Washington No need for formalities here: National Public Radio now says it wants to be known simply as NPR.
So the organization has quietly changed its name to its familiar initials. Much like the corporate names KFC or AT&T, the initials now stand for — the initials.
NPR says it’s abbreviating the name it has used since its debut in 1971 because it’s more than radio these days. Its news, music and informational programming is heard over a variety of digital devices that aren’t radios; it also operates news and music websites.
Hence: “NPR is more modern, streamlined,” says Vivian Schiller, NPR’s chief executive. She points to other “rebrandings” by media organizations, such as Cable News Network, which has been plain old CNN for years.
NPR hasn’t formally announced the change. But it has told its staff and some 900 affiliated stations in recent months to refer only to NPR on the air or online.