Mitch Wertlieb reflects on 20 years behind the mic on 'Morning Edition', and his new role at Vermont Public
Mitch Wertlieb, Vermont Public's longtime local host of Morning Edition, will hand off his duties to colleague Jenn Jarecki on July 28, and take the reins of Vermont Public’s daily news podcast The Frequency this fall. He shares his reflections about his time as host and his decision to make a change.
For the past two decades, I've been fortunate enough to work at Vermont Public Radio and now Vermont Public, as the local host for Morning Edition.
Simply put, it's the best job I've ever had, and I know this is true because when I look at the time that's ticked away since I started, those years seem to have gone by in 20 minutes rather than 20 years. You know the old saw about time flying when you're having fun.
Simply put, it's the best job I've ever had, and I know this is true because when I look at the time that's ticked away since I started, those years seem to have gone by in 20 minutes rather than 20 years.Vermont Public's Mitch Wertlieb
But 20 years is a long time to do anything, even when you cherish it, and after so many years having the alarm clock assert itself each morning before 4 a.m., I've made a decision to step away from my morning show hosting duties and explore a new chapter of work at Vermont Public that doesn't take quite the toll on mind and body as Morning Edition demands.
I can't stress enough how difficult, even agonizing, this decision was for me, but there's more than a sliver of a silver lining that comes with it.
That's because this choice was made much easier knowing that my colleague Jenn Jarecki will be taking over the host chair, and I can't think of a better person to occupy it. You've already heard Jenn doing Morning Edition during times when she's subbed in, and she brings with her an abundance of intelligence, wit, and charm that will serve the Vermont Public listening audience well beyond their already high expectations.
And it's important to note that I'm not leaving the organization (which may prompt the question of "how can we miss you if you never actually go?"), but I do hope to do my best as I take on new challenges, including as the host of Vermont Public's daily podcast. Once I get up-to-speed on those duties and give it a whirl, I hope you'll become a subscriber and allow my voice to continue to be one of those you trust for delivering quality, independent journalism (with some occasional fun and possibly cringe-inducing puns and bad jokes — sorry, I meant "Dad Jokes" — no, now that I think about it, I was right the first time).
There are some other exciting developments to come as well, so as those still enamored of old fashioned radio like to say, "stay tuned."
I'll have more to say about this on air before the date of my final broadcast as the regular host of Morning Edition, and I should note that I will happily be subbing in occasion for Jenn when she needs a break (the Grateful Dead interstitial music on those occasions will be a--ahem--dead giveaway), and you may even hear me jump in from time to time on All Things Considered. Heck, you may be wondering why I'm even bothering to say "goodbye" in this post.
But I can't dance around the fact that I've felt a special rapport with Vermont Public's morning audience for twenty years, and it's a bond I hold dear.
You've been gracious, kind, and forgiving of my on-air mistakes. The Vermont Public listener seems to have a unique understanding of the communal spirit inherent in the live radio experience, shows an everyday willingness to be an active participant, and completes the circle of reciprocity that makes that relationship truly special.
It's been an indescribable honor and privilege to share these many mornings with you over these past 20 years, and I hope you'll allow me to remain a part of your Vermont Public experience for the days that still are to come.