Stu Seidel Death | Passed Away | Obituary
Stu Seidel Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Stu Seidel.
editor Stu Seidel has died at 71. In 2002, when I was first hosting programs, I worked so hard I got sick. “Pace yourself,” he said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Thanks, Stu: I’m still running, and I remember.
Former @NPR editor Stu Seidel has died at 71. In 2002, when I was first hosting programs, I worked so hard I got sick. “Pace yourself,” he said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Thanks, Stu: I’m still running, and I remember. Photo h/t @krantzlm. pic.twitter.com/BqOTp3yCqx
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) July 31, 2020
Sad to hear of the passing of Stu Seidel, who retired from NPR in 2013. Seidel was the network’s managing editor for standards and practices. He also served as my supervisor for many years when I was NPR’s part-time Liaison to Independent Producers. Stu worked for NPR as a freelance editor from 1996-98, then joined in December 1999 as senior editor of Weekend Edition Sunday after a year with Marketplace, where he was also senior editor. He later worked as deputy managing editor for news. In 2011, he led coverage from Japan of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country.
Stu really believed in the value of my freelance consulting position helping other independent producers understand how to file for NPR News and other public radio programs. It seemed like every year, upper management wondered what it was I was doing and Stu always made the case for my consulting work to continue. I WAS doing the work – hand-holding new reporters who were a little intimidated filing for NPR, acting as a preliminary screener on story proposals, getting reporters to the proper editors, sometimes encouraging them to file again if they were turned down, occasionally congratulating them if their story ideas were accepted and got on the air (maybe 20% of the time). Stu always saw it as a worthy expenditure of NPR funds (maybe because it kept his phone from ringing as often with reporters asking HIM what to do – which is why the position was created in the first place). He fought to keep it under NPR’s control when other entities were competing to get those funds from NPR and manage the indie support role themselves (which eventually happened once Stu left and I retired from the post end of 2017).
Anyway, Stu and I always went out for a burger once a year when I’d pay an annual visit to NPR. He was great company. A good story teller. Interested in others. Slightly brusk in a good way. And a fierce defender of good journalism.
I didn’t know he was ill. I’d just wished him a happy birthday last month in a FB Message and didn’t hear back like I normally would. I wrote: “Yo Stu! Happy birthday ol’ pal! Hope all’s safe and sound and (relatively) sane in your corner of the world. Thanks for all the support you gave me back in the day!” I only hope he got to see my last sincere thank-you to him.
I lost a hero recently. Though he would have ridiculed me relentlessly for calling him that.
Stu Seidel was one of my first editors at NPR. He approached the job with an acerbic wit, with both a keen eye and ear for detail, and with a drive to get everything right – not just the facts but the tone, the tempo, the almost imperceptible details that went into crafting a great news magazine program.
In 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up shortly after take-off. That was on a Saturday. Stu and I worked straight through the night to produce a mini-documentary for Weekend Edition Sunday about the history of manned space flight. He would catch a nap while I pulled archival tape and wrote a skeleton script around it; I would nap while he brought beauty to the words. Then in the morning, Liane Hansen finished what we’d started and made it art.
And we still had a whole show to get through before we could collapse.
To prove we hadn’t learned our lesson, we did the same damn thing about a year later when we learned of Ronald Reagan’s death on a Saturday. We worked through the night on yet another mini-documentary.
I think Stu had had enough of me by that point.
You can’t work with another person like that – under those conditions – unless you trust each other and respect each other. And you sure don’t repeat the experience.
I will always treasure my time leaning under Stu. It meant a lot to have earned that trust from a journalist of his wisdom and stature.
R.I.P. longtime NPR editor STU SEIDEL — a sharp and thoughtful editor, a strong advocate for me and for many others in broadcasting. I feel as if I talked with him in the office just the other day, though he retired seven years ago.
R.I.P. longtime NPR editor STU SEIDEL — a sharp and thoughtful editor, a strong advocate for me and for many others in broadcasting. I feel as if I talked with him in the office just the other day, though he retired seven years ago. pic.twitter.com/mCpFxfqJIb
— Bob Mondello is working from home (@Bob_Mondello) July 31, 2020
I’m very grateful to have had Stu Seidel as my boss when I interned at NPR. So much kindness and wisdom. He always made time to chat, share reporting tips, career advice.
I’m very grateful to have had Stu Seidel as my boss when I interned at NPR. So much kindness and wisdom. He always made time to chat, share reporting tips, career advice. https://t.co/aMgSWA4qvb
— Amber Kiwan (@AmberKiwan) July 31, 2020
We are still working on getting more details about the death, as family statement on the death is yet to be released.