radio | Connecticut Public Radio


viZZZual / Creative Commons

Every April 1, I think, "Why didn't we do a Colin McEnroe Show on pranks?! Next year, it's gonna happen." A few weeks ago, I put it on the calendar, and started researching.

When I searched "professional prankster," I found Joey Skaggs, Tom Mabe, and Jeff Pinsker, who was mentioned in a People magazine article from 1987. He was, at the time, paid to prank CEOs. 

Now Pinsker is the president of Klutz, a much-loved kid's book and toy maker. I emailed and asked if he'd be interested in coming on our show to talk about his process of pranking. He agreed. I exhaled. 

After a five-decade career in broadcasting, Carl Kasell announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! this spring. He will, however, remain "scorekeeper emeritus" for the show. Before becoming the official scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show in 1998, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition.

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And we have an update now on the effort to fill a gap in media coverage: community news and information.


The Great Recession wrecked many local newspapers, though for-profit and nonprofit news websites try to make up for that.

Michael Travers/iStock / Thinkstock

Ever since The New York Daily News published the audio of a phone call to the radio show of an Oregon grunge anarcho-primitivist, I've been wondering what the hell to do with what appears to be the sound of Adam Lanza talking, about a year before the Newtown shootings.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today on The Nose, we'll talk about this relatively insignificant bit of Rush Limbaugh peevishness, and the degree to which each of us thinks he or she has (informally speaking) patented something: a word, a phrase, a style we've made our own.

Also, Adam Platt's decision to dispense with the fiction that he, as a restaurant critic, is anonymous. It's not exactly the same as claiming to create, but Platt is talking about the anxiety of influence in a different way. How can one do "pure" work? 

Dwight Sipler / Creative Commons

Do you love Amaryllis bulbs? So do we. Just make sure you don't let John or Colin take care of yours.


Public radio might be best known for shows like Morning Edition, This American Life, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and Car Talk, but did you know public radio stations across the country also feature some amazing music?

Thanks to the World Wide Web, many radio stations and shows put out beautiful videos of musical performances from not only local acts, but big-time national names.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Colin McEnroe Show was born in the late summer, four years ago, and everything about it, for a very long time was the work of three people: Patrick Skahill, Chion Wolf and me.

There's no way that any of you could understand the central role Patrick played in giving the show its intelligence, restlessness and consistency because -- now that he's leaving us to become a WNPR reporter -- I see that I didn't understand it myself. However big a figure I thought Patrick was in the identity of the show, he's bigger than that. I thought he was Data, but maybe he was Picard.

A Brother in Photos; a Father Grieves; Best Friends

Oct 18, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Wheelhouse Digest today turns to family matters as we recover from a recent overdose of political craziness. Two brothers from Connecticut visited WNPR to talk about a unique book of photographs to be released on October 30. And Newtown resident Jimmy Greene talked with The New York Times about grieving for the loss of his daughter by continuing his work as a musician. That and more below.

Chion Wolf/Official Artist Photograph

"Two names you never thought you would ever hear in the same sentence: hip-hop artist André 3000 and NPR's Frank Tavares," said the latter. He's been the voice of NPR for more than three decades. But Frank Tavares is wrapping up his tenure later this year. Not sure exactly who I'm talking about?

Chion Wolf

If you listen to public radio, you know Frank Tavares. Colin McEnroe called him NPR’s Yoda, but you probably best know him as the voice of NPR.  He’s wrapping up his tenure as the voice that says, “This is NPR” after funding credits.  

Coming up, we'll air the premiere of a new investigative reporting program called Reveal. It's from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. In the pilot episode:

Chion Wolf
Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the 2012 election, Latino voters accounted for ten percent of all voters nationwide - a large margin, which will only increase as the Latino population does. Between now and 2030, 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote.

Chion Wolf

Ivor Hugh went on the air with WCCC in 1947, when the station lived in the Bond Hotel. Radio was king. There was a grand piano in his studio, and every big star who played Hartford stayed at the Bond and dropped in on his show.

That meant that Hugh, who died in his sleep last night at the age of 86, shared the mic with Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, and Eugene Ormandy. 

Saying that the goal is to balance its budget in fiscal year 2015, NPR announced late Friday morning that it will soon offer "a voluntary buyout plan across the organization that reduces staffing levels by approximately 10 percent."

NPR CEO Jumps to National Geographic

Aug 19, 2013

Oh, Gary Knell, we hardly knew ye. It seems like just yesterday (April 2012) we were meeting him on Where We Live. He was talking about radio "not going away" but "going everywhere." 

NicRad on Flickr Creative Commons

Today’s show features two loosely-related interviews. Billy Collins is probably the most popular poet in the United States and this summer he’s guest curating and guest voicing The Writer’s Almanac, a popular Garrison Keillor radio segment which showcases one poem every day and then looks back-- usually because of birthdays—at creators of the past.

Chion Wolf

Let me tell you, in the bluntest possible manner, why we're doing a show with Ivor Hugh today.

Last year, I had the idea of doing a show that would have been a gathering of some of the voices from the era when radio was king. One of the names in my head was Ivor's. The other one was my friend and former colleague Arnold Dean. Arnold started in radio within a year of  Ivor; and, like almost everybody doing radio in the 1950s, both men then dabbled in the early days of television, because the early tv talent was radio talent.

Chion Wolf

Let me tell you, in the bluntest possible manner, why we're doing a show with Ivor Hugh today.

Last year, I had the idea of doing a show that would have been a gathering of some of the voices from the era when radio was king. One of the names in my head was Ivor's. The other one was my friend and former colleague Arnold Dean. Arnold started in radio within a year of  Ivor; and, like almost everybody doing radio in the 1950s, both men then dabbled in the early days of television, because the early TV talent was radio talent.

(I)NTERVIEW: Damon Scott

Jul 2, 2013
CPBN Media Lab

 Damon Scott hosts a morning show-style afternoon radio program on 96.5 TIC-FM.  Originally from Hoisington, Kansas, he settled down in Essex, CT.  His ongoing success as the afternoon radio personality on 96.5 has opened the door for many more opportunities.  He owns his own creative services business, providing voiceover services for clients like Madison Square Garden.  He was also the first person to ever introduce a group at the Meadows, now called the Comcast Theater, and has since continued introducing bands and performers on a regular basis.

Movies For Your Ears

Nov 8, 2012

Radio Drama is associated with a so-called “Golden Age” of radio in the 30s and 40s, before TV became the dominant medium. Today, Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” is the best known program still presenting this traditional style.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 60

Sep 29, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

With the election season bearing down on us, we thought it appropriate to feature a conversation about our what our civic and social responsibilities should entail in what has turned out to be a pretty contentious time.

I invited Ed Sabationo, Suzanne Cahill, Christopher Korenowsky and Justin Gill to talk over chicken wings and a couple of beers at the fantastic Archie Moore's in New Haven's East Rock section.

Chion Wolf

Here's how we see it. We get an hour a day on this amazing medium of public radio.On average, we do about 20 new shows a month, give or take. Do the math and that's about 230 or 240 episodes a year. To do that, we need to go pretty fast, and we started to worry that the countryside was flashing past us.

On the Front Lines With Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Apr 2, 2012
Dario Lopez-Mills

NPR listeners have heard Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reporting from around the Middle East for years. Her reports have led the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to recently grant her the Edward R. Murrow Award for her outstanding contributions to public radio. She's now based in Jerusalem, we spoke with her last week from NPR's studios in Washington.

Public Radio Showcase

Nov 23, 2011
Chion Wolf

The day after Thanksgiving has come to be known as Black Friday. Dave Isay is trying to change that.

alexkerhead, creativecommons

Every year Renbrook Summer Adventure in West Hartford has a group of campers that focus on musical theater - and this year it got our attention. Why? Because they’re doing radio theater. Where We Live senior producer Catie Talarski had to make a trip to visit the budding radio thespians. She brought us this audio postcard.

You can see (and hear) their radio theater production Thursday August 4 at 2PM and 6PM at Renbrook School in West Hartford.

Phil Steele on Bob Steele

Jun 1, 2011

During the making of the CPTV original documentary, "The 60s in Connecticut" over a hundred hours of interviews were filmed.  We are posting the complete interviews online to share the rich content that wasn't included in the program.

David Folkenflik at CCSU

Mar 31, 2011

NPR's David Folkenflik once got into a battle of words with Geraldo Rivera.  It just proves that covering the media isn't always pretty. 

His latest assignment is a perfect example: Cover the corporate meltdown of your own company...go!