Ross Reynolds | KUOW News and Information

Ross Reynolds

Executive Producer of Community Engagement

Year started with KUOW: 1987

Ross creates community conversations (like the Ask A events) that supplement and complement KUOW's on-air and on-line services. He produces the occasional arts and news feature. He was co-host of KUOW’s daily news magazine The Record September 2013 to November 2015. Before that he hosted The Conversation, KUOW's award–winning daily news–talk program from 2000 to 2013 and KUOW's Seattle Afternoon from 1988 to 1992.

Ross came to KUOW in 1987 as news director and in 1992 became program director. As program director, he changed the station's format from classical/news to news and yet more news. He led  KUOW's coverage of the World Trade Organization protests in 1999 won a National Headliner First Place Award for Coverage of a Live Event.

Along the way, Ross hosted  the award–winning regional newsmagazine Northwest Journal that aired in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska; and a weekly public television interview program on KCTS Seattle called Upon Reflection. He is a frequent moderator for political debates and discussions in the Seattle community.

Ross has been an East-West Center media fellow in the Kingdom of Tonga, an  East-West Center Jefferson Fellow in Tokyo,  South Korea and Malaysia and a RIAS Berlin Visiting American Journalist in Berlin, Brussels, Prague, Dresden. In 2011, Ross graduated from the University of Washington with a master's degree in digital media from the School of Communication.

His pre-KUOW career included seven years as news director at community radio station KBOO in Portland, five years as news and public affairs director at WCUW in Worcester, Massachusetts, two years as music editor of Worcester Magazine, and short stints as fill-in news director at KMXT Kodiak, Alaska, and as a reporter at the Pacifica National News Service, Washington, DC, bureau. Ross has a cameo role in the documentary film "Manufacturing Consent," an intellectual biography of Noam Chomsky.

Ways to Connect

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle is a growing city. Roads have gotten more congested, trails more crowded and housing prices have been on a steady climb up.  So what brings people into the city, and once they are here, why do they stay? 

Filmmaker, photographer, and King County Metro Transit bus driver Nathan Vass.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Nathan Vass is an 11-year veteran of King County Metro Transit - no small feat at 32. Even more impressive is his ability to stay engaged and delighted by his job over all those years. He's been called 'the only happy bus driver in Seattle', which he's quick to dispute on behalf of other equally cheerful colleagues. But he's pretty stoked to be here.


Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea
Flickr Photo/Gabriel Britto (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)/https://bit.ly/2KU1mYZ

Ross Reynolds talks to Don Hellmann, professor emeritus at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, about what happens now that President Trump has pulled out of the June summit with North Korea. The move comes after North Korea issued a statement emphasizing their own arsenal and calling Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy."

Lisa Wang

One reason we’re seeing such polarization in American society is that we’re not talking to each other. We’re wrapped up in our own cocoons and echo chambers.

In an effort to combat this, KUOW has  launched a series of person-to-person conversation events we call 'Ask A __.'

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Ross Reynolds talks with Kathy Loedler, a 23-year veteran of the FBI and now CEO of the Rampart Group, and Carolyn Woodbury, former supervisory special agent in Seattle who spent more than 20 years with the FBI. They discuss former FBI Director James Comey's book tour and what it means for the FBI's reputation.

Seattle lost a civil rights icon this weekend.

The Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney died Saturday. He was 91. 

KUOW's Marcie Sillman spoke with arts advocate and former Seattle Arts Commission chair, Vivian Phillips, who knew McKinney personally about his life and work. 

The Seahawks' field logo, in happier times.
Flickr Photo/sunshine.patchoulli (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/9oYiX

“Well. That was a, uh … let me say it this way, a tremendous showing by the Rams.”

Seattle skyline
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Ross Reynolds talks to Zaki Hamid, a program director for Humanities Washington, about why he calls Seattle home and what has kept him here. And we  take calls from listeners who share their stories of how they make it work in the changing region. 

KUOW PHOTO/Megan Farmer

The mayoral race in Seattle is heating up. King County Democrats have endorsed Cary Moon, and so has today’s panelist, former mayor Mike McGinn. Labor unions have come out in support Jenny Durkan. What’s the significance of this latest round of endorsements?

The City of Seattle is going to spend at least a quarter of million dollars defending legal attacks against the high earner income tax passed by City Council on a 9-0 vote. Is it common for a local or state government agency to pass laws they know they need to spend money to defend in court?

Is Seattle becoming Amazonia? And because we're still not sick of talking about the eclipse, we ask the panel where they watched the celestial show.

Listen to the show on Fridays at noon and join the conversation on Twitter using #KUOWwir.

Flickr/Daniella Urdinlaiz (CC BY 2.0)

Comedian George Carlin is funny and serious as he talks about white privilege, things he could do without, and why he dislikes the label Native American. 

"They're not natives, they emigrated here. They came from Asia. And putting the word American on them is the supreme insult. After you steal their cultures, put them on the worst land possible, give them blankets with smallpox then turn around and give your name. It's repulsive." 

Carlin was interviewed by KUOW's Steve Scher on the occasion of publishing his book "Brain Droppings." 

Gary Brose is a Republican running for mayor in Seattle.
Courtesy of Gary Brose

Gary Brose, the 65-year-old Republican candidate for Seattle mayor laughs at the recent Fox News host assertion that Seattle is a socialist hellhole. “They’re trying for ratings there, I think.”

https://www.google.com/search?q=ruth+brown&safe=off&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH9KnPjc3UAhUC62MKHbB6BloQiR4IiQE&biw=1536&bih=735#imgrc=2TEPzrCH3me5HM:

Ruth Brown (1928-2006) was known as the queen of R&B. She had a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean." Atlantic became known as "the house that Ruth built" (alluding to the popular nickname for the old Yankee Stadium).

Between 1949 and 1955, her records stayed on the R&B chart for a total of 149 weeks, with sixteen in the top 10, including five number-one hits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Vonnegut#/media/File:Kurt_Vonnegut_1972.jpg

 

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was grim about the future in a hilarious way.

William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

At the time of this interview Lionel Hampton (1908 – 2002), vibraphonist, band leader and composer, had been a working musician for 62 years when he spoke with Ross Reynolds.

Hampton introduced the vibraphone as a jazz instrument, wrote jazz standards (“Flying Home”), performed with jazz greats Louie Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa , Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie, and discovered Dinah Washington and Joe Williams.  He also recruited Seattleites Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson for his bands. 

Screenshot of Fred Beckey from 'Dirtbag,' directed by Dave O'Leske.
YouTube

Fred Beckey, 94, is a Northwest mountaineering legend. From his teen years he has monomaniacally devoted himself to climbing mountains and documenting those ascents in guidebooks.

But he’s never achieved the same levels of fame and wealth as other pioneering mountaineers of his generation. That may be changing. There’s a a new documentary film his life called "Dirtbag." Ross Reynolds speaks to its director, Dave O'Leske.

Courtesy of Mitchell Overton

If you’re a musician in Seattle who wants strings on a recording, your path will lead to Andrew Joslyn. He has orchestrated for the likes of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Mark Lanegan, made soundtracks for movies and podcasts, and performed with the Bushwick Book Club and Seattle Rock Orchestra. Now Joslyn is stepping into the spotlight himself. Ross Reynolds talks with Joslyn about his career and how his older brother, comedian Chris Kattan, affected his musical tastes.

Sydney Opera House

Artist Laurie Anderson has written six books, released a dozen albums, created multimedia performances for human and canine audiences and produced an acclaimed documentary film.

In 1992, on the occasion of her book Stories from the Nerve Bible, she talks with Ross Reynolds about her short stint as an art teacher ("I made up stories about artists"), why she made an American Express commercial, her thoughts on the then emerging internet, and how her first hit “O Superman” was appropriated for a car alarm company. 

People at a women's march on Seattle's Capitol Hill on Dec. 3.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

A new Republican president takes office. Half the nation is appalled.

But we're not talking about Donald Trump.


Leslie Brown, an activist with Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition, shouted into a bullhorn to rally dozens of protesters gathered outside the Edmonds PCC, January 29, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Sir Mix-A-Lot at work in his studio Sept. 8, 2003, in Auburn, Wash.
AP Photo/Jim Bryant

Sir Mix-a-lot was born Anthony Ray in Seattle on August 12, 1963. He was rapping in the early ’80s, and co-founded the Nastymix record label in 1983 with his DJ, Nasty Nes, who also hosted Seattle’s first hip-hop radio show.

Flickr Photo/US Embassy Canada/Steven Okazaki(CC by 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cdXpME

In 1942 when Japanese-American citizens were sent to internment camps, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi (1918 - 2012) openly defied the order.

He turned himself in to the FBI, was convicted for curfew violation and sentenced to 90 days in prison. He challenged the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled against him in Hirabayashi v. United States in 1943.

Flickr photo/Franck Michel(CC by 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/gbreXU

Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for NPR. His droll reflections on America and the world delighted audiences with their humor and insight.

Codrescu spoke to KUOW’s Ross Reynolds in 1994 about his film "Road Scholar" a documentary about driving across America in a red Cadillac, encountering the devastation of Detroit and the remnants of the 1960s hippie culture.  

“America has this uncanny ability to sustain paradox," he said. "In Europe, we’d be tearing ourselves apart.”

NASA

In this 1989 interview, astronaut Buzz Aldrin frankly describes how his unstructured post-NASA life lead to  mental health issues and alcoholism.

LBJ Library (CC by 2.0)

In 1973 as Hank Aaron closed in on breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, he got 900,000 pieces of mail, much of it full of vicious racial hatred.

WTO protests in Seattle, November 30, 1999.
Flickr Photo/Steve Kaiser (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/c6kUo

In 1999 the World Trade Organization held it’s annual ministerial meeting in Seattle. President Clinton and other dignitaries came from around the world that November to advance the cause of free trade agreements.

But many people were skeptical. Street clashes shut down the opening meeting of the WTO ministerial conference on November 30. Here’s what KUOW sounded like on that day.


Author George Saunders.
Ross Reynolds

How do you talk to a Trump supporter? You may not know any Trump supporters. Or if you do, you don’t know how to have a conversation that doesn’t go off the rails.

Writer George Saunders shared some ideas with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.


George Saunders at KUOW 2/28/17
Ross Reynolds

What happens when we die? Writer George Saunders speculates on what happens to Abraham Lincoln’s young son Willie when he dies in his first novel "Lincoln in the Bardo." Most of the book takes place in a cemetery and is described as having the ambience of Hieronymous Bosch and Tim Burton.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
Flickr photo/Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/K52qFP

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler estimates one million people in Washington have received health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.

He told KUOW's Ross Reynolds that without a plan in place from Republicans in Congress, those people could all lose insurance if Obamacare is repealed.


Author Daniel Dawes.
Brigitte Martin Mack

The Affordable Care Act will be seven years old this March if President-elect Trump and the Republican Congress haven't repealed it by then. 

Photos by Joan Marcus

David Byrne, rock star with the Talking Heads and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, knew the stories of Imelda Marcos's thousands of pairs of shoes. But when he wrote a musical play about her life he left out the fact most people know about Marcos. Why did he chose her as the subject of his play?

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