KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
We're going to take a few minutes right now to give a big welcome to our newest colleague on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, Mary Louise Kelly. Hey.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Mary Louise Kelly has sat next to me for many a day as she has filled in on this program. And I am so happy that you are now sitting here full-time for good. Welcome.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, BYLINE: I snuck into the studio a few days before I actually make my debut. I'll actually be on the show on Wednesday, but I wanted to come in and say hi.
SHAPIRO: This is great for us because last Friday was a day of tears and champagne as we said goodbye to Robert Siegel. You have some very big shoes to fill.
KELLY: Oh, boy, do I have big shoes to fill. There is a certain elegance to this in that I was hired at NPR in the first place back in 2001 to be Robert Siegel's editor, to be the editor of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.
SHAPIRO: You were the editor on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.
KELLY: I was. And when NPR sent out the press release last month saying that I was going to be stepping into this job, media reporters started calling, and there were a few articles. And one of the first headlines was Mary Louise Kelly to replace Robert Siegel. And I have to say, Ari, my first thought was, I've got a quibble with that word choice.
SHAPIRO: He's irreplaceable.
KELLY: He is irreplaceable. I mean, just being asked to succeed him is about the scariest assignment I have ever been given.
SHAPIRO: Well, you have been given some scary assignments. In recent years, you have covered national security, spies, intelligence, counterterrorism. Tell us what you plan to bring to the host seat.
KELLY: Well, this is true. I've spent a couple of decades covering national security and the intelligence beat. And I took a few years away from NPR to write espionage fiction, so...
SHAPIRO: Novels that are really great (laughter).
KELLY: Thank you. Rest assured that I will be bringing some spy stories to the airwaves at ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I also - you know, whatever your politics, these are fraught times, and I look forward to bringing some joy, some laughter. And that's not something you get to do a lot on the national security beat. So that's going to be fun.
SHAPIRO: Well, Mary Louise, it is great to have you here. Your first full-time day as permanent host of this show is Wednesday of next week.
KELLY: It is Wednesday of next week, the 17th. I can't wait.
SHAPIRO: All right, well, I'm sure everybody will tune in. It's great to have you.
KELLY: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF KEITH MASFIELD'S "FUNKY FANFARE")
SHAPIRO: Mary Louise, why don't you end the segment?
KELLY: Here it goes. With Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers and Audie Cornish here in spirit, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.