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

Rachel Simmons is the author of "Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives," and the New York Times bestsellers "Odd Girl Out and "The Curse of the Good Girl."

As an educator, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their courage so that they live with integrity and health.

Multi-platinum rock superstar Eddie Money takes viewers home every Sunday night in AXS TV’s all-new original reality series “Real Money.” The program captures the daily lives of the Money family—which includes Eddie; Laurie, his wife of over 30 years; their five kids, Zach, Joe, Jesse, Dez, and Julian; and eight pets as they live, laugh, bicker, and rock.

Eddie Money’s Top 40 hits include: “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Shakin’,” “Think I’m In Love,” “I Wanna Go Back,” and many more. His new show, "Real Money," premieres this Sunday, April 8th at 9:30 PM.

4/3/18 Panel

Apr 3, 2018

  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.

It has been one hundred years since Agatha Christie wrote her first novel and created the formidable Hercule Poirot. Award winning biographer, Laura Thompson now turns her sharp eye to Agatha Christie. Arguably the greatest crime writer in the world, Christie's books still sell over four million copies each year - more than thirty years after her death - and sales show no signs of slowing.

But who was the woman behind these mystifying, yet eternally pleasing, puzzlers? Thompson's book is "Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life."

Susan Meissner is the acclaimed author of "Secrets of a Charmed Life" and "A Bridge Across the Ocean." Her new novel, "As Bright as Heaven," is set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.

"As Bright as Heaven" is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Susan Meissner is a former managing editor of a weekly newspaper and an award-winning columnist.

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.

This week we focus on Youth FX in Albany which looks to empower young people by teaching them the technical and creative aspects of digital film making and media production. We are joined by Executive Director Bhawin Suchak.

4/2/18 Panel

Apr 2, 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 political consultant Libby Post.

Like so many of us, including most of America’s workforce, and nearly two-thirds of all university students, Andrew Santella procrastinates. Concerned about his habit, but not quite ready to give it up, he set out to learn all he could about the human tendency to delay. He studied history’s greatest procrastinators to gain insights into human behavior, and also, he writes, to kill time, “research being the best way to avoid real work.” His new book is "Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me."

Andrew Santella has written for such publications as GQ, the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and the Atlantic.com.

Veera Hiranandani earned her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of "The Whole Story of Half a Girl," which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute and Writopia Lab.

In her new book "The Night Diary," it's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home.

Kevin Toolis is a writer and BAFTA-winning filmmaker. The author of a celebrated chronicle of Ireland's Troubles, "Rebel Hearts: Journeys within the IRA's Soul," he has written for the New York Times Magazine and The Guardian and reported on conflicts around the world. His family has lived in the same village on an island off the coast of County Mayo for the last two hundred years.

In his new book, "My Father's Wake," he describes his own father's wake and explores the wider history and significance of this ancient and eternal Irish ritual.

Basilica Hudson in Hudson, New York is presenting two big events in April.

The first, taking place April 7 is the ONE Fair (presented with Virago Futures) which focuses on sustainability and how residents of the Hudson Valley can run their homes with renewable energy.

At the end of the month, the 24-Hour Drone is back. Basilica Hudson partners with Le Guess Who? Festival to present an immersive, all-encompassing event featuring an international roster of musicians and sound artists to create a full 24 hours of unbroken sound.

Basilica Hudson Co-Founder and Director Meslissa Auf der Maur joins us.

From train derailments and massive oil spills to bankruptcies and medical errors, system failures are all too common - and they’re becoming more frequent. At first glance, these failures seem to stem from very different problems.

But in their new book, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik reveal that surprisingly these events have a shared DNA. "Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It" is a take on how complexity causes failures in all kinds of modern systems - from social media to air travel - and reveals how we can prevent meltdowns in business and our daily lives.

Clearfield is a former derivatives trader and licensed commercial pilot, and Tilcsik holds the Canada Research Chair in Strategy, Organizations, and Society at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Chris Clearfield joins us.

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: "Flower"

Upcoming:

  • Daughtry - Stanley Theatre, Utica, Thursday 3/29, 7 PM
  • Bread and Puppet Theater: Cantastorias from the Possibilitarian Arsenal - Time + Space Limited, Hudson, Thursday 3/29, 7:30 PM
  • Moscow Festival Ballet’s Swan Lake - Proctors, Schenectady, Thursday 3/29, 8 PM
  • An Evening With Cry Cry Cry: Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky - Calvin Theater, Northampton, Mass., Saturday 3/31, 8 PM
  • The Revelers - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 3/31, 9 PM
  • Dyngus Day with Dennis Polisky & Maestro’s Men - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Monday 4/2, 1 to 9 PM
  • L.A. Salami, Cat Clyde - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Monday 4/2, 7 PM
  • RUBBERBAND Dance Group - University at Albany Performing Arts Center, Albany, Tuesday 4/3, 7:30 PM
  • "Beauty and the Beast" - Family Fun Day - Palace Theatre, Albany, Wednesday 4/4, 1 PM

New movies: "Ready Player One," "The Death of Stalin," "Loveless"

3/29/18 Panel

Mar 29, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Editor of the Daily Gazette Judy Patrick, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

Gregg Easterbrook is the author of ten books, two of them New York Times Notable Books. He was a national correspondent for the Atlantic, and since then has been a contributing editor. He is a former visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution and a distinguished fellow of the Fulbright Foundation.

Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty psychological suspense novels, four young adult novels, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, two Edgar nominations as well as several other prestigious prizes.

"The Punishment She Deserves" is the latest in her Lynley series where Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley are forced to confront the past as they try to solve a crime that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of a quiet, historic, medieval town.

Samuel Harrington, MD, an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Wisconsin Medical School, concentrated his clinical practice at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. There he served as a medical staff leader, a trustee, and as Sibley's representative to the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Board Committee. This work and his service on the board of trustees of a nonprofit hospice brought Dr. Harrington into the discussion of end-of-life medical care.

Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or overconfidence in our health-care system, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in institutions. Many undergo painful procedures instead of having the better and more peaceful death they deserve.

Dr. Harrington's new book "At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life" outlines specific active and passive steps that older patients and their health-care proxies can take to ensure loved ones live their last days comfortably at home and/or in hospice when further aggressive care is inappropriate.

3/28/18 Panel

Mar 28, 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, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, and Berkshire Eagle reporter Jenn Smith.

Stefan Merrill Block and book cover for "Oliver Loving"
Author Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

Stefan Merrill Block frequently covers bleak territory in his novels, and his latest, “Oliver Loving,” is no exception.

Block takes us inside the mind of a comatose West Texas teen who has been hit in the head during a mass shooting on the night of his high school prom.

An award-winning former advertising executive, Marshall Karp is a playwright and a screenwriter, and has written and produced numerous TV shows. Having paid his dues in Hollywood, he began killing the people he used to work with - in his novels - the Lomax and Biggs series. 

He often collaborates with James Patterson and the duo has concocted several novels, "NYPD Red Alert" is the latest. It is the pair’s fifth "NYPD Red" novel. The two also collaborated on "Kill Me if You Can."

Jacqueline Kellachan from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
“The Sparsholt Affair” by Alan Hollinghurst
“Gun Love” by Jennifer Clement
“Ghost Boys” by Jewell Parker Rhodes
“Advice Not Given: A Guide To getting Over Yourself” by Mark Epstein, M.D.
“More Than True: The Wisdom of Fairy Tales” by Robery Bly
“Baby Monkey, Private Eye” by Brian Selznick and David Serlin
“Lament From Epirus” by Christopher C. King
“If I Die Tonight” by Alison Gaylin (Event April 11 at The Colony)

William I. Hitchcock is a professor of history at the University of Virginia and the Randolph Compton Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs.

In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D. Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. In his new book, "The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s," historian William Hitchcock shows that this high ranking is justified. Eisenhower’s accomplishments were enormous, and loom ever larger from the vantage point of our own tumultuous times.

3/27/18 Panel

Mar 27, 2018

    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.

Over the course of a decade spent reporting on the ground in China as a financial journalist, Dinny McMahon gradually came to the conclusion that the widely held belief in China’s inevitable economic ascent is dangerously wrong.
 
In this unprecedented deep dive, McMahon shows how, lurking behind the illusion of prosperity, China’s economic growth has been built on a staggering mountain of debt. While stories of newly built but empty cities, white elephant state projects, and a byzantine shadow banking system, have all become a regular fixture in the press in recent years, McMahon goes beyond the headlines to explain how such waste has been allowed to flourish, and why one of the most powerful governments in the world has been at a loss to stop it.

Dinny McMahon's spent more than a decade in China as a journalist covering the Chinese economy and financial systems for the Wall Street Journal and for the Dow Jones News Service. A native Australian, he is fluent in Mandarin. McMahon wrote China’s Great Wall of Debt while a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. His new book is "China's Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle."

Christianity could have easily become a forgotten sect of Judaism, but instead, it spread at a mind-boggling pace, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries. How? Bart Ehrman has turned this question over in his head for thirty years, and his new book, "The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World," is the culmination of his work to answer it.

In it, Ehrman combines deep knowledge and meticulous research in a narrative that looks to upend the way we think about the single most important cultural transformation our world has ever seen—one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.

Bart Ehrman is the author of more than twenty books, including "Misquoting Jesus" and "God’s Problem." Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a leading authority on the Bible and the life of Jesus.

Archer Mayor
Margot Zalkind

Archer Mayor is a bestselling mystery author and has also worked for decades as a death investigator for Vermont’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and as a detective for the Windham County Sheriff’s Office.

His Joe Gunther detective series, begun in 1988, has become one of the most critically acclaimed police procedural series being written today. Set partly in Albany, the 28th and latest book in the series is "Trace." 

The New York State Writers Institute is bringing Mayor to Albany tomorrow (Tuesday, March 27). He will be conducting a Q&A about the craft of mystery writing at 4:15 in the Standish Room at the Science Library of the Uptown Campus; and at 7:30PM he will be part of a conversation entitled: "Corpses, Blow Flies, and Post-Mortem Forensics" with UAlbany Chemistry professor Rabi Musah.

3/26/18 Panel

Mar 26, 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 investigative journalist Rosemary Armao.

In his new book, "Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, The Brainwashers, and Themselves," journalist Matthew Sweet explores the story of a specific group of young Americans who deserted and got more than they bargained for.

In Sweet’s telling - CIA agents and their allies successfully infiltrated the deserters in hopes of fomenting discord, setting off a vicious cycle of internal scrutiny and paranoia marked by interrogations and allegations of brainwashing.

Sweet says that almost 50 years later, some of these same Americans are still dealing with associated trauma.

James Carroll is a National Book Award winner and distinguished scholar in residence at Suffolk University and a columnist for The Boston Globe. He is the author of ten novels and seven works of fiction.

"The Cloister" is his novel about the timeless love story of Peter Abelard and Héloïse, and its impact on a modern priest and a Holocaust survivor seeking sanctuary in Manhattan.

3/23/18 Panel

Mar 23, 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, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti and Communications Consultant, Joe Bonilla.

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