She's Alison Stewart, 40; most recently host of the MSNBC's weekdaily, The Most. Named Friday, by NPR, she's join Luke Burbank as co-host of a 2-hour NPR morning drivetime news show targeting adults 25-44.
It's to air in September; part of a 24-hour news service that will be offered to public radio stations, satellite radio and online.
Many know the Peabody Award-winning Stewart as a witty fill-in for Keith Olbermann on his MSNBC hit news hour, Countdown; but those who found The Most knew it to be a smart, funny, fresh (read young) yet substantive watering hole in the TV daytime dustbowl. It was ground-breaking with its Web presence, and awareness; viral videos, off-beat news coverage with surprisingly hard hitting interviews by Stewart.
She is not related to Jon Stewart or Rod Stewart or Stuart Smalley.
NPR's making a major investment in this project as hiring someone of Stewart's stature and pay grade indicates. She's an up-and-comer, and that she gets new media, and is willing to risk this jump, speaks well to the insight of both her and NPR.
(OK, OK, she's not a huge name, but she's on the way up having built a respectable résumé in a relatively short career. She's put in her time doing pumps-on-the-ground reporting; given due diligence in the fill-in and daily anchor work around NBC; had her own show which survived for a respectable length of time; and has an easy-going, on-air persona reportedly matched in real life- in other words, she's not known as an insufferable TV-donna).
The show hasn't been named yet but goes by the working title, The Bryant Park Project or "TB double P" or simply, "Zak." It'll will be available on terrestrial, satellite radio, HD digital, and free online audio streaming through station websites, a podcast, and mobile on-demand.
Luke and producer Matt Martinez have made some sample segments- listen to them here.
This from the NPR press release:
Stewart joins NPR from NBC and MSNBC, where she has been anchor of the MSNBC daily news show The Most, newsreader and substitute anchor for NBC's Weekend Today and contributor to Today. Since joining MSNBC in 2003, she has anchored coverage of such news stories as Hurricane Katrina, the 2006 Olympics in Torino and the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Previously, she was an anchor for ABC News' World News Now and contributor to 20/20 Downtown and Good Morning America, and was part of the network's Emmy Award winning team reporting on the September 11 terrorist attacks. Stewart began her career as a political reporter for MTV News, working on the channel's 'Choose or Lose' election coverage in 1992 and 1996. She was honored with a George Foster Peabody Award for MTV's coverage.
Stewart is married to MSNBC Vice President of Programming Bill Wolff.