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Michigan Radio Staff

Meet the team at Michigan Radio.
Newsroom & On-Air
  • April Baer is the host of Michigan Radio’s Stateside talk show.
  • April Van Buren is a producer for Stateside. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.
  • Beenish Ahmed is Michigan Radio's Criminal Justice reporter. Since 2016, she has been a reporter for WNYC Public Radio in New York and also a freelance journalist. Her stories have appeared on NPR, as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, VICE and The Daily Beast.
  • Brett joined Michigan Radio in December 2021 as an editor.
  • Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.
  • Caoilinn Goss is the producer for Morning Edition. She started at Michigan Radio during the summer of 2023.
  • Christopher Johnson is married with two daughters. Born and raised in Detroit, he is a floating fill-in host at Michigan Radio.
  • Doug Tribou joined the Michigan Radio staff as the host of Morning Edition in 2016. Doug first moved to Michigan in 2015 when he was awarded a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
  • Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
  • Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
  • Katheryne Friske is the weekend morning host and producer for All Things Considered.
  • Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
  • Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
  • Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
  • Mike Blank is a producer and editor for Stateside.
  • Mike Perini is Michigan Radio's midday host. He started at the station in 1996 as a temporary, fill-in announcer and was made the full-time midday host in 2002.
  • Mercedes Mejia is a producer and the Director of Stateside.
  • Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Radio. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
  • Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Radio in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the Summer of 2020.
  • Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Radio. She also co-hosts Michigan Radio’s weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
  • Rebecca Williams is senior editor in the newsroom, where she edits stories and helps guide news coverage.
  • Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
  • Ronia Cabansag is a producer for Stateside. She comes to Michigan Radio from Eastern Michigan University, where she earned a BS in Media Studies & Journalism and English Linguistics with a minor in Computer Science.
  • Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
  • Sarah Hulett is Michigan Radio’s Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
  • Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
  • Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
  • Tyler Scott is the weekend afternoon host at Michigan Radio, though you can often hear him filling in at other times during the week. Tyler started in radio at age 18, as a board operator at WMLM 1520AM in Alma, Michigan, where he later became host of The Morning Show.
  • Bob began his radio career when he joined Michigan Radio in 1996 as the weekend morning on air host. Due to his experience in Los Angeles as a recording studio installation and maintenance technician, he began splitting his time with the engineering department, and moved into engineering full time when he accepted the position of Chief Engineer.
  • Holli Eaton is Michigan Radio's Director of Corporate Sponsors & Major Gifts/Donor Relations. In this role, she leads two teams that generate revenue and philanthropic support from our generous corporate partners and donors.
  • Jodi is Michigan Radio’s Director of Digital Audiences, leading and developing the station’s overall digital strategy.
  • Laura is Executive Producer of Stateside. She came to Michigan Radio from WDET in Detroit, where she was senior producer on the current events program, Detroit Today.
  • Matt Shafer Powell returned to Michigan Radio in 2022, after working as Director of News Content at WUOT in Knoxville, TN and Chief Content Officer at WFYI in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Steve is Michigan Radio’s Marketing Director. His job involves coordinating the station’s marketing, communication and public relations efforts, special events, car donation program and community & media partnerships.
  • Talisha Reviere-Winston joined Michigan Radio as the Director of Human Resources and Finance in June 2021.
  • Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007.
  • Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio’s Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.
Corporate Sponsorship
  • Carol is a Senior Corporate Sponsorship Consultant. Prior to joining Michigan Radio in 2008, she served as the General Manager of the Urban One radio station group in Detroit. Her career in broadcast spans over decades, one of which was spent in the Boston area.
  • Christa Quinn is a Corporate Support Account Executive at Michigan Radio, and while she is new to radio, she’s no stranger to working in the media.
  • Danielle has been with Michigan Radio since January 2015. As a journalism major in college, Danielle fell in love with public media in general and Michigan Radio in particular.
  • Ellen Perry has been at Michigan Radio since October 2016 as an Account Executive on the Corporate Support team.
  • Jaci Kovala has been at Michigan Radio since May 2019 as an Account Executive on the Corporate Support team.
  • Alison joined Michigan Radio's development team in 2014. She oversees multiple facets of Michigan Radio’s Membership program where she combines her passion for philanthropy and Michigan Radio.
  • Alix is Michigan Radio’s Gift and Donor Administrative Assistant. She began her career in development back in 2016 for the Office of University Development at the University of Michigan.
  • Chenita Anderson is Michigan Radio’s Development Accounts Receivable Clerk Associate.
Business, Marketing & IT
  • Andrea, who joined Michigan Radio in 2007, is the station’s Budget Analyst. She is responsible for the post-award financial duties of our sponsored grants, as well as our monthly accounting and annual budget process.
  • Breanna is the business assistant at Michigan Radio.
  • Cindy Payne is Michigan Radio’s Human Resource Administrator. She is responsible for day to day HR related issues, employment, and assists with the monthly accounts payable and billing processes. Cindy has been at the University of Michigan for 23 years and Michigan Radio for 13.
  • Lynette is Michigan Radio’s receptionist and has been with the station since 2015. She assists with the data entry of gifts, and is listeners first point of contact when they call or visit Michigan Radio. She loves working at the station since it’s like a home away from home. She looks forward to talking with you.
  • Peggy J. Watson is the Operations Manager at Michigan Radio. She began her career at the station in 1983 after graduating from WMU. Peggy is proud to work for a network whose mission is to create a more informed public.
  • Rusty has been working with computers since the 1980's when data was stored on audio tapes and a computers weighed more than a boat anchor. He's delighted now that computing devices weight only a few ounces and data storage has moved into the cloud.
  • Suzanne Belanger is a Marketing Associate at Michigan Radio, coordinating community and media partnerships, public relations, special events, and more. She started working in radio when she was 14 years old at her hometown station in Delphos, Ohio. Throughout her radio career, she’s worked at a number of stations in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.
  • It has been my duty to maintain the broadcast transmission equipment and systems at our three transmitter sites in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Flint. Including my time at the station, I have a total of more than 28 years of broadcast experience in both radio and TV in both small and major markets.
  • Anne Curzan is the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. She also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Education.
  • Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganRadio.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
  • John U. Bacon has worked nearly three decades as a writer, a public speaker, and a college instructor, winning awards for all three.