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The Pledge Patrol: KERA Staffers Share Their Stories

With KERA-90.1 FM's winter pledge drive winding down (don't forget to donate here!), it's the perfect time to look back at the personal stories that our radio personalities have shared over the last few days.

We had to start somewhere, so we asked all of 'em where they started: How they got in to broadcasting, and specifically public radio.

  • If you're a Thinklistener, you know how host and managing editor Krys Boyd can helm conversations that challenge your perceptions. Well, early in her broadcast career, a 19-year-old Krys had an experience that challenged her perceptions: She visited a men's federal correctional institution.
  • In November 1995 -- long before he became senior producer of Think and host of Anything You Ever Wanted To Know -- young rocker Jeff Whittington was in a van with members of his band. He was listening to NPR. International news broke that gave him pause. For a moment, he thought, "Hey, if this music thing doesn't pan out, I might want to work for public radio."
Jeff Whittington delves into the rock 'n' roll roots of his public radio career.

  • KERA's director of interactive, Alan Melson, loves Radiolab. What the sound-rich show does for him is reveal the power of radio and the freedom that public broadcasters have to do stories that others can’t. Fun aside: Like the main character in “Finding Emilie,” the episode Alan mentions, his wife is named Emily. Let the “awws” commence.
Alan Melson explores the magic of 'Radiolab' -- and public radio.

  • When Morning Edition host Sam Baker meets a listener, he takes a mental picture of that person. And the next time he voices the news, he calls up that picture in his head. Sam knows he's talking to more than a microphone every morning; he's talking to you.
Sam Baker.mp3
Sam Baker on the faces he sees every time he reads the news.

  • Jerome Weeks, producer and reporter for KERA'sArt&Seek, likes to get into people’s heads. And he sees radio techniques as an especially valuable way to pry open those heads to arts content. 
Jerome Music.mp3
Jerome Weeks talks about how he wants to get into your head.

Janine Khammash, KERA's news intern, produced all these recollections.