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 19th, at 7:30pm -- the Signature Symphony will perform an outdoor, socially-distanced concert in downtown Tulsa at ONEOK Field. Beethoven's 5th will be on the program for this one-hour concert, along with music composed by Randy Newman for the popular 1984 film, "The Natural," as well as a piece composed in honor of Stephen Goforth, a long-time Signature musician who died earlier this year.

Our guest is TU's Phi Beta Kappa Carl F. Cranor Visiting Scholar, Corey Brettschneider. He joins us to talk about his recent book, "The Oath and the Office." This book will form the basis for his upcoming, free-to-the-public Phi Beta Kappa lecture, which Brettschneider will give online this evening (the 17th) at 5pm.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we get to know Kojo Asamoa-Caesar, who is the Democrat running for Congress in Oklahoma's First District. As noted at his campaign website: "Asamoa-Caesar is a first-generation American, the son of a certified nursing assistant and a taxi driver who were drawn to the United States from Ghana by the call of the American Dream....

Our guest is the writer Jeff Hobbs, whose new book closely follows four Los Angeles high school boys as they apply to college. These four teens are seniors at two very different high schools in L.A. -- one in Compton, the other in Beverly Hills -- and by telling their individual, personal stories, Hobbs reveals what our nation's young people (across all socio-economic backgrounds) are now confronting at home, at school, among peers, and throughout society.

On this edition of our program, we learn about bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery. Once thought of in strictly "cosmetic" terms, the procedure has become more common, and more applicable, in recent years. Indeed, bariatric surgery is now known to foster significant loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, and improvement in the risk of cardiovascular issues. Our guest is a faculty member at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine and a specialist in bariatric procedures, Dr. Robert B. Lim. Dr.

We're pleased to welcome the Tulsa-based attorney, historian, and author Hannibal B. Johnson back to StudioTulsa. An active and well-respected expert on matters of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, Johnson is also the education chair for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission. He joins us to discuss his newest book, "Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma." As was noted of this volume by Dr.

Our guest is Rachel Louise Snyder, an award-winning journalist and professor of creative writing and journalism at American University. She talks about her newest book, which is just out in paperback; the book is "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us." As was noted of this widely-acclaimed study by The Washington Post: "Compulsively readable.... In a writing style that's as gripping as good fiction, as intimate as memoir, and deeply informed, [Snyder] takes us into the lives of the abused, the abusers, and the survivors....

Photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh

Update:  Statement from the University of Tulsa School of Art, Design, and Art History

The gallery is open to TU Students, Faculty, and Staff Only and is Not Open to the Public.

While we are not open to the public, please join us Thursdays in September at the University of Tulsa School of Art, Design, and Art History Facebook and Instagram pages for special virtual programs and highlights.  

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) What do we mean by the phrase "patient-centered care"? And why is this expression being used more frequently in medical circles? Our guest is Dr. Saul J. Weiner, a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He tells us about his book, "On Becoming a Healer," which is essentially a med school-based memoir/study as well as a critique/guidebook focused on how to become a more competent, more compassionate physician.

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will very soon -- as in, tomorrow night, Saturday the 5th, at 8pm -- begin its new season of concerts with an open-air, social-distanced, mask-mandatory performance at ONEOK Field. This performance, with limited seating, will celebrate the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven -- and the world-renowned classical pianist Yefim Bronfman will appear as a guest artist. He'll perform the Piano Concerto No. 3 in C-Minor (which was premiered by Beethoven himself, as the soloist, in 1803).

On this edition of ST, we learn about a multi-artist, multi-media exhibition opening soon at Living Arts of Tulsa called "Speak: Speak While You Can." The show gathers works by several outstanding Native American artists, all of the creations focused on various indigenous/tribal langauges. Our guests are the co-curators of this show, both of them noted Native artists in their own right: Tony A. Tiger (Sac & Fox/Seminole/Muscogee) and Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee/Creek).

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) Our guest is Eric Eyre, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the smallest newspaper ever to win that prize for investigative reporting. His book, based on the work that won him that prize, details his investigation into the corporate greed that pumped millions of pain pills into small Appalachian towns at the outset of America's opioid crisis. "Death in Mud Lick" tells the riveting and shameful story of a pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, which distributed 12 million opioid pills in three years to a town of 382 people.

The annual, free-to-the-public TU Presidential Lecture Series presents engaging and well-known speakers from a range of backgrounds. This year, given the pandemic, the Presidential Lecture Series will be offered as an "online only" event; it happens on Thursday night, the 10th, at 7:30pm. The speaker will be the bestselling author and activist Wes Moore, who's also the Chief Executive Officer of Robin Hood Foundation, one of the largest anti-poverty organizations in the US. Moore is our guest on StudioTulsa.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the science writer Riley Black, who writes under the pen name of Brian Switek. Black tells us about her newest book, which is just out in paperback, "Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone." It offers, per The Wall Street Journal, "a provocative and entertaining magical mineral tour through the life and afterlife of bone." And further, per the journal Nature: "A thoughtful, engaging meditation on the origins of the human skeleton, how it functions (or malfunctions), and how we come to terms with our essential but unsettling osseous framework."

Monday the 31st will bring the first day of classes for Tulsa Public Schools, and given the current pandemic, this is certainly going to be a very different school year. All TPS students, for starters, will be participating in either of two distinct programs: Distance Learning or Virtual Academy. How do these differ? And what should TPS parents be expecting -- and/or planning for -- as the new school year begins?

Our guest on ST is Brian Horton, president of the non-profit Horton Records, which is a Tulsa-based indie record label dedicated to documenting, promoting, and growing our local and regional music scene.

Our guest on ST is Bina Venkataraman, a journalist and former adviser in the Obama administration who has helped communities and businesses prepare for climate change. She tells us about her book, "The Optimist's Telescope," which is now out in paperback. This work explores why we as human beings tend NOT to think ahead -- and what can be done to change that.

How do we learn? And how do we learn best? What are the most effective ways of educating today? Our guest on ST is Dr. Sanjay Sarma, who's the leader of the Open Learning program at MIT. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Grasp." This pioneering work looks at the science of learning -- i.e., how the acquisition of knowledge works both in the mind and in the classroom. The book also explores which teaching techniques are most effective -- and why -- and how schools should (and should not) use instructional technology, including online teaching apps and programs.

Our guest is the author and foreign affairs expert, Sarah Chayes, who has worked as the special assistant on corruption to Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She's also advised David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal (commanders of the International Security Assistant Force) and has been a reporter for NPR.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, just ahead of the August 25th mayoral, city auditor, and City Council election, we conclude our series of conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. Our guest is Mayor GT Bynum, who's running for a second term at the helm in City Hall. As noted at the Mayor's campaign website: "The globally competitive and globally renowned Tulsa of today looks quite a bit different than it did four years ago.

On this edition of ST, we continue our series of conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. Our guest today is Ty Walker, who owns and operates Tulsa's well-known Wanda J's Next Generation Restaurant. Mr. Walker was born and raised in North Tulsa; he is the father of six daughters, a 1983 graduate of McLain High School, and a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during Desert Storm. Further, per the Walker campaign website: "Tulsa faces a world of economic issues. While we are maintaining as a city, we are not growing.

Today on StudioTulsa -- in advance of the August 25th mayoral, city auditor, and City Council election -- we continue our series of conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. Our guest is Craig Immel, who's running as an Independent. Immel's "Move Tulsa Forward" website lists the following key "values and priorities" at its home page: education, local control, public safety, accountability, social justice, and economic development.

Should schools reopen? Should we be playing (or practicing) team sports right now? And which type of mask is the safest one to wear? On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak about these and other matters with Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department. Dr. Dart, who last appeared on our show back in March, offers an update on COVID-19 in our community at present.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we begin a series of programs featuring conversations with candidates seeking the office of Tulsa mayor. With a non-partisan primary coming up on August 25th, voters will either elect (or re-elect) Tulsa's next mayor -- if any one candidate gets over 50% of the vote -- or the field will be narrowed down to two mayoral candidates, who will in turn appear on the November ballot.

(Note: This show originally aired last year.) Our guest is Julie Berry, the bestselling young-adult novelist. She joins us to discuss her latest 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.

You're probably familiar with this routine -- you swab your cheek or spit into a vial, then you send it away to a lab someplace. A month later, you get a report explaining where your ancestors came from...or whether you carry certain genetic risks. But what implications does this very popular trend have for American life and culture?

Image courtesy Andy Arkley.

On this edition of ST, we learn about THE EXPERIENCE: IMAGINE, which is a newly created group exhibition opening today (Friday the 7th) at ahha Tulsa. It's a rather Outer Space (or Sci-Fi, or Other Worldly) type of show that, per the ahha website, features "large-scale, semi-permanent, interactive art. When you visit THE EXPERIENCE: IMAGINE, you will explore zones designed and built by one of six Tulsa-based artists. Each has different interactive elements.

(Please note: This interview first aired back in March.) Our guest is Katharine Holstein, an American-Canadian writer and human rights advocate. She's also the co-author of "Shadow on the Mountain: A Yazidi Memoir of Terror, Resistance, and Hope." As was noted of this compelling profile of the Yazidi people of northwestern Iraq by The New York Journal of Books: "[This is a] spellbinding tale woven with gorgeous phrasing, compelling you to finish its journey at a breakneck pace along with Shaker Jeffrey, a hero of Promethean proportions....

Robert Draper is our guest; he is a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a contributing writer to National Geographic. His many books include the bestselling "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W.

There are many, many different skin-care products out there...and keeping skin healthy has long been a booming industry...but how did we get here? And why are there so many confusing messages from health experts regarding the care of our skin? Why are there so many ineffective treatments? Our guest is a preventative medicine physician and staff writer for The Atlantic whose new book explains the surprising (and often unintended) effects of our modern-day hygiene practices; his book also offers an introduction to the new science of skin microbes and probiotics.

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