The creator of one of NPR’s top podcasts – the morning news series Up First – will exit the network on July 11 for a new position outside of the company. Gilbert has been with NPR for nearly ten years over two separate stints. She joined the public media network in January 2012 as Senior Editor of “Weekend Edition” and returned in October 2015 as Executive Producer of “Morning Edition.” In 2017, Gilbert created and launched Up First. In the latest Podtrac rankings, it was the third most listened-to podcast in May.
“Sarah’s contributions to NPR and public media have been immeasurable. She was the driving force behind NPR’s move to a newsier format, especially on Morning Edition and later Up First, which she created in partnership with programming. This led to record audience growth before the disruption of the pandemic,” Senior VP of News and Editorial Director Nancy Barnes wrote in an email to staff. “She has been in the thick of every major story that has erupted – and we all know how relentless that has been – through innumerable early mornings and weekends as the news demanded to make sure our daily and weekend flagship shows and news podcasts were provocative, timely and relevant. Over the past few years, as the pandemic upended all our lives, she has led her teams with grace and empathy through some of the most difficult working conditions NPR has endured, taking on a lot of unseen work to ensure our shows stayed on the air to serve our 251 Member stations and their audiences without interruption. She has been a true partner to me through my 3.5 years at NPR, for which I am grateful.”
Gilbert joined NPR after serving as an Executive Producer for BBC, based in Washington, DC. After leaving NPR for the first time in 2013, Gilbert served as Managing Editor, Marketplace at America Public Media for a year and a half.
Cara Tallo has been appointed interim VP of News Programming.