The Campbell Conversations

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

List of all local radio stations

Campbell Conversations Logo

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

A recap of the midterm elections on the Campbell Conversations
The campaigns, ads, and elections are finally over. This week on the Campbell Conversations, we take a look back at the midterm elections. We'll analyze races from around central New York and around the nation. Host Grant Reeher is joined by Syracuse University political science professor Chris Faricy, and Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus.  (Sat, 10 Nov 2018 10:14:00 +0000)

NYS Senate candidates Bob Antonacci and John Mannion debate on the Campbell Conversations
Tuesday's elections could tip control of the New York state Senate to Democrats, which in turn could have a profound inpact on the state's policies, from healthcare to taxes to government ethics and campaign finance. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running for New York's 50th Senate District, Republican Bob Antonacci and Democrat John Mannion. Both are running to replace longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is retiring from office this year.  (Sat, 03 Nov 2018 09:45:00 +0000)

Democratic congressional candidate Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter.  (Sat, 27 Oct 2018 12:32:00 +0000)

Web extra: Democrat Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter. Note: This post contains an extra 16 minutes of the discussion not included in the broadcast version of the interview. Click here for audio and a transcript of the broadcast version. Interview transcript Reeher: So, we spent our time in the broadcast portion going through the different messaging in the campaigns. That led to some discussions of some policy issues, including health care. In particular, I want to spend this time here talking about some other policy issues. So, let me just open it up to you to choose which ones you want to talk about, aside from the policy issues that we discussed in the broadcast. What do you think are the most important policy differences between you and Congressman Katko  (Sat, 27 Oct 2018 09:54:00 +0000)

Preview: Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The two candidates running for central new York's 24th District seat held their first debate this week , where they disagreed on nearly every issue. Democrat Dana Balter and incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) will hold three more televised debates before Election Day. Both Katko and Balter were invited to participate in a debate on WRVO's Campbell Conversations. Balter's campaign accepted the invitation, while Katko's campaign declined. As a result, this week on the program, host Grant Reeher speaks with Dana Balter. In this portion of the discussion, Balter is asked about Katko's stance as a moderate. Balter has claimed that Katko has voted with President Trump on major legislation 90 percent of the time, and disagrees with Katko's stance that he is a moderate. Here, she's asked why. [Balter]: It's his overall record, and I think that looking at the 90 percent statistic is a good initial guide. That comes from fivethirtyeight.com, they take out when they figure this statistic out,  (Fri, 26 Oct 2018 10:42:49 +0000)

NYS Senate candidates Rachel May and Janet Burman debate on the Campbell Conversations
The upcoming midterm elections are the most closely watched midterms in at least a generation. In New York, control of the state Senate hangs in the balance. Republicans hold a slim one seat majority in the chamber, and one race could flip control of the Senate to the Democrats. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running in the 53rd District: Democrat Rachel May, who defeated 7 term incumbent Dave Valesky in a September primary , and Republican Janet Burman.  (Sat, 20 Oct 2018 09:14:00 +0000)

Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt on the Campbell Conversations
After beating back ISIS militarily, how is Iraq now faring as a nation? What are its biggest challenges? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Maj. Gen Walter Piatt, the commanding general of Fort Drum in northern NY. Gen. Piatt recently returned from a mission to Iraq to help build peace.  (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 21:09:00 +0000)

Corey Brettschneider on the Campbell Conversations
What can we learn from the Constitution and the oath of office about how presidents should behave, and the appropriate mechanisms of limits when presidents violate those norms? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Brown University professor Corey Brettschneider , author of "The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents."  (Sat, 29 Sep 2018 09:23:00 +0000)

More reaction to the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings on the Campbell Conversations
The nomination hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have taken an important turn. Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were in high school, and the future of Kavanaugh's confirmation is now uncertain. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Syracuse University professors Shana Gadarian and Tom Keck about these developments in Kavanaugh's confirmation process. Editor's note: This program was recorded and had aired on WRVO before a second accusation was made against Kavanaugh, which was published in the New Yorker Sunday, Sept. 25. Interview Highlights Reeher: Let’s just start with a look to the past. Almost immediately after this story broke [about Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh], comparisons with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas where made. So, I’m wondering, does the benefit of hindsight on that event, and in particular, the way that Anita Hill was viewed and treated at the time…does that  (Tue, 25 Sep 2018 12:27:01 +0000)

Congressional candidate Tedra Cobb on the Campbell Conversations
Tedra Cobb is the Democratic nominee for Congress in New York's 21st District. In November, she faces Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Cobb about why she's running, and her views on issues including healthcare, gun control, and more.  (Sat, 15 Sep 2018 09:15:00 +0000)

Analysis of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination hearings on the Campbell Conversations
It's hard to believe that Democrats and Republicans discussing Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court are actually talking about the same person. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse University professor Tom Keck about the competing arguments being made regarding the confimration process, and the nominee himself.  (Sat, 08 Sep 2018 09:17:00 +0000)

State Sen. Dave Valesky and challenger Rachel May debate on the Campbell Conversations
Across the country, Democratic Party primaries have generated a lot of attention, enthusiasm and some surprising results. Primaries in New York have figured in this trend. This week, host Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in central New York's 53rd state Senate district, incumbent Sen. Dave Valesky and challenger Rachel May.  (Sat, 01 Sep 2018 09:14:46 +0000)

A conversation on NYS government corruption on the Campbell Conversations
Just how bad is corruption in Albany? Why hasn't more been done to address it? And is there hope for the future? This week, Grant Reeher discusses these questions with Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, or NYPIRG.  (Sat, 18 Aug 2018 09:16:13 +0000)

The state of engagement in CNY on the Campbell Conversations
How engaged are the citizens of Syracuse and Onondaga County in their comminities? What might be changed to strengthen, facilitate and coordinate that engagement? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with two members of the Onondaga Citizens League, Tina Nabatchi and Thomas Carlin. They discuss OCL's new annual report on the state of community engagement in the region.  (Sat, 11 Aug 2018 09:10:47 +0000)

Independent gubernatorial candidate Stephanie Miner on the Campbell Conversations
After months of speculation about her political plans, former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced last month that she was launching an independent campaign for governor. Rather than run as a Democrat, and challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo in a primary, Miner is the first candidate under a new party, the Serve America Movement. Miner joins host Grant Reeher to discuss her campaign for governor.  (Sat, 21 Jul 2018 09:19:00 +0000)

Ed Michalenko and Sam Gordon on the Campbell Conversations
The problems facing the city of Syracuse are widely discussed, but what about the city's suburbs? This week, grant Reeher talks with Town of Dewitt Supervisor Ed Michalenko, and Dewitt Town Planner Sam Gordon. They discuss some of the issues facing the suburbs and the relationship between the city and suburbs.  (Sat, 07 Jul 2018 09:54:00 +0000)

Recap of New York's primary on the Campbell Conversations
Tuesday's primaries in New York reflected national divisions within the Democratic Party as it heads into what could be the most important midterm elections in a generation. This week, we recap the primary races, and look at their implications. We're joined by Hamilton College professor Phil Klinkner, and Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus.  (Sun, 01 Jul 2018 08:20:07 +0000)

Richard Hanna on the Campbell Conversations
Reformers of the political system have had a lot to talk about in recent years, and one group with deep experiences to draw on is former members of Congress. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Richard Hanna who represented New York's 22nd Congressional District from 2011-2017. He's a current member of the reform group Fix Politics Now .  (Sat, 23 Jun 2018 08:44:54 +0000)

Juanita Perez Williams and Dana Balter debate on the Campbell Conversations
The congressional midterm elections this November may be the most important midterm in a generation, and even the primaries are generating national attention. One of those primaries is in central New York, where two Democrats are running to unseat Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. This week, Grant Reeher moderates an informal debate with Dana Balter and Juanita Perez Williams.  (Fri, 15 Jun 2018 21:00:00 +0000)

State Senate candidate Rachel May on the Campbell Conversations
Across the country, mainstream Congressional Democrats are being challenged in primaries by more progressive, grassroots-supported candidates. It's also happening in state and local races. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Rachel May, who is challenging central New York state Senator Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) in a primary this September. Note: This conversation was recorded June 5, one day after the Oneida County Democratic Committee endorsed May in her race with Sen. Valesky. Reeher: We are talking, as it happens, on the day after the Oneida County Democrats endorsed you, and the Onondaga and Madison County Democratic committees endorsed Sen. Valesky. But typically, the pattern in these kinds of situations is the incumbent usually gets all of those Democratic committee endorsements. So, what happened in Oneida County? May: I’m very proud of this endorsement because this is a committee that is pretty independent. They spent a lot of time interviewing both of us and they asked really  (Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:02:00 +0000)