The Campbell Conversations

6:30 AM Saturdays & 6:00 PM Sundays | Local stations FM 89.9 & FM 90.3

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The Campbell Conversations is an interview-based public affairs radio program, created, hosted, and produced by Grant Reeher, Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The show airs on WRVO Public Media Saturdays at 6:30 AM and again on Sundays at 6:00 PM, and is also available as a downloadable podcast. WRVO Public Media is the largest regional NPR-affiliate in Central New York, with a listening area spanning 22 counties and southern Ontario.

The half-hour program features extended, in-depth interviews in which Reeher goes beyond and behind the current news cycle to explore important questions concerning public affairs. Guests include notable people from Central New York — writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals — whose work affects the public life of the community, as well as nationally-prominent figures visiting the region to talk about their work. It is also a recognized go-to place for candidate debates during election cycles.  The program enjoys a regular audience among political, non-profit, educational, and other policy-related social networks.

Among the program’s recognition's and awards are a “Best Special Program” award from the Syracuse Press Club, and a “Best Interview” award from the New York State Associated Press. 

“In the Campbell Conversations, we try to provide the extra space for the depth I am always hungering for as a listener,” said Reeher. “I hope listeners will find the guests’ commentary as interesting as I do when I have the privilege of talking with them.”  The Campbell Conversations are conversations in the public interest.

**Disclaimer:  Any reference in this website to any person, or organization, or activities, products, or services related to such person or organization, or any linkages from this web site to the web site of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the Campbell Public Affairs Institute or Syracuse University.

Link to WRVO for all interviews

Campbell Conversations

Jaleel Campbell and Elizabeth Dunbar on the Campbell Conversations
Despite COVID-19, maybe even bacause of it, interesting things are happening at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with the museum's executive director and CEO, Elizabeth Dunbar, and Syracuse artist Jaleel Campbell, who has a solo exhibition at the museum titled "Homecoming."  (Sat, 10 Apr 2021 06:02:00 +0000)

Ryan McMahon and Dr. David Page on the Campbell Conversations
On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Onondaga County with Ryan McMahon, Onondaga County Executive, and Dr. David Page, whose medical practice focuses on geriatric care. Page is the current President of the Onondaga County Medical Society, and serves as board chairman of the Health Advisory Committee for the Onondaga County Health Commissioner.  (Sat, 03 Apr 2021 10:00:00 +0000)

Lizabeth Cohen on the Campbell Conversations
The tearing down of I-81 and the rebuilding and redevelopment of its on-the-ground footprint has been called a "once in a generation opportunity" for the city of Syracuse; it also carries risk. On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Lizabeth Cohen, the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies at Harvard University and the author of, "Saving America's Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age."  (Sat, 27 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0000)

Marta Tellado on the Campbell Conversations
Consumers of products, services and information seem to be under more threats than ever before. Many of the sources of protection from government, the media and independent organizations have been weakened. Grant Reeher speaks with Marta Tellado, who is on the front lines of the struggle to protect and empower consumers with her position as the President and CEO of Consumer Reports.  (Sat, 20 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0000)

Novelist Nguyen Phan Que Mai on the Campbell Conversations
On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Vietnamese poet, novelist and journalist Nguyen Phan Que Mai. Her new novel, "The Mountains Sing" is an epic and harrowing multi-generational story of a family in Vietnam going both backwards and forwards in time from its centerpoint in 1972.  (Sat, 06 Mar 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on the Campbell Conversations
On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Ben Walsh. He's just begun his fourth year as Mayor of the city of Syracuse, and recently gave his State of the City address. Grant talks to Walsh about many of the topics that were in Walsh's wide-ranging address.  (Sat, 20 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Anthony Brindisi on the Campbell Conversations
On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Anthony Brindisi, the former Democratic Congressman who just conceded his race for reelection in the 22nd District against Republican challenger Claudia Tenney. The 22nd District includes Chenango, Cortland, Madison and Oneida counties and parts of Broome, Herkimer, Tioga and Oswego counties. Full interview transcript Grant Reeher (GR): Let's just start with the vote counting process from your election. And I think it would take us probably seven programs to work our way through that in detail. So let me try this. Let me offer a brief summary of my understanding. And if I've got something important wrong, you correct me and then I'll ask a few questions about it. So here's my summary. In short, it was a complete mess, multiple screw ups in different counties, you had lost and found absentee ballots, provisional ballots, early ballots, contested ballots, and seemingly almost beyond comprehension, you had some  (Sat, 13 Feb 2021 10:00:00 +0000)

Charles Fluharty on the Campbell Conversations
Many prominent voices both inside and outside of government are calling on President Biden to focus more attention on rural issues, and even appoint a rural czar to coordinate the effort. On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Charles Fluharty, founder and President Emeritus of the Rural Policy Research Institute at the University of Iowa's College of Public Health. It's the only US national policy institute solely dedicated to assessing the rural impacts of public policies.  (Sat, 06 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Steven Greenhouse on the Campbell Conversations
On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Steven Greenhouse. He covered labor and workplace issues for the New York Times for 19 years, and has recently written a book about the ups and downs of labor in America titled, "Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor". He's also the author of, "The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker".  (Sat, 30 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Kristi Andersen and Sean O'Keefe on the Campbell Conversations
In this episode of the Campbell Conversations, a conversation about the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the historic inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and where we go from here. Grant Reeher speaks with Kristi Andersen, a town councilor in Cazenovia and political science professor emeritus at Syracuse University's Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs. Also in the discussion is Sean O'Keefe, former Administrator of NASA, former Secretary of the Navy and currently a Professor of Leadership and Management at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.  (Sat, 23 Jan 2021 12:36:04 +0000)

Assemblyman Will Barclay on the Campbell Conversations
Grant Reeher speaks with New York State Assemblyman Will Barclay. A republican, Barclay has been in the state legislature for almost twenty years and represents the 120th Assembly District. The district is north of Syracuse and along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and includes the cities of Oswego, Fulton, and the town of Lysander. Barclay has held a number of leadership positions in the legislature and is currently serving as the minority leader in the state Assembly.  (Sat, 16 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Senator Rachel May on the Campbell Conversations
New York State Senator Rachel May represents the 53rd State Senate district, and is starting her second term. She chairs the Senate Aging Committee and the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. The 53rd Senate district consists of Madison County and part of Oneida and Onondaga Counties, including the majority of the city of Syracuse. She speaks with Grant Reeher about the covid response, the state budget, taxes and recreational marijuana.  (Sat, 09 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Author Maurice Isserman on the Campbell Conversations
Maurice Isserman is a historian and author. A professor at Hamilton College, he's written many notable works, including the mountaineering histories, "Falling Giants," "Continental Divide: A History of American Mountaineering" and a biography of Michael Harrington called, "The Other American." Grant Reeher speaks with Isserman about his new book, "The Winter Army: The World War II Odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America's Elite Alpine Warriors."  (Sat, 02 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000)

Rep. John Katko on the Campbell Conversations
In this year's elections, Republicans across the country outperformed expectations, including in central New York's 24th Congressional District. Rep. John Katko easily won a fourth term in the House, despite polls showing the race as a toss up. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Katko about the election, COVID-19 stimulus, his being named the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, and more.  (Sat, 12 Dec 2020 05:05:00 +0000)

Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
In many elections across the nation this year, including the presidential election, Republican candidates over-performed relative to the expectations going in. That included the race for Congress in New York's 24th District. Polls showed Incumbent John Katko (R-Camillus) and Democrat Dana Balter in a dead heat going into the election, but Katko won the race by tens of thousands of votes. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Balter about what happened in her race and others.  (Sat, 28 Nov 2020 13:49:08 +0000)

James Steinberg on the Campbell Conversations
The incoming Biden administration is expected to usher in many changes, both in the U.S. and abroad. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with James Steinberg, who served as Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and Deputy National Security Advisor under President Clinton. Steinberg currently serves as University Professor of Social Science, International Affiars and Law at Syracuse University.  (Sat, 21 Nov 2020 23:59:05 +0000)

Michael Atkinson on the Campbell Conversations
Micaheal Atkinson is a native of Oswego County, and the former Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. He played a pivotal role in the events that led to President Trump's impeachment, having notified Congress of the existence of a whistleblower complaint that alleged President Trump had abused his power to solicit intereference in the 2020 presidential election. Atkinson was later dismissed by the president. This week, Atkinson talks with Grant Reeher about why he did what he did, his experiences after, and the state of public service today.  (Sun, 15 Nov 2020 20:12:41 +0000)

A recap of the 2020 elections on the Campbell Conversations
This year, Americans started voting well before Election Day, and deciding the winner has extended well beyond it. This week, we'll recap elections from around the region. Joining Grant Reeher are Joanie Mahoney, former Onondaga County Executive, and newly announced President of SUNY ESF, and Syracuse University professor Chris Faricy.  (Sat, 07 Nov 2020 10:04:13 +0000)

Shana Gadarian and Tina Nabatchi on the Campbell Conversations
Worries about the health of the American political system have escalated in recent years, and there are no easy fixes on the horizon. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Syracuse University professors Shana Gadarian and Tina Nabatchi about the good, the bad, and the ugly for American democracy.  (Sat, 31 Oct 2020 01:48:14 +0000)

John Mannion and Angi Renna debate on the Campbell Conversations
When Bob Antonacci won a seat on the New York State Supreme Court, he left the state Senate's 50th District seat vacant. The district covers parts of Onondaga and Cayuga counties, and includes parts of the city of Syracuse. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates looking to fill that seat. Democrat John Mannion lost to Antonacci in 2018. He's being challenged by Republican Angi Renna.  (Sat, 24 Oct 2020 08:58:00 +0000)