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

Ali: A Life

Feb 7, 2018

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.

A timely second edition of the classic text on transgender history, with a new introduction and updated material throughout.

Covering American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today, Transgender History takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events. Chapters cover the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following World War II; trans radicalism and social change, which spanned from 1966 with the publication of The Transsexual Phenomenon, and lasted through the early 1970s; the mid-'70s to 1990-the era of identity politics and the changes witnessed in trans circles through these years; and the gender issues witnessed through the '90s and '00s.

Susan Stryker is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, as well as Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies.

2/7/18 Panel

Feb 7, 2018

   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, Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Tom Perrotta’s novel, "Mrs. Fletcher," is a provocative and very funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Perrotta is the author of eight works of fiction including "Election," "Joe College" and "Little Children." His novel "The Leftovers" was adapted into an HBO series. 

  The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation partnered with WAMC in the 2018 Winter Fund Drive to donate support to Joseph’s House and Shelter in Troy, NY. 

Executive Director of Joseph’s House Kevin O’Connor, joins us.

The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation partnered with WAMC during the 2018 Winter Fund Drive to donate diapers to families in need through the The Food Pantries for the Capital District.

To tell us more, we welcome the Executive Director of the Food Pantries for the Capital District, Natasha Pernicka.

Mountain One Bank Community Dividend Program partnered with WAMC during our Winter 2018 Fund Drive to help Berkshire Food Project.

Dick Alcombright, Mountain One Community Dividend Program VP of Local Business and Customer Relations and Kim McMann, Executive Director of Berkshire Food Project join us.

There was a recording mishap with this live interview. It begins with Kim McMann describing how Berkshire Food Project started.

Women Against War will present International Coordinator for Women Cross the DMZ, Christine Ahn, at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany on Saturday, February 10 at 7 p.m. Her talk is entitled "Defusing the US-North Korea Conflict: Building on the Olympic Truce."

Ahn organized the 2015 Women’s March across the Korean DMZ, including Nobel Peace Laureates, women from North and South Korea and peace activists from across the world-including Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright from the US. Participants continue to advocate with global policy makers for a peaceful settlement. She is now leading a women’s peace delegation to the January 16th Forum of Foreign Ministers from 20 Countries in Vancouver, Canada.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about quoting, sampling, borrowing in music listening to Johann Sebastian Bach's Choral: Es ist genug and a portion of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto.

Former White House social secretaries Lea Berman, who worked for George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who worked for Michelle and Barack Obama, have collaborated on the book "Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life."

Their daily experiences at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue taught them valuable lessons about how to work productively with people from different walks of life and points of view. These Washington insiders share what they’ve learned through first person examples of their own glamorous (and sometimes harrowing) moments with celebrities, foreign leaders and that most unpredictable of animals - the American politician.

"Paris Time" At TheRep

Feb 2, 2018

Capital Reparatory Theatre is currently presenting, "Paris Time," a drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-semitism in today’s France. The world premiere production by Steven Peterson is directed by Gordon Greenberg and runs through February 18.

When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.

Jenny Ashman plays Reina in the show and Wally Dunn plays Martin and is making his Capital Rep debut in "Paris Time."

2/2/18 Panel

Feb 2, 2018

   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, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti .

Ijeoma Oluo is a writer and speaker whose work on race has been featured in The Guardian, New York magazine, xoJane, Jezebel, and more. She is also an editor-at-large at The Establishment, and Seattle magazine named her "one of the most influential people" in Seattle.

In "So You Want to Talk About Race," Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Mamrie Hart is an actress, comedian, and New York Times bestselling author who established a presence in the pop culture zeitgeist with her hit YouTube channel, You Deserve a Drink.

Reaching more than three million followers across her social media channels and more than eighty-four million views on YouTube, Mamrie's influence as a creator earned her a position on Variety's annual list of Hollywood's New Leaders 2016 and a spot on The Hollywood Reporter's 2017 Digital Disrupters list.

Mamrie’s new essay collection is "I’ve Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery."

2/1/18 Panel

Feb 1, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Siena College Comparative Politics Professor Vera Eccarius-Kelly and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

Jake Bernstein was a senior reporter on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists team that broke the Panama Papers story. In 2017, the project won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Bernstein earned his first Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for National Reporting, for coverage of the financial crisis.

In "Secrecy World," Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca ― a trove now known as the Panama Papers ― as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the super-wealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe.

This year’s Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, NY is Saturday, February 3rd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Using historic tools, children and adults can walk out on the frozen mill pond to cut and maneuver blocks of ice. The ice blocks are pushed up a ramp and then loaded onto sleds, which are hauled to a traditional ice house.

Ice harvesting will take place all day, and visitors also can take part in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Hanford Mills Museum’s Executive Director Liz Callahan joins us.

It’s hard to imagine a country without Medicare, Medicaid, public television and radio, voting rights, integrated schools and hospitals, federal funding for K-12 education, environmental and consumer protections. Yet, according to our next guest, this political inheritance is today under siege.

In his new book, "Building The Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House," Politico Magazine contributing editor Joshua Zeitz shares how Lyndon Johnson and his White House aides built the Great Society and what can be lost in throwing it away.

1/31/18 Panel

Jan 31, 2018

  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 Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith.

Nick Harkaway is the author of such novels as “The Gone-Away World” and “Tigerman.”

His latest, “Gnomon,” is set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state that is equal parts dark comedy, detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle.

Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, MAPP, is a freelance writer and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on relationships and health. She has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her husband, James Pawelski, PH.D. is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-founded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program with Martin Seligman. Together, Suzie and James regularly lead Romance and Research (TM) workshops around the world.

Their new book book is "Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts."

Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.


"An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones

"The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn 

"Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces" by Dawn Davies

"This Will Be My Undoing" by Morgan Jerkins

"James Wright: A Life in Poetry" by Jonathan Blunk (event Thurs 2/1 @ 6pm Rhinebeck)

"Rot, the Cutest in the World" by Ben Clanton

"The Gauntlet" by Karuna Riazi

"Love, Hate and Other Filters" by Samira Ahmed

  Anjali Kumar, a pragmatic lawyer for Google, was part of a rapidly growing population in America: highly spiritual but religiously uncommitted. But when her daughter was born, she became compelled to find God - or at least some kind of enlightenment. 

Convinced that traditional religions were not a fit for her, and knowing that she couldn't simply Google an answer to "What is the meaning of life?", Kumar set out on a spiritual pilgrimage, looking for answers--and nothing was off limits or too unorthodox. She headed to the mountains of Peru to learn from the shamans, attended the techie haunt of Burning Man, practiced transcendental meditation, convened with angels, and visited saints, goddesses, witches, and faith healers.

Her book is "Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search for Something to Believe In."

1/30/18 Panel

Jan 30, 2018

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

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

Gish Jen is a beloved and prize-winning chronicler of the Chinese-American experience in fiction. Her new work, "The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap," explores stark differences between Eastern and Western ideas of the "self."

She will be in Albany, NY for two events sponsored by The New York State Writers Institute on Tuesday, January 30.

Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY has partnered with Yaddo to bring the best in new writing and new ideas to the Capital District for the speaker series “Yaddo Presents.”

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Trump Inauguration and this anthology features original short stories from thirty bestselling and award-winning authors, grappling with the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy through fiction.

The anthology is a beautiful collection that looks to resonate with anyone concerned with the contest for our American soul.

Anthology editor Jonathan Santlofer and contributor  Russell Banks will discuss the book and their work this Thursday, February 1st at Northshire Books in Saratoga Springs.

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.

STARS Intergen Corp. provides opportunities for seniors in the towns of Bethlehem and Coeymans to enhance the educational experience for Ravina-Coeymens-Selkirk students. We are joined by Bill Schwartz, STARS Intergen's Board President and Linda S. Bruno, Executive Director.

1/29/18 Panel

Jan 29, 2018

    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, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Clearwater Sloop

For over 45 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., founded by Pete Seeger, has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, and providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival, to inspire, educate, and activate millions of people.

Clearwater will honor former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck at the organization’s Third Annual Spirit of the Hudson Gala on Sunday, February 11 at The Garrison in Garrison, NY.  Enck will be given Clearwater’s "Spirit of the Hudson Award" for her longtime service to the environment.

Judith joins us along with Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director for Clearwater. 

1/26/18 Panel

Jan 26, 2018

  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 and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.