Rich Fisher

General Manager & host of StudioTulsa

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government.  Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.  

In addition, Rich is an active musician. He’s currently the principal trombonist of the Signature Symphony at TCC, leads the Starlight Jazz Orchestra, and is a free-lance musician whose work ranges from the pit of touring Broadway musicals, to the salsa band, Grupo Salsabor.

Ways to Connect

On today's StudioTulsa, which is a re-broadcast of a program that first aired back in January, we speak with Clay Johnson about his interesting new book, "The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption." Everyone knows that many of us --- perhaps most of us --- seem obsessed with information these days. We incessantly check our favorite websites, texts, instant messages, emails, downloads, videos, status updates, tweets, etc.

Dear Friend,

Many thanks for your continued support of Public Radio Tulsa. When I became manager back in 1999, I set out five major goals for public radio in Tulsa. The first was to replace our physical plant. We had a transmitter that was as old as me, and went off-the-air at the drop of a hat. Thanks to you and a few very generous donors, within a couple of years we were able to make our broadcasting facilities state of the art.

A century ago, women could not own property or vote. Today, women are the primary wage earners in about 40% of American households, and are poised to be a majority within twenty years if current trends continue. Washington Post staff writer Liza Mundy calls it "The Big Flip" and examines this huge cultural shift and its impact on gender roles, relationships, and social dynamics.

On today's show, we meet Bill Courtney, volunteer football coach of the impoverished North Memphis Manassas High School Tigers, and subject of the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary, "Undefeated." Filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin followed the coach and team through the 2009 season which found them on the verge of winning their first high school playoff game ever.

On today's edition of our show, we speak by phone with Lawrence Lessig, who is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School and the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.  A widely respected legal scholar and political activist, Lessig is known for his efforts to promote reduced legal restrictions on copyright as well as trademark laws --- particularly as these relate to the Internet and to other technology-based applications --- and for his sharp criticism of how Big Money has profoundly corrupted American politics.

On today's show, we hear from Susan Barrett, an associate professor in the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre. Barrett is directing a new production of the Tony Award-winning musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone," which opened on Broadway in 2006. As Barrett tells us, this funny and terrifically fun-to-watch musical actually began as a spoof --- written for a wedding reception --- of old-time musicals . . . and of the out-dated styles, politically incorrect jokes, and wonderful, jazzy tunes that tend to define such musicals.

On today's program, we speak with Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard, who --- like every other school system administrator across Oklahoma --- is working hard to deal with the new reality of reduced state expenditures for education. Indeed, such aid is now lower than it was four years ago. Less and less money for schools, teachers, classrooms, and textbooks means more and more to be alarmed about, according to Dr.

On today's show, a discussion of the nascent but rapidly growing "D.I.Y. fabrication movement" occurring in America today. Our guest is Dale Dougherty, the founder/publisher of Make Magazine (see --- and one of the leading voices in this movement. Our own Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa, which just opened for business a few months ago (and which is one of only 100 or so fab labs worldwide), is hosting the 2012 US Fab Lab Symposium here in T-Town, from April 10th through the 12th.

"What Teachers Make"

Apr 6, 2012

On today's show, we speak by phone with the noted performance poet, former middle-school teacher, and current teachers' advocate Taylor Mali. His new book --- "What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World" --- is based on a poem that he wrote several years ago, a spirited and encouraging defense of the teaching profession that has, by now, been seen and forwarded millions of times on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and elsewhere. It's a poem that gave heart to an entire movement --- and in this book we get the story of what drove Mali to compose that poem in the first place.

On our show today, which first aired last year, we explore an epic series of political struggles, leadership battles, and strategic deals and double-crossings --- not in Washington, DC; nor in the underworld of organized crime; but in the ancient world. Our guest is James Romm, a professor of Greek language, literature, and history at Bard College.

On today's StudioTulsa, we look back on the award-winning career of TV journalist Bob Brown, who earned a BS at the University of Tulsa in 1968. Brown held radio and television positions in Tulsa, Houston, and Dallas before joining ABC News in New York in 1977. In 1980, he was assigned to the staff of a then-new program called 20/20, where he would remain for the next thirty years. At his retirement in 2009, Brown had been honored with six Emmy awards, the Investigative Reporters Award, and the prestigious Alfred I.

On today's show, we speak with Joshua Piker, an associate professor of history at the University of Oklahoma. Prof. Piker will give the 2012 Cadenhead-Settle Memorial Lecture, which is presented annually by the TU Department of History, on Thursday of this week (the 5th) at 6pm at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. His lecture is entitled, "The Four Deaths of Acorn Whistler: Telling Stories on the Colonial American Frontier," and it's based on a book that Prof. Piker is just now completing.

Today on ST, we chat with Paul Chihara (born 1938 in Seattle), a film and TV composer who's been active in Hollywood since the 1970s. Interestingly, Chihara is also a well-respected and prolific composer of classical music --- from avant-garde works to mainstream, highly melodic pieces; from symphonies and concertos to chamber music, choral compositions, and ballets --- and he's still, today, writing music for noted orchestras throughout the country.

Should we --- could we --- really do away with the personal income tax here in Oklahoma? The State Legislature is now considering various proposals to reduce and/or eliminate the state's personal income tax; these proposals are largely based on a study prepared for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs by economist (and former Reagan administration economic advisor) Arthur Laffer and his colleagues. But what if this study is, in fact, bogus? That's the claim now being made by a number of well-respected economists across the state.

Today on our program we speak by phone with Michelle Dammon Loyalka, a freelance journalist and editor, who's just put out a new book (from the University of California Press) called "Eating Bitterness: Stories from the Front Lines of China's Great Urban Migration." Praised in Publishers Weekly as "a thorough and insightful examination of the gritty, arduous side of the Chinese economic miracle," this book profiles eight different migrant peasants in contemporary China --- an impossibly vast and rapidly changing country where, each year, some 200 million such migrants travel from the countr

Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera


Airs Saturday, March 31st at Noon on Classical 88.7-1

On today's show, we speak with Dr. Laurence Smith, a professor of geography at UCLA, about his much-discussed book, "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future," which first appeared in 2010 (and which The Wall Street Journal called "lively and impressive...[and] among the first in what promises to be an important publishing category, the explication of how the human landscape will be altered by artificially triggered climate change"). Dr.

On our show today, we speak with the accomplished and award-winning teacher and educational theorist who coined the term "culturally responsive pedagogy" --- Gloria Ladson-Billings --- who is the Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On today's show, we chat with Dr. John Henning Schumann, a writer, internist, and medical educator at the University of Oklahoma's School of Community Medicine here in Tulsa. Earlier this month, Dr. Schumann wrote an article for The Atlantic entitled "The Doctor Is Out: Young Talent Is Turning Away From Primary Care" (which you can view here). As Dr. Schumann notes in this piece: "It's no secret that there's a looming crisis in primary care.

On today's program, which revisits an interview that we originally aired in September of last year, we hear from the veteran author, critic, and scholar Andrew Delbanco, who is the Chair of American Studies at Columbia University as well as a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New Republic.

On today's show, which originally aired late last year, we speak with Keith Recker, the co-author of an interesting and visually striking new book called "Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color." Pantone, LLC, is known and referred to worldwide for its color systems, which are routinely used in digital and print publishing, fashion, plastics, architecture, interiors, paints, and so on. Indeed, Pantone's colors are seen as the universal language for accurate color communication --- and in this book, we're presented with the cultural history of 20th-century America in terms of these colors.

On today's program, which first aired last fall, we hear from the longtime New Yorker Magazine writer and bestselling author Ian Frazier, whose latest book (now in paperback) is "Travels in Siberia," which the San Francisco Chronicle has called "a masterpiece of nonfiction writing --- tragic, bizarre, and funny." Further, as one critic of this book has noted in The New York Times Book Review: "['Travels in Siberia' is] an uproarious, sometimes dark yarn filled with dubious meals, broken-down vehicles, abandoned slave-labor camps, and ubiquitous statues of Lenin --- 'On the Road' meets 'The

On today's program, an encore broadcast of a show that first aired back in November, we hear from Kristen Oertel, who holds the Barnard Chair in 19th-Century American History here at the University of Tulsa. Oertel has co-written a new and award-winning book (just out from the University Press of Kansas) called "Frontier Feminist: Clarina Howard Nichols and the Politics of Motherhood." It's a remarkable biography of a little-remembered yet vitally important American woman who meaningfully participated in several of the crucial social/political movements of her time.

On today's StudioTulsa, we listen back to an interview that first aired in November. At that time, we spoke with Lark Mason, an Asian art expert and longtime appraiser for "Antiques Roadshow," the popular public television program. Earlier last year, during an "Antiques Roadshow" taping here in Tulsa in July, Mason had valued a set of five 17th-century Chinese rhinoceros horn cups --- the property of Tulsa resident Doug Huber, who started collecting them in 1969 while on vacation in England (and who spent about $5,000 on acquiring them, over the years) --- at $1 to $1.5 million.

On our show today, we visit with John M. Henshaw, the Harry H. Rogers Professor of Mechanical Engineering and chair of the Department of Engineering here at the University of Tulsa. Professor Henshaw's new book, just out from Johns Hopkins University Press, is "A Tour of the Senses: How Your Brain Interprets the World." This book offers an engaging and accessible (yet also scholarly and up-to-the-minute) consideration of the five senses --- taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing --- and, moreover, of how these senses influence and affect one another.

The Tulsa PAC @ 35

Mar 15, 2012

Thirty-five years ago, in March of 1977, in the heart of downtown, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center first opened its doors --- and Ella Fitzgerald, backed by the Tulsa Philharmonic, offered this beloved venue's debut performance. Built with a combination of public and private funds, following a 1973 bond issue, the Tulsa PAC is owned and operated by the City of Tulsa; it remains a leading arts/cultural/performance space for Tulsans of all ages and backgrounds.

Beatriz Schiller/Met Opera

Hear Mussorgsky's sweeping epic, set during the reign of Peter the Great, which is back on the Met stage for the first time in more than a decade, in a revival that is "blazingly sung, acted with conviction and conducted with intensity by Kirill Petrenko" (New York Times). The all-star Russian cast includes Olga Borodina, Ildar Abdrazakov, Anatoli Kotscherga, George Gagnidze, Misha Didyk, and Vladimir Galouzine. 


Saturday at 11am on KWTU 88.7-1

Ever felt like quitting the whole earning-and-buying rat race? Ever wondered what it'd be like to live without a wallet, a car, a mortgage, or even a roof over your head?

Today we're speaking about the intersection of law and politics at the highest levels of American society --- which is to say, we're discussing the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court, both then and now --- and our guest is a highly regarded expert in this regard, Professor Martin Shapiro of the UC-Berkeley School of Law. Prof. Shapiro gave two free-to-the-public lectures here at TU last week, when he spoke as a part of the TU College of Law's 2012 Lectureship in Politics and Law.