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.

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Our guest is Colin Dickey, a writer perhaps best known for his popular nonfiction book from a years ago, "Ghostland." Dickey is a regular contributor to The LA Review of Books and Lapham's Quarterly; he also co-edited The Morbid Anatomy Anthology.

Our guest is Pam Fessler, an award-winning correspondent with NPR News who mainly covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Carville's Cure," which is tells the fascinating and little-known story of the only leprosy colony in the continental United States. This facility, located in remote Carville, Louisiana, somehow became -- over the course of the 20th century -- much more of a refuge than a prison.

On this edition of ST, we learn about Tulsa Innovation Labs, or TIL, which, per its website, "was founded to develop a city-wide strategy that positions Tulsa as a tech hub and leader in the future of work.

Our guest is Robert Kolker, a bestselling author and journalist who has written for New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and other publications. He joins us to discuss his fascinating new book, "Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family." It's a page-turning profile -- as much a detailed group biography as it is a keen work of science journalism -- of a certain post-WWII American family in which several of the family's twelve children suffered from acute schizophrenia.

(Note: This interview first aired last summer.) Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Adam S. Cifu; he's the co-author of an interesting book about "medical reversal" -- i.e., what happens when doctors start using a medication, procedure, or diagnostic tool without a robust evidence base...and then stop using it when it's found not to help, or even to harm, patients.

(Note: This interview first aired back in February.) Very early in her career, the well-regarded American colonial historian Mary Beth Norton came to believe that the critical year in American independence was not 1776, but rather, 1774. Yet her academic focus on women's colonial history sidelined her interest in fleshing out this theory.

With COVID cases now spiking across Oklahoma, and indeed, across much of the nation, it seems unlikely that Americans will be able to safely gather in large numbers anytime soon to hear music in a concert hall, arena, or auditorium. But the show, as they say, must go on -- and thus many gigs are lately being performed on Facebook Live, while others are being presented at drive-in movie complexes. Or via YouTube, etc. On this edition of ST, we talk to two local arts administrators on how they're planning to offer concert/orcheestral music to their audiences this fall.

The pandemic-shortened Major League Baseball season will begin next week, on the 23rd -- and, looking on the bright side, **some** baseball this summer will be much better, of course, than **no** baseball this summer. In that spirit, we listen back to a fine StudioTulsa discussion from August of last year, when our guest was Gaylon White, a former sportswriter for the Denver Post, the Arizona Republic, and the Oklahoma Journal.

Our guest is Zach St. George, a science reporter who has written for The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Outside, among other publications. He joins us to discuss his new book, "The Journeys of Trees: A Story about Forests, People, and the Future." The book offers an up-close examination of forest migration, and moreover presents a sort of "group portrait" of the people studying the forests of the past, those protecting the forests of the present, and those planting the forests of the future.

Our guest is Dr. Syeachia Dennis, who joined the OU-Tulsa family medicine residency program in 2013, and who more recently completed a master's program from the John Hopkins School of Public Health. An Oklahoma native, Dr. Dennis is an Assistant Professor in the OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine's Department of Family Medicine. She joins us for a candid, local-level discussion about the racial disparities that exist today in American health care: troubling, long-running disparities in access, treatment, perceptions, and outcomes. Dr.

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Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a surprising 5-4 decision in the case of McGirt v. Oklahoma; the Court ruled that much of the eastern half of Oklahoma is still an Indian reservation. In doing so, the Court affirmed that -- because Congress had not expressly disestablished the Muskogee Creek Reservation, which was created well over a century ago -- that Reservation still exists when it comes to the Federal Major Crimes Act.

(Note: This interview first aired back in December.) Our guest is Phil Keith, the co-author of a remarkable biography titled "All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard -- Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy." As was noted of this compelling work in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "This dazzling biography, drawing on the subject's unpublished memoir, explores the incredible life and times of the first African-American fighter pilot: Eugene 'Gene' Bullard.

Our guest is Terri White, who left her post as the Commissioner of Oklahoma's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services earlier this year. A well-respected expert on, and advocate for, all matters of mental health, White had been appointed Commissioner in 2007; she originally joined the Department in 2001. White joins us to discuss her new post, which will be serving as the CEO of the vital statewide nonprofit, Mental Health Association Oklahoma, which is based in Tulsa. She'll replace Mike Brose, who led MHAOK for some 27 years.

We welcome to our show Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He was appointed health director of Detroit, Michigan, at age 30, and he was formerly a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. El-Sayed's new book, which he tells us about, is "Healing Politics: A Doctor's Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." As was noted of this book by Bill McKibben with 350.org: "This is a very important book.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Jennifer Clark, a Visiting Associate Professor of Community Health at TU's Oxley College of Health Sciences; she teaches in TU's Health Care Delivery Science Program. Dr. Clark is also a contributor/commentator for the ongoing, thrice-weekly Project ECHO updates regarding COVID-19. These online, open-to-the-public updates, originating from Oklahoma State University and freely streamable, are medically-driven information sessions presented by a multi-institutional array of doctors and scientists.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oklahoma's number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 now totals over 13,000 cases statewide, as 228 new  cases of the novel coronavirus were reported Monday, for a total of 13,172. No new deaths were reported Monday for a total of 385 since the virus first started.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in February.) Our guest is Dr. Adam Hill, who works in the Pediatric Palliative Care Unit at Indiana University's Riley Hospital for Children. He joins us to discuss his memoir, "Long Walk Out of the Woods: A Physician's Story of Addiction, Depression, Hope, and Recovery." As was noted of this book by Library Journal: "[Hill] shares a deeply personal story...in an effort to improve access, treatment options, and resources for all affected by similar conditions.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about State Question 802, the Medicaid expansion initiative that Oklahoma voters will cast ballots for or against on Tuesday of next week. This measure, per ballotpedia.org, would "expand Medicaid in Oklahoma under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. It would provide Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults between 18 and 65 with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

We're pleased to welcome our friend John Wooley back to StudioTulsa. A longtime Tulsa-based music and pop-culture writer -- and the host, of course, of the popular Swing on This program, heard every Saturday night here on KWGS -- Wooley is the co-author, along with Brett Bingham, of a new book about the historic Cain's Ballroom.

Our guest is Dr. Vinayak K. Prasad, a practicing hematologist-oncologist and internal medicine physician based in San Francisco. He joins us to discuss his important new book, "Malignant: How Bad Policy and Bad Evidence Harm People with Cancer." This work explains how hype, money, and bias can -- and often do -- mislead the public into thinking that many worthless or unproven cancer treatments are effective. As noted by Dr. David P.

When "America: What Went Wrong?" originally appeared in the early 1990s, the book got a lot of attention, and became a bestseller, because it documented, in a sound, thorough way, the causes behind the shrinking of the American middle class. Now, the authors of that groundbreaking book, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele -- "two of the most talented investigative journalists in U.S. history," per The San Jose Mercury News -- have put out an updated edition of their text. Mr. Steele is our guest on ST today.

On this episode of ST, we revisit a discussion that first aired back in October. At that time, we spoke with Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University.

Our guest is Sonia Shah, a science journalist who's long covered the intersection of science, politics, culture, and human rights for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, and other outlets. Her new book, which she tells us about, takes on many of our centuries-long assumptions about migration. The book is called "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move." This work, per The New York Times Book Review, focuses "with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject....

On this installment of ST, we share a Museum Confidential podcast from our archives that feels especially timely, given what's going these days across the nation and, indeed, all over the world. The podcast episode is from the fall of 2018, when we spoke with Dr. David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Michigan. This museum was born out of his personal collection, one that began decades ago, when Dr. Pilgrim was growing up in Alabama. Also on our program, commentator Mark Darrah offers "The Next Bus to Nome."

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Bon Ku, an ER doc and Assistant Dean for Health and Design at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Ku is also the co-author of a new book, "Health Design Thinking: Creating Products and Services for Better Health." This novel and fascinating work argues that the principles of human-centered design can and should be applied to today's health care challenges. The book's focal points range from the design of drug packaging and exam rooms to the use of internet-connected devices for early detection of breast cancer. As Dr.

On this edition of ST, a discussion from our archives. In 2017, we spoke with Richard Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Widely seen as a leading authority on U.S.

The current pandemic has brought keen economic hardship, of course, to a vast number of individials and families within various levels of American society. Given that so many folks who rent a house or apartment in our community now require extra time to acquire their unemployment checks and/or federal benefits, the Tulsa City Council voted unanimously last night to ask Gov. Stitt for a statewide moratorium on evictions. In addition to this, Tulsa County has historically had one of the highest rates of eviction in the country.

What happens when a woman seeking an abortion in the U.S. is turned away? Our guest is Diana Greene Foster, PhD, who set out to answer this question as definitively as possible.

Are the cops whom we all rely on "law enforcement officers," or are they "peace officers"? As historic protests continue across the nation -- and across the globe -- following the murder of George Floyd while in police custody in late May, conversations, debates, and civic strategies are focusing more and more on police reform. What should such reform look like? How would it be realized? How can police accountability be increased in communities across the US? And indeed, how can public trust in police departments be not only restored but strengthened?

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Mikkael Sekeres, a leading cancer specialist who writes regularly for The New York Times. He tells us about his new book, "When Blood Breaks Down: Life Lessons from Leukemia." This work carefully examines leukemia in its different forms as well as the development of drugs to treat it.

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