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 celebrated 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

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 14th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will present a special gala concert at the Tulsa PAC (beginning at 8pm). The guest artist will be the world-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who will play Samuel Barber's soulful and lyrical Violin Concerto. Also on the program will be Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and Mussorgsky/Ravel's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Our guest on StudioTulsa is the TSO's Principal Guest Conductor, Daniel Hege, who will lead the orchestra.

Our guest on ST is James Poniewozik, the chief TV critic at The New York Times. He joins us to discuss his widely hailed new book, "Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America." As was noted of this incisive work of cultural criticism and American history in the pages of Bookforum: "The smartest, most original, most unexpectedly definitive account of the rise of Trump and Trumpism we've had so far.

Our guest is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director at Tulsa Ballet. The company continues its current season with "Creations in Studio K," an exciting, three-part presentation happening September 12th through the 22nd at the Studio K @ Tulsa Ballet space (on East 45th Place near Peoria Avenue).

Our guest is the journalist Sarah Smarsh, whose book, "Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth," is now out in paperback. It's a far-reaching account of her coming of age in smalltown Kansas that sharply explores matters of poverty, class, family, income inequality, Midwestern values, personal ambition, faith, womanhood, and other key social and economic concerns.

On this edition of our show, we are discussing adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) in Oklahoma. Specifically, we're talking about an in-depth series of articles about ACEs that ran in the Tulsa World earlier this summer. Our guests are Dr. Kim Coon, a Professor and the Director of Psychotherapy Education in the Department of Psychiatry at the OU-Tulsa School Of Community Medicine, and Ginnie Graham, a columnist with the World. Dr.

(Note: This show first aired back in July.) Our guest is Russell Gold, who has reported on energy regularly in The Wall Street Journal since 2002; his coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was honored with a Gerald Loeb Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Gold joins us to discuss his book, "Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy." This book profiles Michael Skelly, an infrastructure builder who began working on wind energy in 2000, back when many people considered the entire wind-power industry a joke.

Our guest is Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, who is also a former columnist for BusinessWeek, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He joins us to discuss his new book, which argues that the 2020 presidential election will determine the very survival of American democracy. To restore popular faith in government -- and win the election -- Kuttner maintains that Democrats must nominate and elect an economic progressive. "The Stakes" explains how the failure of our economy to serve ordinary Americans effectively paved the way for a demagogic president.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is the University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell, who will give a free-with-museum-admission talk this coming Sunday afternoon (the 8th) at Gilcrease titled "HAMILTON: How the Musical Remixes American History." Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical, which is now playing at the Tulsa PAC, is surely among the most popular works to hit Broadway in recent memory...but how, well, historically accurate is it?

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the British scholar Thomas Lockley, an Associate Professor at Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, where he teaches courses related to the international and multicultural history of Japan and East Asia. He's also the co-author of a biography titled "African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan," which he tells about.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) When we refer to "implicit bias" in today's world, we mean those unconscious stereotypes or automatic assessments that we all make -- all of us -- about people of a race, color, or background that differs from our own. What happens when implicit bias occurs among doctors, nurses, or other medical experts? On this edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Dr. Jabraan Pasha with the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, where he is Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine and Faculty Director of Student Recruitment. Dr.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) Our guest is Terrence Moore, an acclaimed photographer who's been shooting images along Route 66 for 40+ years. He tells us about his new book, "66 on 66," which gathers his finest images culled from the many hundreds he's made over the years of "the Mother Road." This book also has a corresponding text by local historian and author Michael Wallis.

Photo by KWGS News

At any given time, anywhere from just over 100 to over 250 people are being held at the David L Moss Criminal Justice Center as immigrant detainees by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, through the 287g program or as an ICE contract facility. Some are immigrants seeking asylum, others have been accused of a crime, some minor, others more serious. But upon arrival, they enter a strange amalgam where state law, federal law, and immigration law collide and intersect. 

Our guest is E.R. Ramzipoor, a writer based in California. She studied political science at UC-Berkeley, where she researched underground literature in resistance movements -- and her newly published first novel, which she tells us about, grew directly out of this research.

Got your "Hamilton" tickets yet...or did you already see it? The smash-hit Broadway musical is now beginning the second week of its run at the Tulsa PAC. And so we're offering a course in Hamilton 101 on today's ST as we listen back to a 2003 interview with the author and historian Willard Sterne Randall. At the time, Randall had just put out "Alexander Hamilton: A Life."

Our guest is Dr. William Hoy, who has studied funeral rites and rituals (as practiced worldwide) for three decades, examining how they're used to help mourners both make sense of death and deal with the major changes it brings to the lives of suvivors. Dr. Hoy teaches in the Medical Humanities Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University. He'll be the first speaker (on September 3rd) in a three-speaker series of events happening soon at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Learning Center.

Keith Recker's life is all about colors. As a color trend consultant and forecaster for Pantone, he identifies new colors -- like Pantone's "Living Coral" (Pantone's color of the year for 2019) -- which designers in apparel, advertising, and industry look to in attracting eyes to their products.

Our guest is the gardening expert Benjamin Vogt, who grew up in Oklahoma and Minnesota and is now based in Nebraska, and who is also the author of "A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future." Vogt will deliver the keynote address at a day-long gathering happening in OKC on Wednesday the 28th called "Rewilding Oklahoma: A Symposium for People, Places, and Pollinators." This event will highlight statewide successes in pollinator conservation, and you can learn more about it here.

(Note: This show first aired back in March.) Our guest is the Colorado-based writer Peter Heller, who tells us about his new novel, "The River." Per The Denver Post: "A fiery tour de force [of] poetic, staccato sentences and masterfully crafted prose.... The story itself resembles a trip down a river -- some parts are peaceful and allow for quiet introspection and big, deep breaths. But then you hit the rapids and the danger and risk jump off the page, forcing a sense of urgency. In those thrilling parts, reading required self-discipline.

"Lovely War: A Novel"

Aug 20, 2019

Our guest is Julie Berry, the bestselling young-adult novelist. Her writing has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, the Horn Book, and elsewhere. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Lovely War: A Novel." As was noted of this work by School Library Journal: "The Greek gods relate the tale of how four young people's fates collide in a love story for the ages. Caught by Hephaestus in an compromising position with Ares, the god of War, Aphrodite is put on trial by her husband in a Manhattan hotel.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we present our third and final health-related installment of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of medical-based Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we're sharing on our program (last week, the week before last, and today).

Our guest is Gaylon White, who was a sportswriter for the Denver Post, the Arizona Republic, and the Oklahoma Journal before working in the corporate world for nearly forty years. He tells us about his new book, which is his third volume to focus on minor-league baseball. The book is "Left on Base in the Bush Leagues: Legends, Near Greats, and Unknowns in the Minors." As was noted of this work by a reviewer for Baseball Almanac: "Immerse yourself in the magic of being a bush league fan....

Our guest is Philip Mudd, former deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center, who tells us about his new book, "Black Site." It depicts one of the most controversial and unsettling initiatives in American history -- i.e., the post-9/11 counterterrorism effort created and led by the CIA. Just after September 11, 2001, as we learn, the CIA evolved into a war-fighting intelligence service, constructing what was known internally as "the Program" -- a web of top-secret detention facilities intended to help prevent future attacks on American soil and worldwide.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Keele Burgin, an entrepreneur, activist, author, filmmaker -- and survivor. She tells us about her new memoir, which candidly documents her incredible personal story of self-preservation, self-discovery, and self-betterment. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Read Hawthorne, a bestselling author: "Keele Burgin is a living, breathing example of the triumph of the human spirit. The story of how she overcame the extreme abuse of her childhood is nothing short of breathtaking.

Our guest is William Doyle, a bestselling author and TV producer for networks including HBO, The History Channel, and PBS. Doyle is the co-author of an important new education-focused study, which he tells us about. The book is called "Let the Children Play: How More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive." As was noted of this work by Michael Rich, an associate professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School: "Sahlberg and Doyle whack us in the head with the reality that 21st-century skills require old-fashioned learning as children.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer the second of three consecutive installments of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of health-related Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we'll be sharing on our program (last week, today, and next week).

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is Mallory O'Meara, an author, screenwriter, and film producer who lives and works in Los Angeles. She tells us about her new book, which is a biography of Milicent Patrick -- one of Disney's first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood's classic movie monsters: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. As was noted of this volume in a starred review in BookPage: "Fascinating....

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the bestselling young-adult writer Laurie Halse Anderson, who's widely known and appreciated for the brave manner in which she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Her novel "Speak," which first appeared two decades ago, was groundbreaking in this regard.

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) The acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Daniel Okrent is our guest; he tells us about his book, "The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America." This book looks back to the 1920s is reveal a dark, forgotten chapter of American history -- a troubling era with serious implications for the present day.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer the first of three successive installments of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on many various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of health-related Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we'll be sharing on our program (today, next week, and the week after).

(Please note: This interview first aired last year.) Our guest is Vanessa Hua, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who joins us to discuss her debut novel, "A River of Stars." It's a powerful and moving saga of modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity in which a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California (i.e., Los Angeles, and then San Francisco's Chinatown) in pursuit of the American dream.

Pages