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

NPR's Rachel Martin on the Campbell Conversations
In an era of diminished public confidence in the media, what steps has NPR taken to strengthen connections and trust among its listeners? How does radio compare with other news mediums in communicating essential information? This week, Grant Reeher is joined by Rachel Martin, co-host of NPR's "Morning Edition." They discuss these issues, as well as some of Rachel's more memorable stories and interviews, and who her favorite NPR voice is.  (Fri, 20 Sep 2019 10:30:00 +0000)

Chol Majok on the Campbell Conversations
The city of Syracuse has been a recent magnet for refugees. More than 10,000 have settles there in the last 12 years. But this year, at least one refugee will be the first in Syracuse to win public office. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Chol Majok, the Democratic nominee for Syracuse 3rd District Common Council seat.  (Sat, 14 Sep 2019 09:30:00 +0000)

Dr. Keith Humphreys on the Campbell Conversations
New York came up just short of legalizing recreational marijuana this year, and many political observers regard full legalization as just a matter of time. What are the important questions facing policymakers as they prepare for the inevitable? What can legalization in other states teach us? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Stanford University professor Keith Humphreys, an expert on marijuana policy and legalization.  (Sun, 08 Sep 2019 11:26:11 +0000)

Charles Keller on the Campbell Conversations
For 28 years, Bill Fitzpatrick has been Onondaga County's District Attorney, facing relatively little challenge in his last seven elections. Hoping to change that this November is Charles Keller, a Democrat and Syracuse-based defense attorney. This week, Keller speaks with Grant Reeher on why he's running against Fitzpatrick, and to describe the changes he'd make in the criminal justice system if elected.  (Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:28:00 +0000)

Tony Malavenda on the Campbell Conversations
In recent decades, Republicans have dominated elected offices in Onondaga County. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with one Democrat who hopes to change that. Tony Malavenda is challenging incumbent Ryan McMahon in this year's race for Onondaga County Executive. They discuss the rationale behind his campaign, economic development, I-81, housing, poverty and more.  (Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:59:00 +0000)

Onondaga County DA Bill Fitzpatrick on the Campbell Conversations
Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick is finishing up his 7th four-year term in office, and is seeking an 8th this November. Given his past elections, he might seem unbeatable, but this year he has two challengers. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Fitzpatrick about recent initiatives in his office, controversial cases, policing, opioids, and more.  (Sat, 03 Aug 2019 11:16:25 +0000)

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow on the Campbell Conversations
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is no stranger to politics. At 23, he was elected to the Oswego Common Council. In 2015, at 25, he was elected mayor, the youngest in New York. He's running for reelection this year, and he's currently unopposed. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Barlow about some of the initiatives he has taken in his first term, how the city is coping with record high water levels on Lake Ontario, and some of the things he didn't expect when he first took office.  (Sat, 27 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000)

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)