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

State Sen. candidate John Mannion on the Campbell Conversations
When Bob Antonacci left his central New York state Senate seat after being elected as a state Supreme Court Justice in 2019, it left a vacancy for the 50th District seat for the second time in two years, after longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco retired in 2018. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with John Mannion, a Democrat trying to win the seat in November. Mannion lost to Antonacci for the seat in 2018. He's being challenged by Republican Angi Renna.  (Sat, 20 Jun 2020 09:35:00 +0000)

State Sen. candidate Sam Rodgers on the Campbell Conversations
This November, Republican Sam Rodgers is challenging incumbent state Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) in the state's 53rd Senate District. This week, Rodgers talks with Grant Reeher about his campaign, the response to COVID-19, and they take a deep dive into the state legislature's response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked protests over police brutality across the country.  (Sat, 13 Jun 2020 09:28:00 +0000)

State Sen. candidate Angi Renna on the Campbell Conversations
When Bob Antonacci left his central New York state Senate seat after being elected as a state Supreme Court Justice in 2019, it left a vacancy for the 50th District seat for the second time in two years, after longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco retired in 2018. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Angi Renna, a Republican trying to win the seat in November. Renna is running against Democrat John Mannion, who lost a close race to Antonacci for the seat in 2018.  (Sat, 06 Jun 2020 14:56:06 +0000)

Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
Democrat Dana Balter is in her second run for Congress against Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). But before she can run against Katko, she has to get through a primary in June against fellow Democrat Francis Conole. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Balter about her campaign.  (Sat, 30 May 2020 10:56:29 +0000)

Rep. John Katko on the Campbell Conversations
How has the federal government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? Was it proactive enough? Did it learn lessons fast enough. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) about the pandemic, and the responses that his office has been taking.  (Sat, 23 May 2020 15:24:33 +0000)

State Sen. Rachel May on the Campbell Conversations
New Yok has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Central and Northern New York have fared better than downstate, but are nonetheless dealing with a severe public health crisis. This week, Grant Reeher talks with State Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) about the national, state, and local response to the pandemic.  (Sat, 16 May 2020 10:48:44 +0000)

Gretchen Sorin on the Campbell Conversations
The automobile was instrumental in African Americans pursuit of civil rights in the 20th century, but it also introduced new dangers and challenges. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Gretchen Sorin, a professor and director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY Oneonta . She's also the author of " Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights."  (Sat, 09 May 2020 12:30:52 +0000)

The Campbell Conversations: Writer's edition
This week on the Campbell Conversations, something that's never been done on the program before. Instead of an interview, we'll hear from four writers, who will read or perform some of their works. We'll hear from Christopher Citro, Jessica Cuello, Georgia Popoff, and Arthur Flowers.  (Sat, 02 May 2020 09:11:00 +0000)

Phil Memmer on the Campbell Conversations
A lot of people try to talk to their gods, or at least, something bigger and more powerful than ourselves. What if they could talk back to us? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Phill Memmer, executive director of the YMCA's Downtown Writer's Center in Syracuse, and the author of "Pantheon."  (Sat, 25 Apr 2020 09:18:00 +0000)

Nick Sarantakas on the Campbell Conversations
Presidents attending sporting events, publicly interacting with athletes, congratulating champions, and inviting them to the White House are now considered normal aspects of both politics and sport. But these things are more recent than you might think. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with writer and historian Nick Sarantakes, author of "Fan in Chief," about the president who essentially invented the practice.  (Sat, 18 Apr 2020 12:38:14 +0000)

John Sopko on the Campbell Conversations
Even accounting for inflation, the United States has spent more on the rebuilding of Afghanistan than it spent rebuilding Western Europe after World War II. What does it have to show for it? Did fraud sabotage the effort? Did our leaders lie about how it all was going? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.  (Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:47:08 +0000)

Rep. Anthony Brindisi on the Campbell Conversations
In 2018, Anthony Brindisi won his congressional seat in New York's 22nd District by a slim margin in the most expensive House election in New York's history. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Brindisi about the coronavirus, they look back at his first term, and look ahead to the November election.  (Sun, 15 Mar 2020 19:23:35 +0000)

Francis Conole on the Campbell Conversations
The race for New York's 24th Congressional District seat is likely to be very competitve this year. Three Democrats are vying to be the party's challenger to incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with one of those Democrats, Francis Conole. Conole is an Iraq War veteran, a Commander in the Naval Reserves, and has the backing of the Democratic committees in Onondaga and Cayuga counties.  (Sat, 07 Mar 2020 09:53:00 +0000)

Antony Phillipson on the Campbell Conversations
After a surprise referendum result in 2016, Brexit, Britain's exit from the European Union, has proven to be far more complicated and difficult than many had anticipated. What are its implications for trade with the U.S.? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Antony Phillipson, Britain's Consul General in New York, and its trade commissioner for North America.  (Sat, 22 Feb 2020 09:46:00 +0000)

A conversation on bail reform on the Campbell Conversations
Changes in the bail system in New York, enacted at the beginning of January, have proven to be far more controversial than its supporters had expected. This week, we have a discussion featuring a supporter of the change, State Assemblywoman Pam Hunter, and a detractor, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick.  (Sat, 15 Feb 2020 09:42:00 +0000)

Ann Marie Buerkle on the Campbell Conversations
In 2010, Ann Marie Buerkle was elected to Congress, defeating Democrat Dan Maffei in a close race. She served as central New York's representative for one term, then went on serve on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She held the position of acting chair of the CPSC from June 2017 until October 2019. This week, Buerkle talks with Grant Reeher about her political career, and her take on current politics.  (Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:48:00 +0000)

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on the Campbell Conversations
In 2017, Ben Walsh assembled a diverse coalition of voters and won the race for mayor as an independent. He even managed to gether a majority of the vote in a race with three candidates. This week, Walsh talks with Grant Reeher about his time in office, and looks ahead to the second half of his term.  (Sat, 25 Jan 2020 10:08:00 +0000)

Sean O'Keefe on the Campbell Conversations
Sean O'Keefe is a professor at Syracuse University and the Howard and Lousie Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He's also held a number of positions in previous Republican administrations. This week, O'Keefe joins Grant Reeher for a discussion on the Trump Administration, impeachment, the situation with Iran, and more.  (Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:57:00 +0000)

Rep. John Katko on the Campbell Conversations
This week, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump. The vote was mostly along partly lines. Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) voted against the articles of impeachement. While the House was debating the articles Wednesday, Katko sat down for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. Katko explains why he voted against impeachment, and other issues.  (Fri, 20 Dec 2019 21:14:00 +0000)

Author Alexander Watson on the Campbell Conversations
If you're looking to give or receive a good read this holiday season, consider " River Queens ," a quirky, compelling story that offers a decidedly different take on the classic river travel narrative. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Alexander Watson , the book's author.  (Sat, 14 Dec 2019 11:19:01 +0000)