Few podcasts run three and a half years without a host. But that is the case with NPR’s popular advice podcast Life Kit. The show has been relying on a succession of guest hosts each week, but now Marielle Segarra has been hired to steer each episode’s conversation.
Segarra joins NPR from American Public Media’s Marketplace podcast and radio show. Before Marketplace, Marielle worked at WHYY Philadelphia. She has also taught audio journalism at Columbia University, and she coaches reporters and producers on how to write and deliver scripts that sound like them.
"What I love about Life Kit is that it's honest and vulnerable," said Segarra. "Each episode feels like a kindness. The hosts are telling you: look, you're not alone, and we've taken the time to figure out how to help you. Basically: we've got your back.”
Life Kit launched in April 2019 and each week it covers a variety of topics, from sleep to saving money to parenting and more. Each features conversations with experts in the particular field. That basic outline will continue despite having a permanent host.
"We know our listeners depend on us for evidence-based service journalism, and Marielle will imbue this effort with warmth, expertise in personal finance, and curiosity about all the things that might make our days easier and brighter,” said Beth Donovan, Senior Director of Life Kit & Special Projects at NPR.
NPR has also promoted Andee Tagle, currently an associate producer on the show, to the newly created role of reporter-producer. Tagle joined NPR as an intern for the Arts Desk in 2019.
"This show completely changed my definition of service journalism, and I feel so lucky to get to play and experiment on a team filled with so many intelligent and creative and thoughtful people,” said Tagle. “I know Marielle will only serve to expand and elevate what we do — I'm thrilled to have her and I can't wait to learn from her."
Tagle is already a familiar voice to Life Kit listeners. She has previously hosted episodes on grappling with likeability, relationship contracts, moving on a budget, and others.
“Andee is also the face of our Dear Life Kit series, and I'm eager for the innovation and enthusiasm she will bring to the reporter-producer role,” said Donovan.
In addition to being a podcast, Life Kit can also be heard on 201 NPR member radio stations as part of the Code Switch and Life Kit block.