Weekend Edition is the name given to a set of American radio news magazines produced and distributed by National Public Radio (NPR). It is the weekend counterpart to Morning Edition. It consists of Weekend Edition Saturday (WESat) and Weekend Edition Sunday (WESun), each of which airs for two hours, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Eastern time, with refeeds until 2 p.m. As of 2007, those programs are hosted by Scott Simon and Liane Hansen, respectively.
The programs feature longer stories than most NPR newsmagazines and more arts and culture stories. On Saturdays the program has a discussion of the week's events with commentator Daniel Schorr. Until February 10th, 2008, on Sundays the show broadcasted "Voices in the News", an audio montage of sound clips from the week's events. Sundays continue to have the "Puzzle" game with New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz.
Weekend Edition begins with a sixty-second billboard. Both Simon and Hansen use the billboard as a general discussion about what's coming up in the hour, infused with soundbites from selected stories. A standard five-minute NPR newscast follows, until six past the hour. A thirty-second music bed follows the newscast, allowing local stations an opportunity to promote programming or local news/weather/traffic.
Segment A begins at 6:30 past the hour (duration 11:29). It's here that the most important news of the day is placed. Regular features such as Daniel Schorr's weekly news wrap-up appear in this segment. At eighteen minutes past the hour, a two-minute station break starts. The first minute is a music bed solely for use of the member stations. The second minute, from nineteen to twenty past, is a "headlines" segment in which the NPR newscaster on staff that morning recaps the major stories of the hour. Some stations decide to use the entire two minutes for local purposes, taking the opportunity to deliver their own headlines, underwriting or events calendars.
At twenty past the hour, segment B begins, running 14:19 in length. NPR offers local stations a cutaway from the national feed at 34:20 past the hour. The cutaway is identified by the host when he or she says, "This is Weekend Edition, from NPR News," or some variation thereon. For stations that opt to stay with the national feed, a short interview or commentary piece is delivered, running 2:59 in length. Another two-minute station break, following the same music bed/headlines format as the first, ensues.
Segment C, the longest segment of the hour, starts at 40:00 after the hour and runs for seventeen minutes, forty-nine seconds. WESat usually slots musical performances, arts stories or interviews in segment C. WESun uses the time for its weekly puzzle segment with Will Shortz, as well as interviews and light features. At the end of the segment, Simon or Hansen will read the credits and sign off for the hour. Segment C is followed by a forty-second funding credit announcement, and then ninety seconds of music.
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