New Morning Edition Theme Blows

The outgoing 40-year old theme is like a comfortable pair of old shoes. It’s reassuring. This new theme is … not.

From an article in The Atlantic

The old theme—known for its inquisitive guitar and jazz piano—went off the air last week after 40 years of service. It was replaced on Monday with a new one that churns through dozens of ideas in 58 seconds: There’s a trip-hop remix of the old melody, a synthesized set of chimes conveying either urgency or the imminent arrival of an elevator, and a clatter of percussion that sounds “global” without evoking any one country in particular.

“For me, it was so reminiscent of childhood, of car rides to school,” [classical composer Timo] Andres told me later of the old theme. “Even though, objectively, it sounds like an artifact from a universe where Steely Dan was co-opted into writing state-propaganda music.”

The new theme, meanwhile, was summarized more pithily by [jazz singer Theo] Bleckmann. “Yeah, it sucks,” he said.

What say you bastards?

4 Replies to “New Morning Edition Theme Blows”

    1. More legacy media on the way out …

      “If I love [an NPR program] and I happen to be in the car, I may send money to my local station to thank them for the content,” says Larry Rosin, president of Edison Research, which analyzes audience data. “If I listen to the same program [via non-broadcast sources], who do I give money to? It does tend to break the logical chain” of contributions. “That’s what happens when an industry is disrupted.”

  1. I hate the new theme, of course, but I can’t say I care much. Do any of you remember when they revamped the theme back in the 90’s or early aughties? They didn’t change the theme per se, but went from a semi-classical arrangement with a baroque intro to the “Steely Dan state- propaganda” version that was just axed. That was part of a general panic and self-loathing at NPR and PBS that they were too white and affluent. On PBS, that meant fewer British accents, less classical music, and more Yanni. On NPR, that meant a smooth jazz theme for Morning Edition and birthday call-outs to Jay Z instead of Itzhak Perlman. Of course none of it worked. It’s so funny when these people try to be “with it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *