Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg, covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia.
The former news director of WBEZ/ Chicago Public Radio and WHYY in Philadelphia, she led award-winning news teams and creative projects. Early in her career, she was the Humanities Reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, and also served as a tape editor on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
Robbie worked at New Jersey Public Television and WCAU/CBS TV in Philadelphia while she pursued her Master's Degree at the University of Pennsylvania. During college, she was a Page at Saturday Night Live in New York and a reporter and program host for Cross Country Cable Television in Somerville, NJ. Robbie also worked at the Rutgers College Radio Station, WRSU and was part of the team which founded "Knight Time Television" at the university.
Connie began working at WVTF in 1990, after contributing to the news department via Virginia News Network. She later moved to television news, as a reporter and anchor at WDBJ. She then joined the faculty at Radford University, where she taught media studies for several years.
Connie holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Hollins University.
Kevin Sanders is on our announcing staff performing a variety of chores from filling in on Morning and Afternoon classics on WVTF to substituting as the afternoon/evening host on WVTF/RADIO IQ news programming.
Bill Thomas hosts "Swingin' Sunday Night" and fills in for our jazz host Charlie Perkinson weekdays on WVTF. Bill also does voice-over work and his voice is heard on radio and television commercials around the country. Consistent with our music program hosts, Bill also plays a musical instrument (bass guitar).
Kinney Rorrer brings his extensive knowledge of blue grass and old-time music to the airwaves each Sunday afternoon when he hosts "Back to the Blue Ridge on WVTF.
He retired from teaching Western Civilization, U.S. History, Military History of the American Civil War and Local History from Danville Community College. He has also conducted study-tours to Europe for DCC students taking well over 100 students to various countries in Western Europe during the last eleven years.
He has been in love with old-time and bluegrass music since childhood. His father, a native of Franklin County, played old-time fiddle on occasion and his younger brother played guitar. His father's uncles were professional old-time musicians who made commercial recordings in the 1920's. Kinney recalls, "We had some of their old 78's that I would play on the Victrola and I was absolutely captivated by the sound. I learned to play old-time banjo as a teenager and I have been involved with the music one way or another ever since."
Combining his love of history and music, he has conducted numerous workshops on old-time music at The University of Chicago Folk Festival The Alaska Folk Festival (Juneau) Augusta Heritage Center (Davis and Elkins College-Elkins, West Virginia) Festival of American Fiddle Tunes at Port Townsend, Washington Minnesota Folk Festival, Berea Old-Time Music Festival-Berea, Kentucky. He has written liner notes on old-time music for various record companies and articles for "The Journal of Country Music and Old-Time Music." His biography of pioneer old-time musician Charlie Poole, "Rambling Blues The Life And Songs of Charlie Poole," was published in London, England in 1982, and is still in print. In 1999, he wrote the entry on Charlie Poole for the Country Music Foundation's Encyclopedia of Country Music. He has co-hosted two different bluegrass and old-time music radio shows in the Danville area over the past 20 years. He also serves as the Vice President for Public Relations for the Dan River Region Bluegrass Music Association.
Kinney also is featured in the book, "Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument," by Allen St. John.
Jeff Hunt is our weekend morning announcer and weekday substitute host on a variety of programs.
Jeff's broadcasting career covers five decades at stations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. His is a familiar voice to many long time WVTF listeners having been the host of the station’s night programming for more than a dozen years starting in 1985.
Jeff left WVTF to become program manager for Wisdom Radio, a Bluefield (WV) based talk network promoting healthy living, social consciousness and spiritual growth.
Jeff re-joined the WVTF/RADIO IQ family in 2008 to host music and news programming.
Sandy Hausman joined our news team in 2008 after honing her radio skills in Chicago. Since then, she's won several national awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Radio, Television and Digital News Association and the Public Radio News Directors' Association.
Sandy has reported extensively on issues of concern to Virginians, traveling as far afield as Panama, Ecuador, Indonesia and Hong Kong for stories on how expansion of the Panama Canal will effect the Port of Virginia, what Virginians are doing to protect the Galapagos Islands, why a Virginia-based company is destroying the rainforest and how Virginia wines are selling in Asia.
She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan.
Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer on the Arts Desk of NPR News.
On a daily basis, she produces, edits and reports arts and cultural segments that air on NPR News magazines including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her recent stories explored the rise of public humiliation in popular culture, consumers' changing media habits and the intersection of the arts and education.
In this position that she has held since 2003, Blair's varied work has included profiles of actor Neil Patrick Harris, rapper K'Naan, and the band Pearl Jam. She has written and produced long-form documentaries on such cultural icons as Paul Robeson and Billie Holiday. Blair oversaw the production of some of NPR's most popular special projects including "50 Great Voices," the NPR series on awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time in, and the "In Character" series which explored famous American fictional characters.
Over the years, Blair has received several honors for her work including two Peabody Awards and a Gracie.
For three and a half years, Blair lived in Paris, France, where she co-produced Le Jazz Club From Paris with Dee Dee Bridgewater, and the monthly magazine Postcard From Paris.
David Welna is NPR's congressional correspondent.
Serving in this role since the final days of the Clinton administration and primarily following the Senate, Welna reports on many issues he covered earlier in his career reporting both inside and outside of the United States. In addition he's covered the September 11, 2001 attacks, the wars that followed, and the economic downturn and recession. Prior to this position, Welna covered the 2000 presidential election and the post-election vote count battle in Florida.
In mid-1998, after 15 years of reporting from abroad for NPR, Welna joined NPR's Chicago bureau. During that posting, he reported on a wide range of issues: changes in Midwestern agriculture that are putting pressures on small farmers, how foreign conflicts and economic crises affect people in the heartland, and efforts to improve public education. His background in Latin America informed his coverage of the saga of Elian Gonzalez both in Miami and Cuba.
Welna first filed stories for NPR as a freelancer in 1982, based in Buenos Aires. From there, and subsequently from Rio de Janeiro, he covered events throughout South America. In 1995, Welna became the chief of NPR's Mexico bureau.
Additionally, he has reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Financial Times, and The Times of London. Welna's photography has appeared in Esquire, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Covering a wide range of stories in Latin America, Welna chronicled the wrenching 1985 trial of Argentina's former military leaders who presided over the disappearance of tens of thousands of suspected dissidents. In Brazil, he visited a town in Sao Paulo state called Americana where former slaveholders from America relocated after the Civil War. Welna covered the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the mass exodus of Cubans who fled the island on rafts in 1994, the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, and the US intervention in Haiti to restore Jean Bertrand Aristide to Haiti's presidency.
Welna was honored with the 2011 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress, given by the National Press Foundation. In 1995, Welna he was awarded an Overseas Press Club award for his coverage of Haiti. During that same year he was chosen by the Latin American Studies Association to receive their annual award for distinguished coverage of Latin America. Welna was awarded a 1997 Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In 2002, Welna was elected by his colleagues to a two-year term as a member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio-Television Correspondents' Galleries.
A native of Minnesota, Welna graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, with a Bachelor of Arts and distinction in Latin American Studies. He speaks fluent Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Since 1922, the BBC World Service has been the globe's most comprehensive source for news. No other news source has a network of international correspondents, reporters and producers to rival BBC. When news breaks — anywhere, anytime — BBC is there.
BBC is far more than just breaking news, though. It offers a wide variety of information programming, including programs on arts, sports, science and business.