© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is co- and post-transcriptionally processed into active ribosomes. This process is dynamically regulated by direct covalent modifications of the polymerase that synthesizes the rRNA, RNA polymerase I (Pol I), and by interactions with cofactors that influence initiation, elongation, and termination activities of Pol I. The rate of transcription elongation by Pol I directly influences processing of nascent rRNA, and changes in Pol I transcription rate result in alternative rRNA processing events that lead to cellular signaling alterations and stress. It is clear that in divergent species, there exists robust organization of nascent rRNA processing events during transcription elongation. This review evaluates the current state of our understanding of the complex relationship between transcription elongation and rRNA processing.