Bob Boilen, who grew to become one of many premier tastemakers in American music when he helped create and host “All Songs Considered” and the Tiny Desk live performance collection, stated he can be retiring from NPR after 35 years.
“It’s time to find new challenges in life, and I’m excited about some of the possibilities,” Mr. Boilen, 70, who additionally directed “All Things Considered,” stated in a notice that was distributed to NPR’s workers and was obtained by The New York Times on Friday. “I leave at a time when new creative folks will hopefully envision exciting new futures for NPR Music.”
In a separate note on X, the social media platform previously often called Twitter, Mr. Boilen stated that it had been a “thrill” to work on the packages.
His final day shall be Oct. 2.
Mr. Boilen propelled NPR into new instructions within the digital panorama by producing and creating a few of the broadcaster’s hottest podcasts and reveals, NPR executives stated within the notice to the radio community’s workers, which highlighted his improvements over a long time.
His tenure on the firm began in 1988 when, decided, he “started showing up on NPR’s doorstep every day,” his profile on NPR says. His persistence paid off. Within weeks, he was employed to work on the flagship information program “All Things Considered” on a brief foundation. Less than a 12 months later, he grew to become the director of the present, a job he continued to carry for 18 years.
At “All Things Considered,” he produced music tales, introduced in music writers, and edited and produced critiques. The present’s musical excerpts spawned a web-based present in 2000, once they had been became full-length tunes on “All Songs Considered.”
“People are music-starved,” Mr. Boilen told The Times in an interview in 2000, shortly after the debut of “All Songs Considered.” “They like this music because it’s not like music you can hear anywhere else on the radio. We play music from all over the world, and from all different eras.”
It was later absorbed into NPR Music, which he helped to create in 2007.
“For over 35 years, Bob has been a fixture here, whether as a longtime producer and director on ‘All Things Considered’ or as a digital pioneer with NPR Music,” the workers assertion stated.
As a musician himself, Mr. Boilen shared his capability to have an effect on the work of different musicians. Project Song, a documentary collection, gave audiences a have a look at the method of writing songs by difficult artists to jot down a track at NPR in a day or two. It received an Emmy Award.
In 2008, Mr. Boilen grew to become a co-founder of the Tiny Desk live performance collection, which invited artists to carry out on video at a no-frills, eclectically adorned area with out music studio modifying. The New York Times Magazine described it this month as a “prime venue for artists seeking an authenticity baptism,” together with rising and well-known musicians; songwriters; and artists that play an array of genres at his desk in an unassuming, cluttered workplace in Washington, D.C.
It set the music trade agenda for the following 15 years, NPR stated.
“It is very difficult indeed to go anywhere in the world — whether it’s a battlefield in Ukraine, an embassy in Washington, a farm in the Midwest or a restaurant in Asia — where people haven’t heard about and watched Tiny Desk Concerts,” the corporate stated within the workers notice. “This is the very definition of a global phenomenon.”
After the beginning of NPR Music in 2007, Mr. Boilen and his co-creator, Stephen Thompson, discovered themselves unable to listen to Laura Gibson’s efficiency at a South by Southwest live performance in 2008 as a result of the group was loud. So “we half-jokingly invited her to our office for a concert,” he wrote in a Facebook post final 12 months on the collection’s 14th anniversary.
“A few weeks later, on April 14, 2008, she showed up at the NPR offices while in town for a concert,” he continued. “I set up a few cameras and a single microphone, edited the video and posted it online.” Tiny Desk was born.
Last September, NPR Music celebrated its 1,000th Tiny Desk live performance with a efficiency from the singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo. Other artists through the years have included the Cranberries, whose Tiny Desk has been considered greater than 18 million occasions, and Taylor Swift, whose video has obtained over 15 million views, together with Alicia Keys, Megan Thee Stallion, Harry Styles and Mac Miller, whose efficiency was one in all his final earlier than he died.
Mr. Boilen stated that he had approached NPR with no journalism or radio coaching.
“I was a musician and a video producer in 1988, but the folks at NPR saw something in me and gave me opportunities to take chances and grow,” he stated within the assertion to workers.
Mr. Boilen additionally wrote a guide, “Your Song Changed My Life,” during which he requested musicians, each well-known and rising, which single tune had the most important affect on them and their work.