Profile: Carson Cooper

Carson Cooper
Morning Edition and Florida Matters Host

Q. How long have you been with WUSF Public Media?
A. I have been with the organization for 13 years.

Q. What is your job title and what do you do?
A. I am host of Morning Edition and Florida Matters.

Q. When / how did you first learn about public radio?
A. Growing up in East Tennessee, I listened to my local NPR station in Knoxville, WUOT, back in the 1970s. I loved the storytelling.

Q. What makes WUSF Public Media a great place to work?
A. Our management team recognizes creativity and cares about the staff.

Q. What do you love most about your job?
A. It never gets old. It’s never a chore. I’m always excited about what can happen tomorrow.

Q. What makes you look forward to coming into work every day?
A. The fact that this station’s primary focus is on listeners and that good, quality, local radio is highly valued here.

Q. What is your earliest memory of WUSF? Were you a listener, a volunteer? Did a friend tell you about it?
A. I listened to classical music in the 1980s. I once called Russell Gant (as a listener) to ask him about a piece I heard (turns out it was Ravel.) And I was a big fan of the evening jazz!

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.Morning Edition, of course!

Q.What are you most proud of?
A. That WUSF Public Media is recognized as a part of our regional community. Our listeners and viewers include longtime fans of public radio along with young people who have just discovered this resource.

We are also a go-to resource for the folks who make things happen in the area and around the state – from small business owners to the CEOs of major companies -- to mayors, state and national lawmakers, the governor, and other decision-makers.

I am also proud to say that every day I’m given the opportunity to do something better than I did the day before.

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. Linda Wertheimer: “Do you think Led Zeppelin will reunite?”
A. Tom and Ray Magliozzi (Car Talk): “Are you SURE you want to retire?”
A. Susan Stamberg: “Need some help on your next assignment in Paris?”

Q. What is your most memorable moment?
A. I have many memorable moments – from welcoming many public radio personalities – like Garrison Keillor and Peter Sagel (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) to the area – and taking part in their local productions. I also enjoy exploring local issues with newsmakers and local residents on our weekly program Florida Matters.

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