Every morning, Katherine Boyd hears voices in her head. The host of 90.3 WCPN ideastream’s Morning Edition is always listening as David Greene and Steve Inskeep host the nationally syndicated portion of the program. For the longtime fan of NPR’s brand of storytelling, it’s a dream come true being able to introduce upcoming segments. “I think [NPR has] almost become the last bastion of true oral storytellers,” she says. A familiar face and voice on Cleveland TV and radio for 24 years, Boyd took over for WCPN host Rick Jackson in March. We caught up with her to talk NPR, Ancestry.com and more.
Q. What makes radio journalism more enjoyable for you than mediums such as print or TV?
A. I love writing. But it’s fun to be able to put your words in a true oral story — the combination of the two. The way someone described it to me is theater of the mind. Reading a story is all in your mind, and radio is theater plus what’s going on in your mind. TV adds the extra layer of having to worry about how you look, which can be a drag. Radio is the perfect blend of all those things without really having to worry about what you look like.
Q. How is WCPN different than what you’ve
A. I feel that it’s more cerebral. It’s a little smarter. When I listen to NPR, it lifts me up. It helps me learn every day. That’s why I’m a journalist. I’m addicted to learning. That’s what’s great about NPR, and that’s what’s different about working for WCPN. Plus, I’m an artsy-fartsy person. I love that they still care about the arts.
Q. How have you had to change up your radio voice for the WCPN audience?
A. You have to dial it back. It’s almost a mindset. It’s the morning, so you’re not yelling and screaming, “Hey!” I always feel like you are sitting down and having coffee at the kitchen table in the morning, and you are just chilling, talking about the day or what’s ahead. Even the language and words you choose. They’re a little smarter.
Q. How did you end up doing a commercial for Ancestry.com?
A. I’m huge into ancestry and research. Part of being a journalist is researching. I started getting into it five years ago. Now they have DNA testing. We all have stories that great-grandpa and great-grandma came over on the boat from Italy. That’s what my husband’s story was. When we got his DNA results back from [Ancestry], he’s only 16 percent Italian. Grandma confessed [that his biological grandpa was Eastern European], so now we know Kosonovich was his last name. You just had to send in a one-minute video explaining how Ancestry.com changed your life. We won the contest, and they flew us out to LA.
Q. You take part in a community garden near your Rocky River home. What’s growing this year?
A. I have learned what grows. So tomatoes are good. Kale grows really, really well. Brussels sprouts grow really well. And beans, for some reason, grow well. I let my kids each year pick a couple things they want to do. I always go for habanero peppers. I like to make salsa. We have a lot of salsa.