'Fresh Air' Bids Farewell To Melody Kramer

Jul 27, 2012
Originally published on July 27, 2012 10:47 am

Today, reluctantly, we say goodbye to someone our listeners may have come to feel attached to, even though they've never heard her voice on our show.

Until about 3 years ago, we were so obsessed with getting Fresh Air on the air every day that we were virtually ignoring all the social media possibilities, and our website was pretty bare-boned. Then we hired Melody Kramer to be our associate producer for online media.

She whipped the website into shape, writing print stories based on our interviews, and she developed a great following on Twitter, with tweets that sound like she does — smart, funny and worth paying attention to.

After one of our guests, a fitness columnist, talked about how important it was for people who work at desks to stand up every 20 minutes, Mel performed the public service of tweeting stand up reminders three times every hour.

Before nearly anyone had heard of the microblogging service Tumblr, she created one for Fresh Air, and has since filled it with photos, videos, quotes, facts, jokes and puns related to our interviews.

Mel started a weekly feature called "best thing all week," which gave our followers a chance to hear from each other. Mel once even gave a lucky reader some pretty decent advice about handling the breakup of a relationship.

When not working on our show, she's spent a lot of time volunteering at a hospital and an HIV clinic. So I wasn't really surprised when she told us she planned to go to medical school, so that she can be a doctor and medical journalist. That sounds just right for her, but it's a great loss for us.

We'll miss her voice in the virtual world — and here in our office, where she's become a trusted colleague and friend.

Considering the millions of followers she's brought to our sites, you may be surprised to hear how much Mel hates being the center of attention. Really. But since so many of our listeners know her social-media voice, I didn't want her to get away without you hearing her spoken voice — so in the audio above, you'll hear a few words of farewell directly from her.

And from me, this: 'Bye, Mel. We'll all really miss you.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

As you know, Terry doesn't host the show on Fridays, but she has something to say before we end today's show. Terry.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Thanks, Dave. So I'm here to reluctantly say goodbye to someone our listeners may have come to feel attached to, even though they've never heard her voice on our show. Here's the story.

Until about three years ago, we were so obsessed with getting the radio show on the air every day, we were virtually ignoring all the social media possibilities, and our website was pretty bare-boned. Then we hired Melody Kramer to be our associate producer for online media.

She whipped the website into shape, writing print stories based on our interviews, and she developed a great following on Twitter, with tweets that sound like she does: smart and funny and worth paying attention to. After one of our guests who was a fitness columnist talked about how important it was for people who work at desks like we do to stand up every 20 minutes, Mel performed the public service of tweeting stand up reminders three times every hour.

Before nearly anyone had heard of the microblog Tumblr, she created one for FRESH AIR, and she's since filled it with photos, videos, quotes, facts, jokes and puns related to our interviews. Mel even started a weekly feature on it called Best Thing All Week, which gave our followers a chance to hear from each other. Mel once even gave a lucky reader some pretty decent advice about handling the breakup of a relationship.

When not working on our show and staring at three screens at the same time, she spent a lot of time volunteering at a hospital and an HIV clinic. So I wasn't really surprised when she told us she planned to go to med school so that she can be a doctor and medical journalist. That sounds just right for her, but for us, it's a great loss.

We'll miss her voice in the virtual world and back in our office, where she's become a trusted colleague and friend. Considering the millions of followers she's brought to our sites, you may be surprised to hear how much she hates being the center of attention. Really. But since so many of our listeners know her social-media voice, I didn't want her to get away without you hearing her spoken voice.

So, Mel, I'd like you to just say good bye to our listeners, your readers.

MELODY KRAMER, BYLINE: Thanks, Terry. I'd like to say good-bye to everyone in our audience, as well as everyone at FRESH AIR. I'll miss you all, and I look forward to hearing you on the radio for many years to come.

GROSS: And I will really miss you, and I guess it's just, like, too late for me to try to talk you out of this.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSS: So instead, I'll just wish you the best of luck. It's going to be great.

KRAMER: Thanks, Terry.

GROSS: And thank you.

So we're in the process of hiring Mel's replacement, and for now, our associate producer Heidi Saman - who is also an independent filmmaker - will be handling our social media. I can't promise she'll have relationship advice, but I know she'll come up with some great ways of keeping you informed about our show, and she'll likely have some thoughts to share about movies and more. Back to you, Dave.

Dave, Dave. You're not going anyplace, right? Promise me.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVIES: Yeah. In case anybody's wondering, I'm not going anywhere. I need this job. But thank you, Terry. And Melody, we will certainly miss you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.