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Wheeling TV Off The Air Thursday

'Morning Edition' Remembers Former Staffer Steve Munro

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We are saying goodbye to someone who made this program what it is. Editor-producer Steve Munro died over the weekend at 73. Here's Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: His full name was Steven (ph) Burford Munro, and people called him Burf for short. Years ago, he worked the overnight shift at NPR's former headquarters, having chosen for his workspace a windowless cubicle furnished with little beyond a reel-to-reel tape recorder and razor blades. He edited tape by physically cutting it and taped it back together on deadline. Night after night, he helped to finish the stories of the famous voices you know. His voice was not often heard on MORNING EDITION except in a particular way. He often did those translation voiceovers, channeling almost anyone in the world from a South American autocrat...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Non-English language spoken).

STEVE MUNRO: "With this great victory, we have declared to the world that the revolution will continue."

INSKEEP: ...To a Ukrainian opposition leader.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: (Non-English language spoken).

MUNRO: "Our leaders did everything they could to keep us from joining the clash."

INSKEEP: Some people are known for one great achievement, but Burf was an everyday pro - steady and focused on details. You can't do the big things if you don't take care of the little things, he said. He did his job with humor. Another producer recalls once assembling the parts of a story out of order, and it played that way on the air. Steve put his hand on the producer's shoulder and said, don't worry; somewhere out there, you made someone's day. He paid attention to people, remembered where they grew up or how many brothers and sisters they had. Burf took pride in his work and in the work of others that he so often made better.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND")

JAMES TAYLOR: (Singing) You just call out my name...

GREENE: And we're going to miss you, Burf. Our friend Steve Munro was 73. He had just written on Facebook how he never got tired of this song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND")

TAYLOR: (Singing) I'll come running. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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