Y2P0Zn26tSl0sGaOnepxslXWRawkNASw
  • "Although KYW updates its jingle every several years"

    Jingle SINGULAR?
    Please, don't give a few UK stations such an idea!
  • That's still more sung jingles than most US all-news stations have. WCBS AM hasn't had any for 25+ years, maybe 30. Even the most recent TM package for WBBM AM only had one sung cut, IIRC.

    Of course, it seems like US talk radio packages are heading in this direction too - I know the TM EVO news-talk package only has sung cuts for the TOH, and they even offer a vocal-free option for those.
  • Can I just say wow! I'm sorry but every now and again you just gotta call it...and that is something else.
  • amigoamigo May 10
    It is growing on me. The old one was very dated as is the current "All Things Considered" (Afternoon Drivetime show) music which is just dreadful. I think NPR should have gone to a radio imaging company, not a TV one.
  • Listening to the new one, I swear I heard some horribly compressed instruments (drums near the main 'logo')

    Sounds like it was made on the iPad version of Garageband, really, really bland.
  • amigo said:

    It is growing on me. The old one was very dated as is the current "All Things Considered" (Afternoon Drivetime show) music which is just dreadful. I think NPR should have gone to a radio imaging company, not a TV one.



    My thoughts exactly Re: All Things Considered theme. I never liked it myself. Much prefer the 1983 version.

    https://files.noahcarver.com/radio/jingles/npr-all-things-considered-theme-1983.mp3