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

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)

State Sen. Rachel May and challenger Sam Rodgers debate on the Campbell Conversations
Democrats in New York are on the verge of winning a veto-proof majority in the State Senate, which could bring profound changes in the state's policies. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running for New York's 53rd State Senate district, incumbent Rachel May (D-Syracuse), and Republican challenger Sam Rodgers.  (Sat, 17 Oct 2020 08:48:00 +0000)

Rob Simpson on the Campbell Conversations
Central New York has been spared some of the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic, at least compared with areas downstate and across the nation. But can the same be said about the region's businesses? This week, Grant Reeher discusses that with Rob Simpson, president and chief executive officer of CenterState CEO.  (Sat, 10 Oct 2020 09:47:39 +0000)

Len Burman on the Campbell Conversations
Taxes have figured prominently in this year's presidential election, first in the primaries and now in the general election. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Len Burman, the Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics and Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University. Burman is also one of the leading experts in tax policy, and the author of "Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know."  (Sat, 03 Oct 2020 09:11:34 +0000)

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)