Meet The Duo Behind "Early Edition," The Only Live, Local Radio Segment On At 4:50am
By Ellen London
WGBH's Early Edition, the 10-minute radio segment that airs at 4:50am, just before Morning Edition, launched one year ago with a simple question: what would happen if the Morning Edition team threw on the microphones a few minutes early and let the world into their studio? That question turned into a daily segment, now in its second year, that airs Monday-Friday at 4:50am on 89.7 WGBH and streams live on Facebook at @WGBHNews, giving early birds and commuters the pertinent local news and information that they need to start their day.
"You may not be on the road at 4:50am," said Joe Mathieu, host and executive editor of WGBH's Early Edition and Morning Edition. "But a lot of people are. We give them survival information to start their day and pack them off with a smile."
Every day around 2am, Joe and producer Karen Marshall start sending stories and headlines to each other from the night before, teasing out which stories they'll talk about on that morning's show. "We'll send stories and things that we see to each other, and sometimes we have to note: 'That's just something I thought you'd like' or 'That's something for Early Edition.' But a lot of the time they overlap," said Marshall.
"People need to know that there's no script on Early Edition," Joe added. "Sometimes we don't know exactly what it's going to be when we walk into the studio. But usually we have stories that we think we can relate with people on, where there's some common ground."
Recently, the team headed to NPR Headquarters in Washington, DC to cover the swearing-in of new members of Congress from the Massachusetts delegation—specifically, Ayanna Pressley, the first ever African American woman to represent our state in Congress. In year two, Joe and Karen hope to take the show on the road more frequently, bringing a national perspective to in-depth local stories (and vise versa).
"Every story has a Boston angle," said Joe.
Learn more about Early Edition from Joe and Karen in the video above. Tune in for Early Edition Monday-Friday at 4:50am on 89.7 WGBH and watch the action live from the studio on Facebook @WGBHNews.