Meet NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Host Lulu Garcia-Navarro

[Steven Voss/NPR]
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On a regular basis NPR hosts used to welcome reporter Lourdes Garcia-Navarro to a broadcast and then refer to her as “Lulu.”

But the emails, texts and tweets from listeners would follow all asking: “Who is this ‘Lulu’ person, and why is she going into Lourdes Garcia-Navarro’s slot?”

Lourdes and Lulu are the same person. Garcia-Navarro, a longtime NPR correspondent who has covered many of the world’s hotspots, decided she would use “Lulu” as her on-air name when she took over in January as host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday (heard on 90.3 WCPN from 8 -10 a.m.).

“Everyone knows me as Lulu. Nobody calls me Lourdes. So I decided to go by Lulu,” said Garcia-Navarro.

Even though her reports from places like Libya and Rio de Janeiro were heard by millions, Garcia-Navarro thinks being heard by those same listeners when she is in the host chair is very different.

“I think you have to think about the word ‘host.”  Why does NPR use the word ‘host’ as opposed to anchor, as you have it on TV?  We use the word ‘host’ because we’re kind of hosting our listeners.  We’re taking them through conversations with a lot of different types of people, as if it were an amazing dinner party where you’re getting the most impressive guests about the most important things happening,” Garcia-Navarro said.

Garcia-Navarro wanted to come to NPR Weekend Edition Sunday in particular for the chance to have conversations with people from the worlds of art and culture.

“I feel like news is important, it’s absolutely vital, but there’s so much more out there. Sometimes cultural conversations can illuminate the issues of the day as completely as a news story can,” Garcia-Navarro said.

To hear Garcia-Navarro’s thoughts on why it is important for news organizations to cover President Trump’s tweets as well as what has been surprisingly the toughest part of being a host, listen to Dan Polletta’s conversation with her Tuesday at 12:33 p.m. and at 12:51 p.m. on Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause on 90.3.

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