Over 17 years with NPR, Lulu Garcia-Navarro developed a reputation for her excellent reporting and her reliable delivery of the news. Since 2017, Lulu has been working as the host of Weekend Edition Sunday, and as a co-host on the podcast Up First. Now, Lulu has left NPR, and many fans want to know why she decided to leave, and what she'll do next.
Why did Lulu Garcia-Navarro leave NPR?
In September, Lulu announced that she would be leaving NPR. On Twitter, she wrote“it is time to say goodbye. Like much of the US, I need a break!” Lulu started with NPR as an international correspondent in 2004, and she spent time based in Brazil, Israel, Mexico, and Iraq. She won a Peabody Award in 2011 for her reporting on the Arab Spring and began hosting Weekend Edition Sunday six years later.
Lulu was the first Latina host of NPR's flagship program, and many of her colleagues treated the news of her departure with a mix of sadness and excitement about what she might do next. Lulu made her mark at NPR, and both her colleagues and her listeners will clearly miss her a great deal now that she's finally left.
Lulu offered a wholesome goodbye on the most recent 'Weekend Edition Sunday.'
In her final appearance as host of Weekend Edition Sunday, Lulu offered her own thoughts about what her time as host had meant. "So this is it," the host began. "We're coming to the end of our show and my time at NPR. It is so hard to say goodbye, especially because when I came to host this show, as the first Latina to helm an NPR flagship show, I wanted to start a conversation with you, our audience, and with NPR, a conversation that would take us to unexpected places."
She then offered a brief recap of the tumultuous period during which she was the host of Weekend Edition, which included the presidency of Donald Trump, the #MeToo movement, a number of mass shootings, a constant immigration crisis at the southern border, the pandemic, the racial protests that defined the summer of 2020, and the 2020 election and insurrection that followed it.
She continued by ensuring her listeners that Weekend Edition would continue, and the teams at NPR would keep working to give listeners the news in a way that makes it comprehensible. "And what I've learned in this chair, through them and through you, is that we all need each other to make sense of things and that sometimes we just need to stop and listen to what people have to say," she said. "I'll have a new place to do that from, but it has been a privilege to share our Sundays together.
"Signing off for the last time, this is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Lulu Garcia-Navarro. Thank you so much for listening these past five years and these beautiful 17 years at NPR. Gracias a todos. Happy Sunday. And next Sunday, I got to tell you, I'm going to sleep in."