Margaret Low of WBUR tells us how public radio fits into Boston’s regional news environment

Margaret Low

On this week’s podcast, Ellen and Dan talk with Margaret Low, the CEO of WBUR, one of Boston’s two major news-oriented public radio stations. Margaret started as CEO in January 2020. She has had a 40-plus-year career with NPR, and started as an overnight production assistant at “Morning Edition.”

At NPR, Low rose through the ranks and ended up in the top editorial job, where she oversaw 400 journalists worldwide, covering events like the Arab Spring, the re-election of Barack Obama, and the Boston Marathon bombing. She also led a digital transformation of her newsroom. She turned “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”, the Saturday morning quiz show, into a live production. She came to WBUR from The Atlantic, where she was president of AtlanticLIVE and produced more than 100 live events a year.

Ellen has a Quick Take on the launch of Signal Cleveland. It’s well-funded, with $7.5 million to start with, and Rick Edmonds of Poynter Online writes that the news outlet has big goals: It wants to expand throughout Ohio within a few years.

Dan’s Quick Take is on a case in New Hampshire that is of interest to those of us who ascribe to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As Dan puts it, we’d like to think that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that you may not be punished criminally for criticizing the government. But that’s not what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decided recently. InDepthNH has a story here. The case, which has been ongoing for a number of years, garnered a New England Muzzle Award in 2019.

You can listen to our latest podcast here and subscribe through your favorite podcast app.

Author: Dan Kennedy

I am a professor of journalism at Northeastern University and a contributor to GBH News in Boston. My blog, Media Nation, is online at dankennedy.net.

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