NPR Star Audie Cornish Says She's Joining 'The Great Resignation'

Audie Cornish, whom millions of listeners have tuned in to hear each week on NPR’s “All Things Considered” for the past decade, announced Tuesday she’s leaving the station.

“It’s time for me to try my hand at new journalism projects and embark on new adventures,” she wrote in a goodbye message to the staff.

“I believe deeply in the mission of public radio and its people,” she added.

Cornish, 42, started at NPR when she was “barely old enough to drive a car,” she wrote Tuesday. She began co-hosting the daily news show “All Things Considered” in 2012 during the presidential election. Her last day on the air will be Friday.

“I am joining many of you in ‘The Great Resignation,’” tweeted Cornish, referencing Tuesday’s Labor Department report showing that the trend of Americans quitting their jobs has hit a record. She is also among several prominent hosts to leave NPR in recent years, including Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who departed last year, and Joshua Johnson, who left in 2019. All three are people of color.

Cornish’s co-host, Ari Shapiro, wrote a series of tweets in response to his colleague’s resignation indicating problems at the network.

“If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take,” he said, adding that the radio network is “hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds.”

When asked to comment on Shapiro’s remarks, NPR’s chief communications officer, Isabel Lara, told HuffPost: “Diversity in our staff, sourcing and coverage is not only crucial to the accuracy and fairness of NPR’s content, but to the future of public media and our audience at large. Ensuring that public media reflects the people of the United States is not a responsibility or initiative, but a necessity. Continuing and improving our diversity efforts is NPR’s foremost priority.”

As for departures, she said: “The audio landscape has become much more competitive with terrific opportunities for hosts and producers. This is great if you’re an audio journalist, but challenging for a nonprofit media organization.”

Two leaders at the company ― Sarah Gilbert, the news programming vice president, and Nancy Barnes, the editorial director senior vice president for news ― also issued a statement praising Cornish.

“Her reporting is incisive and human,” they wrote. “Whether in the field reporting on natural disasters, following presidential candidates and historic moments in our democracy, or landing illuminating high-profile interviews, Audie has brought listeners a rich array of topics, voices, and perspectives from across the spectrum of American life.”

Lydia O'Connor