Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

Nobody expected the vice president, a New York political hack, to be president. And after President James A. Garfield was shot in 1881, nobody expected Chester A. Arthur to become a strong and effective president, a courageous anti-corruption reformer, and an early civil rights advocate. And yet...

Despite his promising start as a young man, by his early fifties Chester A. Arthur was known as the crooked crony of New York machine boss Roscoe Conkling. For years Arthur had been perceived as unfit to govern, not only by critics and the vast majority of his fellow citizens but by his own conscience. As President James A. Garfield struggled for his life, Arthur knew better than his detractors that he failed to meet the high standard a president must uphold.

Scott S. Greenberger is a journalist, author and the executive editor of Stateline, the daily news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts. His newest book is The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur. 

11/21/17 Panel

Nov 21, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions.

Khizr Khan's new book is "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice."

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of - and fosters collaboration between - not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Today we speak with Rev. Donna Elia, Executive Director of Troy Area United Ministries about their many programs including the Furniture Program, Troy Damien Center, Computers for Kids, Rev. DR. Martin Luther King Events and Scholarships, Campus Ministry at Sage, Holiday Adopt a Family and CROP Hunger Walk.

11/20/17 Panel

Nov 20, 2017

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, and Associate Editor of The Times Union, Mike Spain.

In the new film “Lady Bird,” Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson - played by Saoirse Ronan - fights against but is exactly like her deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom, a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father loses his job.

Saoirse Ronan is a two-time Academy Award nominee; receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Atonement,” and a Best Actress nomination for “Brooklyn.” “Lady Bird” was written and directed by Greta Gerwig has already been named one of the best films of the year. It opens locally today. 

Stone barn at Hancock Shaker Village
Sarah LaDuke

Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum - marrying past and present, proving with every addition to its programming that it is becoming a vibrant, new center for ideas, music, art, food, outdoor activities, and adventure.

The Village, which was settled in 1783, became a museum in 1960, just one year after the last Shakers left. Contained within its 20 historic buildings and 750 acres that sprawl across three towns is the only round Shaker barn in the world that was built in 1826. 

Jennifer Trainer Thompson, who spent the last 28 years helping to co-found and develop MASS MoCA in the Berkshires, took over as president of Hancock Shaker Village in January 2017. Jennifer joins us along with the village’s curator Lesley Herzberg and farmer Billy Mangiardi. 

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is a musical by Rupert Holmes for which he received Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score in 1986. The show, then called “Drood” also won Best Musical that year.

Based on Charles Dickens’ last, unfinished novel and murder mystery, the show stops just before the murderer is revealed and at each performance the audience decides who “done it.”

Rupert Holmes has adapted the script into a new quick and hilarious 90 minute version. The new version will be presented at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY with a further adjustment by Holmes for the action of the play to be set at Hubbard Hall.

Performances begin tonight and we are joined now by composer/playwright/lyricist Rupert Holmes and Executive & Artistic Director of the Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education David Andrew Snider.

Reed Tucker is a freelance journalist and writer and has lived in New York since 1999. He writes mostly about pop culture and entertainment, most recently as a staff features writer at the New York Post.

In his new book "Slugfest: Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle between Marvel and DC" he chronicles the history of this epic rivalry.

11/17/17 Panel

Nov 17, 2017

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Corporate Attorney Rich Honen and Communications Consultant Joe Bonilla.

Leon Polk Smith (American, 1906-96) untitled, 1968 paper on red Japanese paper, 35 ¾ x 25 in. Leon Polk Smith Foundation, 1968 D.053
mwpai.org

In the first-ever museum exhibition of drawings and collages by a pioneer of geometric abstraction, The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art is presenting "Geometry in Motion: Leon Polk Smith Works on Paper," on view through the end of the year.

This exhibition examines Smith’s (1906-96) characteristic pieces from the 1940s, as he entered his artistic maturity, through the 1990s, when he was ever-prolific and undiminished by time.

Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Mary Murray joins us.

Ali: A Life

Nov 16, 2017

He was the wittiest, the prettiest, the strongest, the bravest, and, of course, the greatest (as he told us himself). Muhammad Ali was one of the twentieth century’s most fantastic figures and arguably the most famous man on the planet.

But until now, he has never been the subject of a complete, unauthorized biography. Jonathan Eig, hailed by Ken Burns as one of America’s master storytellers, radically reshapes our understanding of the complicated man who was Ali. Eig had access to all the key people in Ali’s life, including his three surviving wives and his managers. He conducted more than 500 interviews and uncovered thousands of pages of previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files, as well dozens of hours of newly discovered audiotaped interviews from the 1960s. Collectively, they tell Ali’s story like never before—the story of a man who was flawed and uncertain and brave beyond belief.

Jonathan Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers. His newest book is Ali: A Life.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "Murder on the Orient Express"

Upcoming: The Olate Dogs - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Thursday 11/16, 7 PM
Performing Artists in Residence Chamber Music Concert (Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Schumann) The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Friday 11/17, 7 PM
Laura Luna - EMPAC Studio 2, Troy, Friday 11/17, 7:30 PM
David Crosby & Friends: Sky Trails Tour - The Egg, Albany, Friday 11/17, 8 PM
"The Thing/The Thing" - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Saturday 11/18, 2:30 and 7 PM
Albany Symphony Orchestra: The Rite of Spring (Stravinsky, Dukas, Del Tredici) - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 11/18, 7:30 PM
Ashley Bathgate - "Cello: Bach Unwound" - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 11/18, 7:30 PM
Arlo Guthrie Family Show - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Saturday 11/18, 8 PM
Saint Motel - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Saturday 11/18, 8 PM
Amythyst Kiah - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 11/19, 7 PM

New movies: "Lady Bird," "Justice League," "Wonder," "The Star"

11/16/17 Panel

Nov 16, 2017

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Professor of Political Science at Siena College Vera Ecarius-Kelly, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, and Investigative Journalist, Rosemary Armao.

The culmination of nearly 30 years of reporting on Donald Trump, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, David Cay Johnston, takes a revealingly close look at the mogul's rise to power and prominence in his new book, "The Making of Donald Trump."

Covering the long arc of Trump’s career, Johnston tells the story of how a boy from a quiet section of Queens, NY would become an entirely new, and complex, breed of public figure. Trump is a man of great media savvy, entrepreneurial spirit, and political clout. Yet his career has been plagued by legal troubles and mounting controversy.

Wanda Fischer has loved baseball since she was eight years old. She's parlayed that into her first novel, "Empty Seats," which is not necessarily about her favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. Wanda, of course, is best known as the host of "The Hudson River Sampler," which she's done since 1982.

In "Empty Seats," they were all stars in their hometowns. Then they were drafted to play minor league ball, thinking it would be an easy ride to playing in the big time. Little did they know that they'd be vying for a spot with every other talented kid who aspired to play professional baseball. Young, inexperienced, immature, and without the support of their families and friends, they're often faced with split-second decisions. Not always on the baseball diamond.

Wanda will be at the Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza signing her new book on Friday night at 6PM.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District will hold its annual Holiday Book Sale from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19 at Locust Grove, the Samuel Morse Historic Site on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The Friends Book Store, at the Boardman Road Branch Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18 as well.

The Holiday Book Sale features gift-quality books and media, sorted into multiple categories. This year’s sale, with the most books ever in the history of our Holiday Sale, includes a large selection of needlework and crafts books, as well as fine arts and arts-instruction books and manuals.

There will be a separate room for individually priced vintage items, coffee-table books, books of local interest, collectible books and books signed by authors.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District is an all-volunteer organization that supports the district’s programs and services and Mark Nelson and Patricia Breen join us. 

11/15/17 Panel

Nov 15, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Community Engagement editor and Staff Reporter at the Berkshire Eagle Jenn Smith, Communications Consultants Theresa Bourgeois, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Marvin Kalb spent 30 years as an award-winning reporter for CBS News and NBC News. In 1956, Kalb was selected by the State Department to do translation work in Moscow.

He tells the story of that year in his new book: The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 - Khrushchev, Stalin’s Ghost, and a Young American in Russia.

Secret societies have fundamentally shaped America’s cultural and political landscapes. In ways that are expected but never explicit, the bonds made through the most elite of secret societies have won members Pulitzer Prizes, governorships, and even presidencies. At the apex of these institutions stands Yale University and its rumored twenty-six secret societies. Tracing a history that has intrigued and enthralled for centuries, alluring the attention of such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Skulls and Keys traces the history of Yale’s societies as they set the foundation for America’s future secret clubs and helped define the modern age of politics.

David Alan Richards, Yale alum and former 'bonesman,' is the author of Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale's Secret Societies. 

This week's Book Picks come from Kira Wizner of Merritt Bookstore.

List:
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

The Wine Lover’s Daughter: A Memoir by Anne Fadiman

The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

To Each His Own by Leonardo Sciascia

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

The Octavo Singers of Schenectady have been a choral tradition in New York’s Capital Region since 1933.

This Sunday, November 19, they’ll present their fall concert at Immaculate Conception Church in Glenville, NY. The concert will present performances of two masses: one by Ludwig van Beethoven and one by Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Also on the program will be the popular Haydn Concerto for Trumpet in E-flat major, featuring local trumpeter extraordinaire Cathy Sheridan.

On December 9, The Octavo Singers will perform Handel's Messiah at Union College Memorial Chapel in Schenectady, NY.

Curtis Funk has been Artistic Director of The Octavo Singers since 2011 and he joins us on the program.

11/14/17 Panel

Nov 14, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Joe Bonilla and Professor of Creative Arts at Siena College Mahmood Karimi-Hakak.

Lawrence O’Donnell has been a student of American politics for most of his life. A former senior advisor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, chief of staff of two Senate committees, an Emmy Award-winning executive producer and writer for "The West Wing," and now host of his own MSNBC show "The Last Word," O’Donnell has a front row seat to American democracy in action.

While the 2016 election, still fresh in all our memories, produced many crazy headlines and tumultuous debates, "Playing With Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics" recreates an even darker, more chaotic time in our nation’s history, in which one election was literally a “matter of life and death—nothing less”: 1968.

"Playing With Fire" tells the gripping story of 1968 election with a remarkable cast of characters, from the candidates themselves - Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Nelsen Rockefeller - to the staffers whose fame has only grown in retrospect: Henry Kissinger, Alan Greenspan, Pat Buchanan, a young Bill Clinton, and even Roger Ailes.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place. Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Today we’ll learn about Unity House and its partnerships with Capital Roots and Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO). We are joined by Mandy Brown, Special Events Coordinator at Unity House; Amy Halloran, Food Justice Case manager at Unity House; Will Malcolm, Food Access Manager at Capital Roots; Renata Gwozdz, Community Service Manager at CEO.

11/13/17 Panel

Nov 13, 2017

      The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany County District Attorney David Soares and Chairman of the Capital District Latinos Dan Irizarry.

Hats Of Faith

Nov 10, 2017

Hats of Faith is a children's board book that introduces readers to the shared custom of head covering. Using accurate terminology, phonetic pronunciations and bright, beautiful imagery, Hats of Faith helps educate and prepare young children and their parents for our culturally diverse modern world.

Medeia Cohan is an experienced writer, but this is her first children’s publication. This book is a passion project for her, with a mission to educate children about diversity and tolerance early in life. Medeia believes that early familiarity with faith-based customs will lead to kinder future generations. 

In The Once and Future Liberal, Mark Lilla offers an impassioned, tough-minded, and stinging look at the failure of American liberalism over the past two generations. Although there have been Democrats in the White House, and some notable policy achievements, for nearly 40 years the vision that Ronald Reagan offered—small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism—has remained the country’s dominant political ideology. And the Democratic Party has offered no convincing competing vision in response.

Mark Lilla is a political scientist, journalist and professor of humanities at Columbia University. His newest book is The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics.

11/10/17 Panel

Nov 10, 2017

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti and and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

Bob Mankoff / The New Yorker

Bob Mankoff, cartoonist and influential cartoon editor for "The New Yorker," submitted more than 500 of his own cartoons to that publication before getting his first acceptance in 1977. He became cartoon editor in 1997, and is credited with nurturing a new generation of talent before retiring this past April.

He currently serves as the Humor and Cartoon Editor at "Esquire." He is the author of the memoir, "How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons."

Mankoff will be in Albany later today with legendary New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast for a New York State Writers Institute seminar at 4:15 this afternoon in the Standish Room at the Science Library on the uptown University at Albany campus. There will be a reading at 8PM tonight in the Huxley Theatre at the New York State Museum in downtown Albany.

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