Steve Clem

Operations Director & documentary host

A native of Sand Springs, Steve joined the Public Radio Tulsa staff as Operations Director in 2009 after living all around the country…from Seattle to Sacramento, Albuquerque to Salt Lake City… in a 30 plus years radio career programming music stations.      

“Through the years, I found myself listening to NPR more and more.  So, when the opportunity came to work in Public Radio back in my hometown, it just felt right!”

“NPR’s thought-provoking programs and Public Radio Tulsa’s excellent local shows are some of this area’s best kept secrets.  I enjoy spreading the word and cultivating new fans to our stations.”

When Steve arrived at Public Radio Tulsa he immediately jumped into a historical project, writing and producing a documentary on Tulsa’s KAKC radio, the area’s legendary Top 40 station of the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The resulting two-hour documentary, Tulsa’s Top 40 Legend, KAKC “The Big 97” debuted on KWGS in September 2010, and went on to become a multiple-award winner.  The documentary spawned the Tulsa Historical Society exhibit, The Big 97, Tulsa’s KAKC Radio, which runs until June 2012 at THS, 2425 S. Peoria.  

One of Steve’s hobbies is travelling Route 66 and photographing what he calls the “Disappearing America.”  “It’s really the American landscape that we grew up with in the mid-20th Century, and it is getting harder to find.  I just love the history and the old architecture, especially the classic neon motel signs!”

“There are a lot of rewarding moments working in public radio, like providing programming that is meaningful in people’s lives.  But the highlight for me so far is purely self-serving:   Hearing my documentary on the air for the first time over KWGS 89.5!   After the countless hours of gathering interviews, writing and editing…to hear the result of that and for it to be well-received, nothing can top that!”

Steve is currently working on a KAKC book as well as a new documentary project:  A profile of oil man and philanthropist, Charles Page, founder of the city of Sand Springs.   “Page had a dream to take care of orphans and widows and their children.   He built a Children’s Home and Widow’s Colony in the woods and established an industrial city to support them.”    The airing of that documentary will coincide with the City of Sand Springs’ Centennial celebration in 2012. 

Ways to Connect

Last year, Public Radio Tulsa/KWGS 89.5’s Steve Clem took a handful of classmates back to his grade school, Garfield Elementary in Sand Springs to talk about the seminal event of his childhood, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It happened 56 years ago this week. From the same classroom where Clem and his fellow fourth-graders sat glued to the school’s black-and-white TV, they share their memories of that day and how it changed them.

Intimate Portraits in Chamber Music Part 2

Kemp Concert Series

The Westminster Choir

DEBATE: Should We Bring Extinct Creatures Back To Life? De-extinction describes the process of creating an organism which is a member of, or closely resembles, an extinct species. While this process was once a sci-fi fantasy explored in films like "Jurassic Park," recent biological and technological breakthroughs indicate that reviving extinct creatures, like the passenger pigeon and the woolly mammoth, could become a reality.

Here's The Thing With Alec Baldwin

new one-hour programs
with one of America's most compelling personalities.

Thursdays at 12Noon and Fridays at 8pm on Public Radio 89.5 HD-1.

Legitimate A-list guests - who aren't promoting anything.
Just really good conversations that keep you listening.

Barbra Streisand
Cameron Crowe/David Crosby
Sheila Nevins/Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
James Cromwell/Laurie Metcalf

"Colors dance, moods swing, and Chen’s artistry blazes" writes the Times of London. With a media presence aiming to enhance and inspire the widely diverse classical audience, and reaching out to millions through his substantial online following, violinist Ray Chen is at the vanguard of what it means to be a 21st century musician. His celebrated musicianship transmits to a global audience that is reflected in his engagements with leading orchestras and concert halls around the world.

After an abrupt reversal 20 years ago, some prisons and colleges try to maintain college education for prisoners. To get to the 99A college prep English class at California's San Quentin State Prison, you pass through two security checks, two gates and a very thick, very old metal door that looks medieval. You walk into a courtyard surrounded by guard towers. Inmates in pale blue scrubs with the word "PRISONER" printed on the back in bright yellow are hanging around, playing baseball and chatting.

Spare The Rod: Amid evidence zero tolerance doesn't work, schools reverse themselves.

A get-tough attitude prevailed among educators in the 1980s and 1990s, but research shows that zero-tolerance policies don't make schools safer and lead to disproportionate discipline for students of color.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers recently issued a remarkable mea culpa.

The St. Olaf Choir and conductor Anton Armstrong embarked on a national winter tour this past January, offering seventeen concerts in ten heartland states and appeared in Oklahoma City on the Kemp Concert Series at First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, February 3rd.  Founded 104 years ago at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the St.

Tulsa Tinsel Tales is a newly created program from KWGS Operations Director Steve Clem. It aired on Public Radio 89.5 on December 23, 2015, and you can access a free, on-demand "audio stream" of the show at the link below.

Tune in for a special half-hour program of seasonal stories with Tulsa connections. You'll hear holiday-inspired essays, stories, and memories from Janet Rutland, Ken Busby, Jeff and Cindy Hoyt, Steve Clem, and John Wooley.

Since 2003, the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma has offered Oklahoma audiences a regular season of beloved and diverse chamber music performances presented by an ensemble of musicians largely based in the Oklahoma City metro area along with special guest artists. On Tuesday, September 22nd , the Society marked the start of the 2015-2016 season and its 13th year with a program entitled "From Beethoven to the Beatles." The concert, offered at St.

The Documentary of the Week presents a four-part Medical Matters with John Schuman.  The series airs Thursdays at 12Noon and a repeat broadcast, Friday evenings at 8pm.   You can find out more details here:

The Takács Quartet, recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles offers performances described as "peerless in artistry," "seraphic in unity of execution," "searing" and "inspiring."  Playing with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor and combining four distinctive musical personalities, the Quartet brings fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire in live performance and through its award winning discography.

Reveal for August 2015

Aug 25, 2015

An investigation into the culture of secrecy within the Jehovah’s Witnesses leads us to the story of one woman who was ostracized after she accused an elder of abusing her.  Thursday, August 27th at 12Noon and Friday, August 28th at 8pm on KWGS 89-5.

This hour: the dinner table and all that it inspires. 

When Harvard Professor LaTanya Sweeney typed her name in Google one day, she noticed something strange:  an ad with the heading: "LaTanya Sweeney arrested?"  But, she never had been arrested -- and neither had the only other LaTanya Sweeney in the U.S.  Why did the ad suggest so?  In this episode of Freakonomics Radio, host Stephen Dubner investigates the latest research on names and what  your name says about your economic status, race and even political preference.   Friday, August 16, 8pm on KWGS 89.5 HD1. 

Oklahoma City’s  Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble continued its Tenth Anniversary Season of chamber music concerts with a four-concert Spring Festival - "Schubert & Friends" presented on May 18th, 21st, 22nd and 23rdat St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and All Souls Episcopal Church.  A variety of chamber works, a piano sonata  and a selection of lieder by Schubert were offered as well as the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, the Crusell Clarinet Quartet.

Grammy-winning opera superstar Nathan Gunn has made a reputation as one of the most exciting and in-demand baritones of our day. He has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses, is a distinguished concert performer and frequent recitalist.

Julian / Flickr

America’s Test Kitchen invites you to celebrate the July 4th holiday with this tasty special.

The program features an interview with Robb Walsh, the James Beard award-winning food writer and restaurant critic. In his most recent book, Barbecue Crossroads, Walsh embarks on a road trip from Houston to the Carolinas, stopping at as many barbecue spots as possible along the way.  

Listen Friday, June 28th, 8pm and Thursday, July 4th, 12pm on Public Radio 89.5-1.

Intelligence Squared U.S. takes a look at whether the FDA sacrifices safety for speed when approving potentially beneficial drugs and devices. Is the FDA too cautious?  Friday, June 21st, 8pm and Thursday, June 27th, 12Noon.

Open any Torah, Bible or Koran, and the passages about homosexuality seem clear: being gay is an abomination; a sin; something that incurs the wrath of God. But for some, these interpretations are changing.  Gay in the Eyes of God, explores the ways in which the major American religious traditions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) grapple with acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The program presents personal stories as well as interpretations of scripture and theology - both traditional and progressive.

Every day in America, more than 7,000 students drop out of school. In a State of the Re:Union first, Summer in Sanctuary combines radio drama and documentary to explore America's dropout epidemic through the intimate story of one man's attempt to make a difference in the lives of a group of high-risk kids. Based on the celebrated off-Broadway show by SOTRU host Al Letson, this episode chronicles his journey teaching at a summer camp at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida.

The sun provides less than one percent of American electricity.  But there is a solar surge underway and the number of installations grew 75% in 2012.  Wind power is also on the upswing and it is happening in places you might not expect.