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

Steve Butler on the Campbell Conversations
The arts have been especially hard hit during the coronavirus pandemic, and have been struggling to cope and respond. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Steve Butler, executive director of CNY Arts, a nonprofit organization devoted to the advencement and support of the arts in the region.  (Sat, 26 Sep 2020 08:40:00 +0000)

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on the Campbell Conversations
Across the nation, urban areas have suffered the most from the COVID-19 pandemic, and Syracuse is no exception. This week, Grant Reeher talks with the city's mayor, Ben Walsh. They discuss the fight against the pandemic and its financial implications, the issue of police conduct, and other political issues.  (Fri, 18 Sep 2020 23:15:29 +0000)

Claudia Tenney on the Campbell Conversations
In 2018 the race for New York's 22nd Congressional District seat was extremely close, with Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi defeating incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney by just over 4,000 votes. This year, Brindisi is the incumbent, and Tenney is the challenger. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Tenney about her campaign, COVID-19, and more.  (Sat, 05 Sep 2020 09:34:00 +0000)

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon on the Campbell Conversations
No local leader has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in central New York more than Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. This week, McMahon talks with Grant Reeher about Onondaga County's challenges and successes in responding to the pandemic, the financial impact, and whether it is safe to restart in-person classes when schools start back up in September.  (Sat, 29 Aug 2020 09:10:00 +0000)

Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The race for central New York's 24th Congressional District promises to be very competitive, as it was in 2018, where Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) defeated Democratic challenger Dana Balter by about 5 percentage points. This year, Balter is challenging Katko again. She joins Grant Reeher to discuss her campaign and why she says a change is needed.  (Sat, 22 Aug 2020 09:40:00 +0000)

Rep. John Katko on the Campbell Conversations
Rep. John Katko was last on the Campbell Conversations in May , to discuss the response to the coronavirus pandemic. He joins Grant Reeher this week to further discuss the pandemic, President Trump's leadership during the crisis, the 2020 election, and more.  (Sat, 15 Aug 2020 09:17:00 +0000)

Yusuf Abdul-Qadir on the Campbell Conversations
In the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as other instances of police brutality, sustained protests and movements for change in police policy have sprung up around the country, including central New York. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Yusuf Abdul-Qadir, one of the leaders of The People's Agenda for Policing, and the director of the CNY chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.  (Sat, 01 Aug 2020 09:16:00 +0000)

Democratic congressional candidate Tedra Cobb on the Campbell Conversations
North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik has been a leading voice for Republicans in Congress, and gained a national profile for her defense of President Trump during impeachment hearings. This November, Stefanik is being challenged by Democrat Tedra Cobb, in a rematch from 2018. Cobb talks with Grant Reeher about her campaign, and why she should represent the North Country in Congress.  (Sat, 25 Jul 2020 08:43:00 +0000)

Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins on the Campbell Conversations
Longtime Syracuse resident and political activist Howie Hawkins has run for just about every political office there in Syracuse and across New York, including mayor of Syracuse, Common Council, City Auditor, governor, Congress, and U.S. Senate. In his 25th campaign, he's running for president, after being chosen as the Green Party's nominee. This week, Hawkins talks with Grant Reeher to discuss his campaign and why he says progressives shouldn't settle for Democrat Joe Biden.  (Sat, 18 Jul 2020 09:35:00 +0000)

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)