Lonnie Watts

Lonnie Watts

Lottie Watts

Editorial Assistant

Q: What was your first job at WUSF and what did you do for the station?

A: My first job at WUSF was as a part-time editorial assistant with Health News Florida. I assisted with the daily eAlert newsletter, trained interns, managed social media and updated the website on a daily basis.

Q: How long have you been with WUSF Public Media?

A: Just over a year.

Q: Are you still doing the same job, or something different?

A: I still do some of the same things, but in addition to helping with the daily eAlert newsletter, I do more reporting for the newscasts that air on WUSF. I’ve been full-time since February last year. Since that time, I’ve also produced three “Florida Matters.”  I also manage social media, train interns, solve website issues and generally just try to speak up in the newsroom if I think I can help someone – even if it has nothing to do with health!

Q: If you had to select one program you’d like to keep on the air for the next 50 years – what would it be?

A: Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!

Q: When / how did you first learn about public radio?

A: I imagine I’ve been listening to public radio since I was a child, but didn’t really know, I suppose, what public radio was until I was in high school. My high school boyfriend’s (yeah, I know, how cute) dad was a HUGE NPR fan, so much so that he always had the radio tuned in to WSKG. Actually, there were several radios in the house - downstairs, outside and in the shop/warehouse, where my boyfriend was always working on restoring an antique car. Anytime I was there, I was always listening to NPR.  

Q: What is your earliest memory of WUSF?  Were you a listener, a volunteer, did a friend tell you about it?

A: I started listening to WUSF during the summer of 2010, when I was house/dog sitting for a friend who didn’t have television. I needed a way to stay connected to local news, and that was, as I quickly learned, the best option.

Q: Which public broadcasting personality would you like to invite to a dinner party?  What’s the first question you’d ask him or her?

A: I would invite Tom and Ray Magliozzi and I would ask them what it would take to get them back on the air doing new shows!

Q: What makes you look forward to coming into work every day?

A: Hands down, it’s the people. I’m constantly amazed by my colleagues, and I really feel privileged to work with each and every one of them. And Craig Kopp makes the best coffee.

Q: What are you most proud of as a member of the WUSF Public Media team?

A: I’m most proud of the things I do that contribute to us sounding as good as we possibly can on air – whether that’s the weekly feature, spot news or just pulling cuts to help fill a newscast – I’m most proud of giving our listeners as much information as we possibly can.

Q: What are you most proud of as it relates to all that WUSF Public Media offers to your viewers, listeners and members?

A: The ability to take the time to tell the stories that matter.

Q: Do you have a “memorable moment” that you would like to share with others as WUSF Public Media celebrates its 50th anniversary?

A: My most memorable moment is taking a deep breath after spending an entire evening with a group of wheelchair athletes at the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Tampa this past July. At 11:37 p.m., I posted this on Facebook: “Just finishing up my last interview of the night. What an incredible night with some of the most genuine people I've ever had the privilege to meet. Batteries dying, memory card full. So worth it!!!” And it really, really was. I have memorable experiences all the time because I get to spend time with people that most people never have the chance to meet. Even better? I get to share that with our listeners for a few moments.

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