“I'm a general practitioner, working in whatever medium lets me tell a good tale.”



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Radio & Podcasting

I began my career in broadcasting in the early '70s in Boston. As a public radio news anchor I covered the daily headlines. As a story-teller I explored the personal dramas of people out of the public spotlight. In 2004, I became a podcast pioneer, the first on NPR to reach audiences around the world. Of all the media I’ve worked in, I believe radio is the quickest route to a person’s heart and our most intimate way of connecting with each other.

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When I got started in broadcasting, new technologies and ideas were changing the face of television, just as they are now. There was plenty of room to experiment, play, and learn from your mistakes. By showing up early to the revolution, I was able to work on dramas, documentaries, quiz shows, kid shows and comedies, both behind the camera and in front of it, and win a few awards.

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STAGE & Print

No matter what I’ve produced — radio, film, or TV — the words always came first. And, whenever I wasn't working in the media, I’d write for the page. Whether it’s a play, an article, a graphic novel, or an email to a friend, writing is my way of knowing of what I think and exploring what I really care about.

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articles & public appearances

You can’t work as long as I have without somebody rendering an opinion. Here are some of the reviews my work has received, as well some articles I’ve written and talks I’ve given on the art and business of broadcasting.


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RECENT APPEARANCE - Thursday, December 13th, 2018 7 - 8:30pm (CST)

“Hollywood on Trial with Tony Kahn” in conversation with Steven Paulson of NPR’s “To The Best of Our Knowledge” at the Milwaukee Jewish Museum.


upcoming appearance - tuesday, april 2nd, 2019 7 - 9:00 PM (PT)

Panel Discussion: Blacklist Exiles in Mexico, at the San Francisco Art Institute

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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: My old friend and colleague, Kit Laybourne, and I have started to explore Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Neural Networks (imagined as one big whammy of a development sure to change everything by yesterday) as raw material for a weekly comic-strip that will appear sometime soon. To get ready, I’ve gone back to my favorite software tool, ComicLife 3.0, to experiment with telling stories with graphics and get my chops back, since it’s been a while. As an exercise, I took one of my Morning Stories, told by a woman named Jackie Lantry, about adopting her 14 year old son, Jack, from China. You can hear her tell the story in the Morning Stories section of the website.

(Use your arrow keys or swipe to go forward and back. 15 pages in all.)

And, for the sheer hell of it . . . from the pages of Tin House Magazine my recipe for a great Margarita.

The one operating principle. . . is to take the bite of tequila, the rasp of lime, and the bittersweetness of triple sec, and keep them swirling about each other, as equals, balanced but distinctive, till you black out.