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

(Note: This interview originally aired last summer.) Our guest is the author and former journalist Rinker Buck, whose book, "Flight of Passage," was praised by The New Yorker as "a funny, cocky gem." Buck's latest book, which he talks with us about, is "The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey." In this bestselling work, the author and his brother travel the original trail -- over some 2,000 miles -- from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Baker City, Oregon. It's a journey made by mule-pulled wagon, no less -- like the pioneers did, a century ago -- and it lasts four months.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with John Kael Weston, who represented the United States for more than a decade as a State Department official. Weston has a new book out -- part memoir, part critique, part military history, and part geo-political reportage -- which he discusses with us today. It's called  "The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan." As was noted by The Washington Post: "As a former Foreign Service officer, Weston is perfectly positioned to provide a different perspective on these wars' sometimes-particular complexities....

On this edition of ST, we speak with the widely acclaimed science writer, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, who is best known for his landmark book about cancer, "The Emperor of All Maladies." He has a new book out, "The Gene," which he discusses with us today. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "Mukherjee deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown. He offers insight into both the scientific process and the sociology of science....

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Corey Williams, the executive director of Sustainable Tulsa, a well-regarded local nonprofit that's been encouraging area businesses and individuals to embrace sustainability for nearly a decade. Williams tells us about her organization's "Triple Bottom Line ScoreCard," which has just completed its pilot (or developmental) phase...and which will begin its first full-year term as a Sustainable Tulsa program in the fall. The "triple bottom line," in this case, refers to People, Profit, and Planet.

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, we speak with Dr. Abraham M. Nussbaum, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who also directs the Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Service at Denver Health.

(Note: This show originally aired back in January.) Our guest on ST is Edward B. Foley, the Ebersold Chair in Law and Director of Election Law at the Ohio State University School of Law. Professor Foley tells us about his new book, "Ballot Battles: A History of Disputed Elections in the U.S." As was noted of this title by Tamara Keith, a correspondent for NPR News: "It's hard not to feel outrage and a little dread reading Edward Foley's retelling of ballot battles dating back to the nation's founding.

One of the more closely watched electoral races coming up in the June 28th primary is the surprising campaign for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District. In this race, incumbent Congressman Jim Bridenstine seeks what he says is his "final term." But Tulsa oilman Tom Atkinson has challenged the incumbent in a very competitive race. 

There's been a huge explosion in the popularity of barbecue and smoked foods, and our guest on this episode of StudioTulsa says you can smoke nearly anything -- from eggs and cheeses to desserts and cocktails. Steven Raichlen is the bestselling author of "The Barbecue Bible," and his latest public television series (and new companion book) moves beyond BBQ to a variety of smoking techniques. "Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana" offers tips on equipment and techniques, and an assortment of recipes far beyond the usual meats, poultry, and seafood.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with University of Tulsa theatre professor Machele Miller Dill, who has written what she calls "a play with original music." "The Lowdown Dusty Blues" features songwriter and actor Chris Jett as a journeyman blues singer, whose life and muse have been molded by the Dust Bowl, and by the death of his father to a dust storm. The one-act piece tells the story through a series of scenes all set on April 13th, the character's birthday and the anniversary of his father's death.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, guest host Dr. John Schumann speaks with The Oklahoman's medical and health reporter, Jaclyn Cosgrove, a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship in Mental Health Journalism. Her project for the fellowship is focused on low-income, uninsured Oklahomans who are diagnosed with mental illness and substance use disorders.

On today's installment of StudioTulsa, we offer a discussion with Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum, who is running for mayor. (Tulsa's mayoral elction will occur on June 28th; we spoke with Mayor Bartlett, who is also running, on yesterday's program.) Bynum was elected to the Tulsa City Council in 2008; he still serves on the Council, representing District 9. As noted at the G.T.

On this edition of ST, we offer a discussion with Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett. Mayor Bartlett is running for re-election to a third term as our city's mayor; the election will happen on Tuesday, June 28th. (On tomorrow's StudioTulsa -- that is, Friday the 17th -- we will feature an interview with Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum, who is also running for mayor.) As noted at the Bartlett campaign's website: "Dewey Bartlett has devoted his life to creating jobs, promoting the energy industry, and working on transportation issues.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank, as it's commonly known, is the largest private hunger-relief organization in eastern Oklahoma. It's been around since 1981. As noted at this nonprofit's website: "Our vision is food security, with dignity, for all eastern Oklahomans.... With locations in Tulsa and McAlester, we provide food and other donated goods to 450 Partner Programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Alison Moritz, a rising young star on the contemporary American opera scene. Moritz is currently in town to stage-direct the Tulsa Youth Opera production of "The Hobbit," which will happen at the Tulsa PAC this weekend (on both the 18th and 19th).

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, an interesting chat with Katie Plohocky, who is one of the founders of the locally based Healthy Community Store Initiative. This organization, as noted at its tulsarealgoodfood.org website, was formed "to address the food desert problem in Tulsa, Oklahoma....

As noted in a 2014 article by Robert Kaplan in Forbes Magazine: "Geopolitics is the battle for space and power played out in a geographical setting. Just as there are military geopolitics, diplomatic geopolitics, and economic geopolitics, there is also energy geopolitics. For natural resources and the trade routes that bring those resources to consumers are central to the study of geography. Every international order in early modern and modern history is based on an energy resource.

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." Or so goes the old saying. But what do we really mean by this? And how does "showing up" in life -- or, if you prefer, exhibiting "perseverance" -- relate to things like intellect, talent, tenacity, drive, discipline, and so on? On this installment of ST, our guest is Dr. Angela Duckworth, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania who has advised the White House, the World Bank, and both NBA and NFL teams.

On this edition of ST, we welcome back to our studios Catherine Whitney, the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. Philbrook is offering a fascinating new show -- on view through August 28th -- entitled "A Place in the Sun: The Southwest Paintings of Walter Ufer and E.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Lawrence Aber, the Willner Family Professor of Psychology and Public Policy at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, where he is also a University Professor. Dr. Aber is an internationally respected expert on child development, poverty, psychology, and how all of these relate to social policy.

On this inaugural edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, an interesting discussion of the "family memories" that we as human beings carry in our very genes. Guest host John Schumann speaks with Mark Wolynn, the director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco, where he trains clinicians and treats people struggling with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive thoughts, self-injury, chronic pain, and illness.

Attention, flower- and plant-lovers! On this installment of ST, we speak with local gardening expert Barry Fugatt, who is also the resident horticulturist at the Tulsa Garden Center as well as the director of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden. (Both facilities are based at Woodward Park here in Tulsa.) As Fugatt tells us today, the Linnaeus Teaching Garden -- named for Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist and so-called "father of botany" -- will celebrate its tenth anniversary tomorrow (Saturday the 4th) with a special day of open-to-the-public activities.

On this edition of ST, we speak with A.O. Scott, chief film critic at The New York Times. Scott has a new book out; it's called "Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth." As was noted of this work in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "This stunning treatise on criticism from...Scott is a complete success, comprehensively demonstrating the value of his art.

In the pre-9/11 past, threats to international security could usually be attributed to this or that "dangerous" or "unstable" nation-state. Today, however, such threats are quite often attributed not to nation-states, but to "non-state actors" like Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, or the Islamic State (IS). We're speaking about this dramatic shift in thinking -- and in action, and in policy -- with Dr. Dan Caldwell, a professor of political science at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College. Dr.

"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.

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