‘Tiny Desk Concert’ Creator, ‘All Things Considered’ Director Bob Boilen Exits NPR After 35 Years

Bob Boilen, creator of National Public Radio’s “Tiny Desk Concerts” series and a longtime director of the flagship “All Things Considered,” said he is leaving the network after 35 years.

“I’ve had the thrill of creating Tiny Desk Concerts, All Songs Considered, directing All Things Considered for 18 years and so much more,” Boilen said in a post on X. “I love the people I’ve worked with, but it’s time to find new challenges. thank you for listening/watching.”

Boilen’s desk has hosted intimate performances from an eclectic mix of musicians from Post Malone to classical violinist Anne Akiko Meyers just in the past month, and since 2008 has seen names as big as Taylor Swift stop by, while also introducing listeners to new music from across genres. Its creation followed “All Songs Considered,” which became the cornerstone of the radio network’s music division.

The post drew response from a host of boldfaced names and musicians whose careers he helped kickstart. “Bob, you changed my life, found me friends I never would have on my own and opened doors I didn’t even know existed,” the indie rock band Heligoats singer Chris Otepka posted. “Just played in Huddersfield, UK tonight and, even after 11 years, people still cite my Tiny Desk. It was an honor to be the 100th. Eternal gratitude.”

Banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, who said “Congrats Bob, thanks for everything you’ve done so far – and now the future beckons!” and fellow banjo player and comedian Steve Martin also wished Boilen well. Martin and his band the Steep Canyon Rangers played a “Tiny Desk” concert in 2017.

The network has seen a good amount of reshuffling in recent years, and announced last month that its head of programming, Anya Grundmann, will leave at the end of the year. President and CEO John Lansing’s retirement at the end of the year was announced earlier this month.

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