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'Morning Edition' co-host Rachel Martin is moving to another role at NPR

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know, the first time that I recall our co-host, Rachel Martin, she was reporting from Baghdad, Iraq. She went there in one of the worst years of that war. But one thing I noted was her cheerful presence on the far end of the line and her passion for what she was doing. Later, Rachel returned to the United States and, after an extensive reporting career, became co-host of this program.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

And today, we have some news about our brilliant co-host. Do I have to say this?

INSKEEP: Yes.

FADEL: I don't want to say this.

INSKEEP: Well, say it.

FADEL: Rachel is moving on to another role at NPR, creating something new. But here at MORNING EDITION, we are going to miss her so much.

INSKEEP: During six years on this program, Rachel covered stories both serious and silly, which is what the job demands. She led our coverage of the opioid epidemic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

RACHEL MARTIN: When a parent is fighting addiction, sometimes the only place their kids feel safe is school, and teachers and staff are the first to see signs that something's not right.

MARY ANN HALE: They'll just walk into the office and start crying, and they hug you. And you sit down and talk with them and find out what's going on in their secret little world.

FADEL: On another day, Rachel climbed on to a presidential campaign bus and challenged then-candidate Joe Biden.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MARTIN: You know it didn't look good for Hunter Biden to be on that board, even if he did nothing wrong. The optics weren't good.

JOE BIDEN: The fact of the matter is, my son testified and did an interview saying if he, looking back on it, made a mistake, he made a mistake.

FADEL: And with equal force, Rachel challenged people who rejected the results of the 2020 election.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MARTIN: On January 10, this is how they characterized President Biden's win.

SHAHRAM HADIAN: The greatest coup in modern history. So when you understand what's at stake, you understand that you must act and put the fear of God in those who are committing the coup.

MARTIN: Again, that's not true. It's not based in any fact or evidence.

INSKEEP: Rachel's work has sought out many kinds of truth, like when she questioned U2's Bono about his faith.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BONO: That's a gospel song. It's a sam (ph) if you wanted...

MARTIN: What's a sam?

BONO: Sorry, did I not pronounce that right? Psalm?

MARTIN: It's a psalm.

BONO: Is that how you say it, Rachel?

MARTIN: I don't know.

BONO: You're so posh.

MARTIN: I'm from Idaho. I don't know that that's my particular dialect - the psalm.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR")

U2: (Singing) But I still haven't found...

INSKEEP: (Singing) Haven't found...

Rachel Martin is up early with us one more time.

FADEL: Rachel, where are you going?

MARTIN: Oh, I love that Steve's still singing on the air.

INSKEEP: I'm going to keep on.

MARTIN: So I'm still here. I'm just not going to get up at 3 a.m. to host this show anymore, guys.

INSKEEP: OK.

FADEL: OK.

MARTIN: I'm going to stick around.

INSKEEP: Why?

MARTIN: I'm going to still be the host of Up First Sunday, and I'm going to pop into this program from time to time. You're not getting rid of me. But I am going to go work on a new project about faith and how we make meaning in our lives. And there will be all kinds of interesting things to share with you when the time comes. But I couldn't leave without saying goodbye and taking a minute to say thank you to a lot of people. Anything that I ever did on this show that made any of our listeners think or feel something - all of that happened because of the incredible journalists who we work with on this show and all of those who came before them because there are many. MORNING EDITION is bigger than any of us, right? It's bigger than any one person. And we are all here for a time as stewards of its legacy and its mission, which is to bring you the news you need to be an informed, responsible citizen in what is a very precious democracy.

So thank you to everyone who has shared their stories with me on this show, to all those who gave me a chance to live my dream by hosting it. And thank you to my co-hosts David Greene, Noel King, A Martínez, Leila and Steve. Each of you has taught me more than you know. It has been my honor to share the mic with you, even if I had to suffer through years of Steve's bad jokes. And thanks to our listeners for letting me into your lives. Radio's an intimate business, and I have felt just as connected to you as you have to this program. It has been my true honor to spend this time with you.

INSKEEP: Wow. Well, come back and share what you learned in your new project with us here on MORNING EDITION.

MARTIN: I promise.

INSKEEP: OK.

MARTIN: I promise I will.

INSKEEP: NPR's Rachel Martin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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