Essential Pittsburgh
2:15 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Morning Edition Host and Pittsburgh Native David Greene Talks About His Time in Moscow

NPR Morning Edition host and Pittsburgh native David Greene.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR

Public radio listeners are familiar with David Greene as the host of Morning Edition. Prior to his role on the popular morning program, Greene covered politics and events for NPR. He spent two years as a foreign correspondent based in Moscow. The Pittsburgh native joins us for a conversation about his new book "Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia."

In remembrance
7:54 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

We Honor Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk

Car Talk host, Tom Magliozzi
Credit Richard Howard

This Monday we lost a part of the public radio family when Tom Magliozzi, half of the brother team "Click and Clack", passed away from complications of Alzheimer's.

Car Talk has been a public radio program for 37 years and it continues to be one of the most popular programs on the air.  Many of you have asked what will happen to the show and how to send condolences to Tom's family. 

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Behind the Scenes
7:31 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

NPR Clock Changes Explained

The new Morning Edition clock.

Earlier today I posted a brief paragraph about some changes that will be happening to Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  I've gotten a few emails asking deeper questions, so I thought I'd explain the NPR changes in greater detail.

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Pop Culture Podcast
5:09 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour

We all love NPR, and they have a great podcast that is distinctly non-newsy called The Pop Culture Happy Hour. It's hosted by Linda Holmes, NPR's Pop Culture Editor and writer of the blog, Monkey See.  

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:41 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

WQED Celebrates 60 Years of Educational and Experimental Programming

Deborah Acklin, CEO and President of WQED Multimedia, has received many honors including a national Emmy award nomination and seven regional Emmys.

It was sixty years ago this month that WQED went on the air as one of the nation’s first public television stations. The idea that a station did not run commercials, but instead relied on public donations, was revolutionary. Today, it’s hard to imagine life without public television. WQED gave viewers programs such as Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Previn and the Pittsburgh, and The War That Made America

WQED President and CEO Deborah Acklin said the start of WQED was made possible by non-commercial educational licenses, also known as NCE’s, being offered for the first time for television.

“For the first time, it was going to be a license that was owned by the community as opposed to owned by a school board or owned by a University or the other kind of models that were out there. There were only four, WQED was the fourth, there were only four stations on air when WQED went on the air. So everything was an experiment.” 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:16 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

State of the Reunion: Sharing Small Community Stories with the Nation

Al Letson is the host of the NPR program, State of the Reunion.
Credit Al Letson /

Saturday’s in February, 90.5 WESA is airing State of the Reunion. The host, Al Letson describes the program as "telling the stories of America, one community at a time."

The State of the Reunion began after Letson watched a popular television show.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

A Conversation with the Iconic Diane Rehm

Diane Rehm in studio A
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Celebrated NPR host, Diane Rehm conducts her daily interview show with a distinct curiosity and a distinctive voice.

As host of The Diane Rehm Show for more than 30 years she was the first radio talk show host to interview a sitting president in the Oval Office.

With no formal radio training, Rehm says she has always felt at home on the air.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:16 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

The Voices of Public Radio: Conversations With Your Favorite Hosts & Contributors

Credit OCV / Flickr

Ask any public radio listener and chances are they have a favorite program they listen to on a daily or weekly basis.

Essential Pittsburgh has been fortunate to talk with hosts of, and contributors to, some of your favorite public radio programs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:43 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Who's Paying Attention to Alonzo Bodden?

Photo courtesy of Integrated PR Agency

Public radio listeners may know Alonzo Bodden best from his stints as a panelist on NPR's Wait.. Wait,..Don't Tell Me. Described as a comedian who combines intimidation and intelligence, he is also a past winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:01 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

A Conversation with NPR President Gary Knell

NPR President and CEO Gary Knell
Credit Sesame Workshop

Gary Knell is the President and CEO of NPR which remains unique among news organizations. While a number of large media outfits have shuttered their foreign bureaus NPR has reporters throughout the world. However, public radio is also at a crossroads as some of its long time shows like Talk of the Nation comes to an end and Car Talk no longer produces new shows.

What will the future of NPR look like and can it stay relevant in the changing media landscape? Also, how is NPR cultivating new talent to reflect and appeal to a new generation of public radio listeners? Mr. Knell is in Pittsburgh to speak at the Americans for the Arts convention.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me Hits the Big Screen

Peter Sagal is the host of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, the NPR news quiz show
Credit Kyle Cassidy / Wikipedia

  NPR's weekly news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me has been entertaining public radio listeners for more than 15 years. Now the show hits the big screen with a nationwide cinecast. We'll talk with host Peter Sagal about the radio show, it's failed TV pilot and his experience at the recent Boston Marathon.

Essential Pittsburgh
11:02 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Wait,'s Paula Poundstone!

Comedian Paula Poundstone is a regular panelist on Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me, the NPR quiz show. You can hear her every weekend on 90.5 WESA.
Credit Paula Poundstone / Flickr

Paula Poundstone talks about her career as a stand up comedian, being a part of Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me…, life on the road, and her 16 cats.