Joe Donahue

Vice President, 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

  Hoping to reclaim who she was before marriage and children, an empty nester retreats to Cape Cod where she embarks upon a quest to set herself free. A Year By The Sea is based on the book of the same name by Joan Anderson and stars Karen Allen.

The film will screen as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival on Saturday, June 4th at 12:30pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA.

  From the director of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom; The Music of Strangers, tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The feature-length documentary follows The Silk Road Ensemble -- a group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers -- as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

The Music of Strangers is the Berkshire International Film Festival's opening night film at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on June 2nd at 7 p.m. Yo-Yo Ma will participate in a Q&A following the film.

6/1/16 Panel

Jun 1, 2016

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

  Best known of award-winning New York Times and Newsweek columns, Anna Quindlen returns with her eighth novel, Miller's Valley. 

The setting is a farming valley in Pennsylvania during the height of the Viet Nam War. Outside influences like the war and a government plan to flood the valley affect the lives of one family - and the community.

  The Maurice Sendak Fellowship is a residency program that supports artists who tell stories with illustration. The Fellowship offers a four-week retreat for artists to live and work at Scotch Hill Farm in Cambridge, New York.

Battenkill Books is Cambridge will be presenting an exciting panel discussion with the 2016 Sendak Fellows: Elisha Cooper, Jenni Desmond, and Yuyi Morales that Joe Donahue will moderate.

This year’s fellows are Elisha Cooper, Jenni Desmond, and Yuyi Morales.

  Ted Elliman has been engaged in botanical work in New England and other northeastern states for over 30 years. He is a plant ecologist for the New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, Massachusetts. Previously, he worked as an ecologist for the National Park Service and has written numerous articles on botanical subjects for conservation organizations, scientific journals, and state and federal environmental agencies.

His new book, Wildflowers of New England, is for hikers, naturalists, gardeners, and anyone wishing to learn more about the regions diverse wildflowers, or just wanting to know the answer to "What’s that plant?"

Ted will lead a wildflower walk and sign copies of his new book at Manitoga: The Russel Wright Design Center in Garrison, NY this Sunday, June 5th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

  In Detroit Resurrected, Nathan Bomey delivers the inside story of the fight to save Detroit against impossible odds. Bomey, who covered the bankruptcy for the Detroit Free Press, provides a gripping account of the tremendous clash between lawyers, judges, bankers, union leaders, politicians, philanthropists, and the people of Detroit themselves.

Peter Frampton

May 31, 2016

  Lynyrd Skynyrd and Peter Frampton will be at The Times Union Center in Albany, NY (with special guest Jack Broadbent) on June 3rd.

Here, Joe Donahue speak with Frampton about his career; his seminal live album, Frampton Comes Alive!; and his relationship with David Bowie.

5/31/16 Panel

May 31, 2016

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

    In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we learn about Reading Frederick Douglass, a statewide initiative led by Mass Humanities. Communities and organizations around the state typically organize public readings of Douglass' speech, "What is the Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro." We are joined today by Manisha Sinha, Professor of Afro-American Studies at University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Rose Sackey-Milligan, Program Officer at Mass Humanities. With them we explore the value of the humanities in enhancing and improving civic life.

  Eight years on from the biggest market meltdown since the Great Depression, the key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned—and our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever. Many of us know that our government failed to fix the banking system after the subprime mortgage crisis. But what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system have come to infiltrate ALL American businesses,  putting us on a collision course for another cataclysmic meltdown. 

Drawing on in-depth reporting and exclusive interviews at the highest rungs of Wall Street and Washington, Time assistant managing editor and economic columnist Rana Foroohar shows how the “financialization of America” - the trend by which finance and its way of thinking have come to reign supreme - is perpetuating Wall Street's reign over Main Street, widening the gap between rich and poor, and threatening the future of the American Dream. 

5/27/16 Panel

May 27, 2016

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

  Using Washington's extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence.

Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution. Washington's steadfast commitment to the core economic principles of probity, transparency, careful management, and calculated boldness are timeless lessons that should inspire and instruct investors even today.

Historian Ed Lengel is here to talk about his new book, First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity.

  When a group of 20-something theatre professionals, spearheaded by David Turner, Martha Banta and David King, decided to found a summer theatre in 1994, they wanted to take “the road less traveled” and focus on new work.

Each summer the Adirondack Theatre Festival produces a six week season of theatre for an audience of more than 6,000 using professional artists from New York City and across the country. 

Their 2016 Season begins next month.

Chad Rabinovitz is the Producing Artistic Director of ATF and he joins us now for a preview of their season.

  Carrie Haddad was the first art gallery to open back in 1991 on Warren St. in Hudson NY. She has been a pivotal resource for assisting other galleries to follow suit, helping to the economy of the city to bring more people to town as well as giving exposure to local artists who would otherwise have no venue.

Twenty-five years later, approximately 100 represented artists work in mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media and are featured in 7 annual exhibits. 

  In 1984, it looked like an unwinnable David and Goliath struggle: one guy against the mammoth American beer industry. When others scoffed at Jim Koch’s plan to leave his consulting job and start a brewery that would challenge American palates, he chose a nineteenth-century family recipe and launched Samuel Adams. Now one of America’s leading craft breweries, Samuel Adams has redefined the way Americans think about beer and helped spur a craft beer revolution.

In Quench Your Own Thirst, Koch offers unprecedented insights into the whirlwind ride from scrappy start-up to thriving public company. His innovative business model and refreshingly frank stories offer counterintuitive lessons that you can apply to business and to life.

5/26/16 Panel

May 26, 2016

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

  The second annual SUNY Ulster OWN IT! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the College Lounge of Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge, New York SUNY Ulster campus.

This conference for women entrepreneurs and ‘dream-to-be entrepreneurs’ features nationally recognized speakers and hands-on workshops presented by regional experts.

The keynote speaker is Silda Wall Spitzer, Founder and CEO of woman-owned New York States of Mind, a digital magazine and marketplace that creates a new intellectual and economic platform for people, places, products and ideas in New York State; Principal at NewWorld Capital Group, a private equity firm investing in environmental opportunities, including energy efficiency, clean energy, water, waste-to-value and environmental services; and former first lady of New York State.

We are joined by Silda Wall Spitzer and Mindy Kole, Assistant Professor of Business and Director of The Darlene L. Pfeiffer Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at SUNY Ulster. 

Take A Sip For TRIP

May 25, 2016

  The Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP), Inc. is a not-for-profit, grassroots organization created in 1968 to assist low- and moderate-income families in Troy achieve the dream of home ownership.

TRIP’s fourth annual Take a Sip for TRIP fundraiser will take place on Thursday, June 9 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY. Here to tell us more is Christine Nealon, TRIP’s Executive Director.

Moby's Memoir

May 25, 2016

  There were many reasons Moby was never going to make it as a DJ and musician in the New York club scene. This was the New York of unchecked, drug-fueled hedonism in pumping clubs where dance music was still largely underground, popular chiefly among working-class African Americans and Latinos.

And then there was Moby—not just a poor, skinny white kid from Connecticut, but a devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler. He would learn what it was to be spat on, to live on almost nothing. But it was perhaps the last good time for an artist to live on nothing in New York City: the age of AIDS and crack but also of a defiantly festive cultural underworld. Not without drama, he found his way.

But success was not uncomplicated; it led to wretched excess and proved all too fleeting. And so by the end of the decade, Moby contemplated an end in his career and elsewhere in his life, and put that emotion into what he assumed would be his swan song, his good-bye to all that, the album that would in fact be the beginning of an astonishing new phase: the multimillion-selling Play.

Moby's new memoir is entitled, Porcelain.

  It is always a pleasure to welcome back our friends from the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls. This morning they join us to talk about the newly opened exhibit: Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Tom Golden Collection.

This exhibition of over 125 original drawings, sculptures, collages, and photographs traces the career of renowned artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, capturing the versatility, longevity, and international scope of the duo’s extensive career.

Tom Golden’s personal and professional relationship with the artists began in 1974, during public hearings for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s project Running Fence. To tell us more we welcome Erin Coe - Director of The Hyde and the Museum’s new curator, Jonathan Canning.

5/25/16 Panel

May 25, 2016

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

  Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee is the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies. He has now written the history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

His new book is The Gene: An Intimate History

  The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.
When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. 

His book is Boy Erased: A Memoir.

  Our tech guru, Jesse Feiler from North Country Consulting joins us to talk about home automation.

The big three are here: Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap, Apple HomeKit, and Google has announced Google Home.

What are they all about? What features do they share? What can they do? Do you need one? Do you need all three?

Martin Weiner /

  The 10th Annual Ride the Ridge Bike Challenge at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge, NY will take place on June 5th. 

The Ride welcomes cyclists of all-levels with five distinct routes that traverse the scenic Shawangunk and Catskill Mountain regions.

Jeff Miller is the chair of this year’s Ride the Ridge Bike Challenge and he joins us now along with Head of School, Michelle Hughes.

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

My Holiday in North Korea by Wendy E. Simmons
Shrill by Lindy West
Just Life by Neil Abramson (event in Rhinebeck Thurs 6/2, 6pm)
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

5/24/16 Panel

May 24, 2016

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

  Mark Twain, the highest-paid writer in America in 1894, was also one of the nation’s worst investors.

The publishing company Twain owned was failing; his investment in a typesetting device was bleeding red ink. After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars back when a beer cost a nickel, he found himself neck-deep in debt. His heiress wife, Livy, took the setback hard - but Twain vowed to Livy he would pay back every penny. And so, just when the fifty-nine-year-old, bushy-browed icon imagined that he would be settling into literary lionhood, telling jokes at gilded dinners, he forced himself to mount the “platform” again, embarking on a round-the-world stand-up comedy tour. No author had ever done that. He cherry-picked his best stories—such as stealing his first watermelon and buying a bucking bronco—and spun them into a ninety-minute performance. Twain trekked across the American West and onward by ship to the faraway lands of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, India, Ceylon, and South Africa.

Richard Zacks' new book is Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour

  Mark Zwonitzer is an author and award-winning documentary filmmaker. 

His new book The Statesman and the Storyteller, is a dual biography covering the last ten years of the lives of friends and contemporaries, writer Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and statesman John Hay (who served as secretary of state under presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt), The Statesman and the Storyteller not only provides an intimate look into the daily lives of these men but also creates an elucidating portrait of the United States on the verge of emerging as a world power.