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

NYS Sens. Bob Antonacci and Rachel May on the Campbell Conversations
The two new state Senators from the Syracuse area, Rachel May (D-Syracuse) and Bob Antonacci (R-Syracuse) both ran for the Senate by running against Albany. Now they've finished their first legislative session. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with May and Antonacci about their experiences, what improvements or outcomes they saw, and what they see on the political horizon.  (Sat, 13 Jul 2019 09:19:00 +0000)

U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro on the Campbell Conversations
The federal government has an independent financial and performance watchdog, called the Government Accountability Office, or GAO. How does it maintain its independence in an increasingly polarized political environment? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Gene Dodaro, head of the GAO, and the Comptroller General of the United States.  (Sat, 29 Jun 2019 09:50:14 +0000)

Pam Murchison and Jon Garland of Symphoria on the Campbell Conversations
This week on the Campbell Conversations, we wrap up a series on the arts. Grant Reeher speaks with Pam Murchison, executive director of Symphoria, and Jon Garland, a member of Symphoria's horn section, and also a Symphoria board member.  (Sat, 15 Jun 2019 09:17:00 +0000)

Christopher Citro on the Campbell Conversations
This week on the Campbell Conversations, we continue our series of discussions on the arts, this time with a focus on poetry. Grant Reeher talks with poet Christopher Citro , author of a new book called "If We Had a Lemon, We'd Throw It and Call That the Sun." They discuss different types of poetry, the creative process, and politics and poetry.  (Sat, 08 Jun 2019 10:07:03 +0000)

Harvey Teres on the Campbell Conversations
This week on the Campbell Conversations, we continue our series of discussions on the arts with Harvey Teres, a professor of English at Syracuse University, and the author of a new book titled "Conversations About Beauty with Ordinary Americans: Somebody Loves Us All."  (Sat, 01 Jun 2019 09:04:00 +0000)

DJ Hellerman and Garth Johnson on the Campbell Conversations
The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and there are some interesting exhibits on tap for this summer. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with the museum's two principal curators, DJ Hellerman and Garth Johnson.  (Sat, 25 May 2019 11:49:03 +0000)

Reporter Brian Mann on the Campbell Conversations
One area where Democrats and Republicans agree, is on the nation's opioid crisis. It's been ravaging parts of the coutnry and will require some serious interventions. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Brian Mann, a reporter with North Country Public Radio. Brian has been covering the opioid crisis for NPR. They discuss the opioid epidemic, the response so far, and what could be done to stop it.  (Sat, 18 May 2019 09:18:35 +0000)

A conversation on lead in Syracuse on the Campbell Conversations
Lead poisoning in Syracuse is a major health threat which has ripple effects through generations, and is connected to a variety of social problems. What do we know about it? What has or hasn't been done about this problem, and what could be done? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Sandra Lane, a professor of public health and anthropology at Syracuse University, and Peter Dunn, president of the Central New York Community Foundation.  (Sat, 27 Apr 2019 09:43:38 +0000)

Ross Allen on the Campbell Conversations
As Britain continues to struggle over Brexit, what trade oppotunities might Britain's exit from the EU have for the United States? And how much of the economy in the Syracuse area relies on trade with Britain? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Ross Allen, Director for North America of Britain's Department for International trade.  (Sat, 20 Apr 2019 09:06:00 +0000)

Marc Garneau on the Campbell Conversations
This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau. Garneau is a member of the Canadian Parliament, and his portfolio includes trade negotiations. Garneau is also a former astronaut, and former head of Canada's space agency.  (Sat, 13 Apr 2019 09:58:00 +0000)

Part two of 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, 06 Apr 2019 08:54:00 +0000)

Rep. John Katko on the Campbell Conversations
Last November, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) was re-elected to a third term, in what turned out to be a competitve election in New York's 24th District. In January, he rejoined a Congress in which he is in the minority. This week, Katko talks with Grant Reeher about life in Congress as a member of the minority party, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, Interstate 81, health care, and other issues.  (Sat, 30 Mar 2019 08:38:00 +0000)

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)