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

A conversation on the future of I-81 on the Campbell Conversations
The decision about the future of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse still looms over the region. Called the most important decsion for the city in a generation, the public is largely split on what should replace the elevated portion of highway that runs through the city. Many in the city favor a community grid, which would route trhough traffic around the city via Interstate 481, while many outside the city prefer to see the highway stay where it is.  (Sat, 23 Mar 2019 09:06:00 +0000)

NPR's Nina Totenberg on the Campbell Conversations
NPR's Nina Totenberg joined NPR in 1975 and has covered the Supreme Court in the decades since. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Totenberg about her career, as well as the polarized politics surrounding judicial nominations, the Supreme Court, and Brett Kavanaugh. They also discuss a very special violin.  (Fri, 15 Mar 2019 19:00:00 +0000)

Susan Carroll on the Campbell Conversations
The midterm elections in November produced a record number of women in Congress, and a record number of women have come forward as candidates for president. How important are these changes for our democracy, and what's driving them? Is it a reaction to President Trump, or something more lasting? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Susan Carroll, a senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.  (Sat, 09 Mar 2019 10:37:00 +0000)

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on the Campbell Conversations
A little over a year ago, Ben Walsh rewrote Syracuse history, assembling a diverse bipartisan coalition, and winning the 2017 race for mayor as an independent for the first time in over a century. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Walsh about his first year in office, and what's to come in the next three, including his notion of a coming 'Syracuse Surge.'  (Sat, 02 Mar 2019 10:41:00 +0000)

A discussion of Blueprint 15 on the Campbell Conversations
Blueprint 15 is an ambitious new project to reconstruct the neighborhood in Syracuse surrounding I-81, in order to combat poverty and reinvigorate the area. Several key stakeholders are beginning the process of giving more shape to the idea. This week, Grant Reeher talks with the leaders of two of those organizations. Bill Simmons is Executive Director of the Syracuse Housing Authority , and Meg O'Connell, Executive Director of the Allyn Family Foundation .  (Sat, 23 Feb 2019 11:29:21 +0000)

Chris Wilson on the Campbell Conversations
The new trade agreement between the United State, Mexico and Canada has been negotiated, but it still needs congressional approval. That will have to happen in a polarized political environment amidst an ongoing and bitter conflict over border security. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Chris Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.  (Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:11:00 +0000)

Elizabeth Dunbar on the Campbell Conversations
The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse has rebounded from a financial crisis, and is now celebrating its 50th anniversary with a variety of new exhibits and an ambitious capital campaign. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Elizabeth Dunbar, Executive Director of the Everson. They discuss the turnaround and the current situation, and the museum's place in the cultural life of the Syracuse region.  (Sat, 09 Feb 2019 10:58:00 +0000)

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon on the Campbell Conversations
Onondaga County has a new executive. Ryan McMahon took over the position in November, when former county executive Joanie Mahoney left office for a new job at SUNY ESF. McMahon comes to the position with experience at both the county and city levels, has a made a reputation for himself as a high energy deal maker. This week, Grant Reeher talks with McMahon about the assets and challenges that he's inherited, his leadership style, and what has most surprised the veteran lawmaker.  (Sat, 26 Jan 2019 10:01:00 +0000)

Richard Bowen on the Campbell Conversations
In 2006, Richard Bowen, an executive at Citigroup overseeing the underwriting of mortgages, saw some things that didn't look right, and he let the top leadership know. They reacted against him, and the mortgage industry all but collapsed in 2007. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Bowen about being a financial whistleblower, and what he and the country have learned since.  (Sat, 19 Jan 2019 10:53:19 +0000)

State Sen. Rachel May and Assemb. Bill Magnarelli on the Campbell Conversations
The 2019 legislative session in Albany promises to yield some important new policies for the state, including major reforms to elections, campaigns, ethics, and healthcare. This week, Grant Reeher is joined by Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) and Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) to discuss this year's legislative session.  (Sat, 12 Jan 2019 10:23:00 +0000)

Artist Robert Shetterly on the Campbell Conversations
After 9/11, artist Robert Shetterly was inspried to begin a series of portraits he called " Americans Who Tell the Truth. " The collection grew to 238, and he's still painting them. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Shetterly about what motivates him, how he goes about painting his subjects and what the works have meant to him and to others.  (Sat, 05 Jan 2019 10:48:54 +0000)

Antony Phillipson on the Campbell Conversations
How do the Trump Administration's actions on trade in combination with Brexit affect Britain's trade with the United States? How important is trade with Britain for central New York? And what does a longtime British diplomat admire about the United States. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Antony Phillipson, Britain's trade commissioner for North America, and the U.K.'s Consul General in New York.  (Sat, 29 Dec 2018 11:21:44 +0000)

Outgoing state Sen. Dave Valesky on the Campbell Conversations
Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) has represented the state Senate's 53rd District since 2005, but is leaving office after being defeated in a September primary by state Senator-elect Rachel May. This week, Valesky joins grant Reeher to talk about his career in the Senate, and politics in general in Albany.  (Sat, 22 Dec 2018 10:22:00 +0000)

David Mundell on the Campbell Conversations
In recent decades, there have been some tectonic changes in Britain's system of government. It has devolved many powers down to its constituent nations, and to some of its cities. More recently, it has struggled with its relationship with the European Union. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with David Mundell, Britain's Secretary of State for Scotland, and a member of the government team working on Brexit.  (Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:21:46 +0000)

Sandeep Chakravorty on the Campbell Conversations
When we think about America's international relations in Asia, the discussion usually focuses on China and North Korea. But India is a key nation in the region, and could prove centrally important in our future relations there. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India in New York City.  (Sat, 08 Dec 2018 10:23:00 +0000)

Alan Greenblatt on the Campbell Conversations
The midterm election results at the federal level have been heavily parsed. But receiving comparitively less attention are the results down ballot, at the state and local level. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Alan Greenblatt of Governing Magazine. Greenblatt is a leading observer and writer on state politics and policy. They dicuss the changes resulting from this year's elections and their implications.  (Sat, 01 Dec 2018 10:08:00 +0000)

Joanie Mahoney on the Campbell Conversations
Joanie Mahoney stepped down as Onondaga County Executive at the beginning of November, after holding the position for the last 11 years. She stepped down to take on a new position as chief operating officer at SUNY ESF, and will also serve in an advisory role at SUNY Upstate Medical University. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Mahoney about her time as county executive, and her future plans.  (Sat, 17 Nov 2018 10:34:00 +0000)

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)