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

"An inadequate budget has state continuing to sink to the bottom." "Legislature cuts budgets for all, except the Legislature." Such have been two recent headlines for editorials appearing in the Tulsa World. On this edition of ST, we look back at the recently completed -- and widely criticized -- Oklahoma Legislative Session, a contentious affair that saw lawmakers cutting spending as well as tax credits, and struggling to find new revenue amid an unprecedented $1.3 billion budget shortfall.

(Note: This show originally aired back in November.) We speak with the author and journalist John Sedgwick, whose many books range from a psychological thriller, "The Dark House," to a multi-generational family memoir, "In My Blood." He joins us to talk about his newest book, a work of popular history entitled "War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation." Interestingly, Sedgwick has an ancestor who actually knew both Hamilton and Burr quite well, and it was his own research into the life and work of that ancestor which first led Sedgwick to think of wri

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) We chat with Kevin Hazzard, a California-based writer who formerly worked as a paramedic. Indeed, he has a compelling new book out that details his adventures in the EMS trade, and that book is the focus of our discussion: "A Thousand Naked Strangers" was published last month by Scribner.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Ariel Waldman, a San Francisco-based writer and science advocate who is a fellow at the Institute for the Future, a National Academy of Sciences committee member, and the founder of Spacehack.org (which is a directory of ways to participate in space exploration). Waldman joins us to talk about her new book: "What's It Like in Space? Stories from Astronauts Who've Been There." It's a fun-to-read collection -- written for parents and kids alike -- that gathers eyewitness stories from dozens of international astronauts.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we welcome Ann Patton back to our show. Patton is known locally for the many years she spent in Tulsa as an author, journalist, and activist; she now lives in Florida. She stops by our KWGS studios to tell us about her latest book, which is called "Unmasked!

On this edition of ST, an interesting discussion with Rana Foroohar, who is CNN's Global Economic Analyst and an Assistant Managing Editor at Time Magazine. She joins us by phone to talk about her new book, "Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business." As David Sax of Bloomberg Businessweek has noted of this widely acclaimed volume: "Three years ago, your can of Coke suddenly cost a few pennies more. The culprits? The clever bankers at Goldman Sachs.

(Note: This show first aired back in February.) On this edition of ST, we're discussing an interesting literary biography called "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World." Our guest is the author, William Egginton, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a Professor of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the Johns Hopkins University. As was noted of this compelling study in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Egginton weaves together Cervantes's life story with his development as a writer.

In a budget year with a predicted $1.3 billion shortfall, today is a major day in the Oklahoma Legislature; it's the last day (ostensibly) during which the state legislature can consider revenue bills. So far, very few bills have passed that have narrowed the budget gap...and time, of course, is seriously running out at this point. So, what is going through the minds of state lawmakers today? We put this question to Steve Lewis, who joins us by phone from the State Capitol Building.

There are six waterways in eastern Oklahoma that are considered so environmentally and economically significant they're given special consideration and protection from the state. These so-called Scenic Rivers were profiled in a special half-hour radio doc created by StateImpact reporters Joe Wertz and Logan Layden in 2014. This doc was originally aired as a four-part radio series, and we are pleased to re-broadcast it today on StudioTulsa.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a locally-rooted socio-economic and educational project called Growing Togther. It's a nonprofit that works to bring meaningful and lasting change to two different Tulsa neighborhoods marked by concentrated areas of poverty, Eugene Field and Kendall-Whittier. Our guest is Kirk Wester, executive director of Growing Together.

So many attractive and impressive old buildings -- in downtown Tulsa and across this state -- would still be gathering dust, housing pigeons, and contributing even less economically without the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program. Indeed, HTC projects have injected $163 million in private investment into the City of Tulsa alone since 2000. On this edition of ST, we speak in detail about the positive economic influence that historic preservation tax credits have had (and are still having) in our city and throughout the Sooner State.

We speak with Susan Cain, who ignited a national conversation a few years ago with her widely celebrated nonfiction book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." This book challenged how we see introverts -- and how introverts see themselves -- and was mainly focused on the workplace. But now, as we learn on today's ST, Cain is back with a new book, which is aimed at kids and their experiences in the classroom.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about "Mothers and Sons," a play by Terrence McNally which originally opened on Broadway in 2014, and which opens tonight (Friday the 13th) at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. It's a tragic yet often amusing depiction of an older woman from Dallas who pays an unexpected visit to the New York City apartment of her late son's partner, who is now married to another man.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a fascinating new documentary film depicting the rise and fall of E.W. Marland, the legendary -- and often controversial, and always colorful -- Oklahoma oilman who was also the state's 10th governor. "High Stakes: The Life and Times of E.W. Marland," shot on location in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is the newest creation of co-producers Steve Herrin and Scott Swearingen, who have also made docs about Woody Guthrie, Thomas Gilcrease, and Willard Stone.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Wayne Greene, the editorial pages editor at the Tulsa World. As noted at the World's website, Greene is a "fourth-generation Oklahoman in his third decade with the [newspaper]. As a reporter he covered several bank failures, one prison riot, three executions, and every aspect of state government during four years at the World's state capitol bureau. He became the World's city editor on April 1, 1995, and served in that post for nearly 13 years.

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of our show, we speak with the British economist Caroline Webb, who also works as a management consultant and executive coach; she is a former partner at McKinsey and Company, and she now has her own consulting firm, Sevenshift, which helps clients be more productive, inspired, and effective at work.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is author Andrew Solomon, winner of the National Book Award and National Books Critics' Circle Award, whose past books include "Far From the Tree" and "The Noonday Demon." He speaks with us about latest volume, a collection of essays entitled "Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change, Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years." It's a book that chronicles Solomon's stint in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union; his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban; h

Tonight (Friday the 6th, at 7:30pm) and Sunday afternoon (the 8th, at 2:30pm), Tulsa Opera will present "a grand opera of biblical proportions" -- namely, Camille Saint-Saëns' "Samson and Delilah," in which Samson seeks to free his Hebrew kinsmen from the bondage of their Philistine oppressors, although the alluring and seductive Delilah has other plans.... Our guest today on ST is the legendary bass, Samuel Ramey, who's been an internationally known opera singer for decades -- and who's appearing in this production as the Old Hebrew.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome back to our show Marcello Angelini, the longtime artistic director of Tulsa Ballet, who tells us about the company's latest production. It's a three-part evening -- entitled "Signature Series" -- that features some of Angelini's favorite ballets: "Serenade" by George Balanchine (music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky), "Remansos" by Nacho Duato (music by Enrique Granados), and "Infra" by Wayne McGregor (music by Max Richter).

Tomorrow night, Thursday the 5th, the Tulsa Council for Holocaust Education and Tulsa City-County Library (or TCCL) will jointly present the 19th Annual Yom HaShoah, which is an Interfaith Holocaust Commemoration happening at Temple Israel (near Utica Square in Tulsa). It's free to the public and begins at 7pm; the theme for this year's gathering is "Close to Evil." The keynote speaker at this special event will be Tomi Reichental, who is our guest today on StudioTulsa.

(Please note: This show first aired last November.) Our guest on this edition of ST is Gaia Vince, a British journalist and broadcaster specializing in science and the environment. She's been the editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature, and the online editor of New Scientist, and she joins us to discuss her latest book: "Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made." The so-called Anthropocene -- or the Age of Man -- has brought, of course, widespread and dramatic change to the face of the earth.

(Note: This interview first aired back in December.) Not only are we learning more and more about the brain these days -- in ways various, surprising, and remarkable -- but we're also learning more and more about traumatic brain injury (or TBI). Our guest is Dr. Sandeep Vaishnavi, the director of the Neuropsychiatric Clinic at Carolina Partners, who's also a neuropsychiatrist at the Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center. Dr.

(Note: This interview originally aired in July of last year.) On this presentation of ST, we chat with Joe Randazzo, a former editor of The Onion and former creative director of adultswim.com who now writes for the Comedy Central program called @midnight.

(Note: This show originally aired back in January.) On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we speak with Mark Edwards, the co-founder of Upstream USA, a newly formed nonprofit that aims to, per its website, "change healthcare so that all women receive the highest quality services and can conveniently access the full range of contraceptive methods, including IUDs and the implant.... Upstream USA's mission is to change contraceptive counseling and care in health centers so that clients have easy access to the best contraceptive methods.

(Note: This program originally aired in June of last year.) On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with Thomas Fleming, a prolific historian and historical novelist who has contributed articles to American Heritage, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and other magazines -- and who has written more than 50 books.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with two University of Tulsa faculty members about an exciting Woody Guthrie symposium -- entitled "Standing at the Crossroads of American Cultural Life" -- that will happen at TU's Lorton Performance Center on Saturday the 30th. Our guests are Dr. Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English, and Dr. Brian Hosmer, the Barnard Associate Professor of Western American History.

On this installment of ST, we meet a young Oklahoma filmmaker named Taylor Mullins, who tells us about his new documentary, "Oklahoma Shakedown." As the controversy continues over whether waste-water disposal is playing a role in our state's alarming rise of seismic activity, this film profiles various Oklahoma geologists and residential property owners who have decided to take action to stop these incessant quakes.

On this edition of ST, we present an interesting chat with the noted American composer and conductor Michael Daugherty, whose musical works seem to delight in the wide range of American pop culture; he's thus created classical/pop crossover compositions inspired by (to name but a few) Jackie O, Elvis, and Superman.

On our show today, a conversation with Micah Fitzerman-Blue, a writer and producer now living in Los Angeles who grew up in Tulsa and attended Holland Hall School (and later, Harvard University). He's probably best known as a writer and producer for the award-winning Amazon television show, "Transparent," starring Jeffrey Tambor and Gaby Hoffmann -- and his first feature film, "The Motel Life," appeared in 2013 and starred Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, and Kris Kristopherson, winning both Best Screenplay and the Audience Award at the Rome Film Festival.

On this installment of ST, we listen back to great discussion from May of last year, when we spoke with Steve Inskeep, co-host of National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

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