Q. What does this new job mean to you?
A. It’s kind of cool to be in a position like this after you’ve spent a decade working alongside the people that you're now able to help lead. It’s a surreal experience in some ways to be able to go from hosting the show to then try to shape our coverage of everything. It feels like there’s a heavy responsibility there, but it also feels like this is what I’ve been preparing to do in my career for the last 30-plus years — the last 10 years here in public media.
Q. What are you most looking forward to in the new position?
A. I like to be a facilitator. It’s really about: How can I help? I've got some experience. I know some people. I’ve got some thoughts. What are yours, and let’s be collaborative. The idea that I could help be a conduit for collaboration within the building and outside of it, that’s what really jazzed me up. We’re involved in the Solutions Journalism project with a number of small media outlets, collaborating with them. I’d like a chance to do more of these partnerships in the community so that we're telling the stories that they need told. I'm excited about that.
Q. What experiences as a columnist will you bring to this?
A. I’ve been a Cleveland journalist, or at least a Northeast Ohio journalist, my entire career. I know the region, I know the town and I certainly know a whole lot of the people. Just in the last decade, the number of people we’ve had on The Sound of Ideas and people that I’ve worked with through my Plain Dealer column. It's been great to be able to say, ‘Who’s an expert on that here? Here’s a [phone] number.’ I do have connections because of that longevity and experience.
Q. Why dial back on your on-air time?
A. I love The Sound of Ideas, and I love being on the air. I love our audience, and I love our production team. One of the things that I talked with [chief content officer] Mark [Rosenberger] about was that I wanted to still be connected to the audience. There was no way I was going to be able to do this new job and still host it four days a week. The compromise would be that Rick, who has tons of experience … could switch to the daily, I could do Fridays and still be able to stay in it. It was a perfect switch.
Q. Why is public radio important right now as the media landscape shifts?
A. We're committed to the community. It’s more than just a news product. Everything we do, all that news we produce, is because we want the community to be better informed. We just want to give people the information so they can make informed and engaged choices in their lives. That’s what public media does.
1:00 PM EST
July 30, 2020