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NPR’s Books Editor Petra Mayer Dies at 46

Barnes says the former books editor died abruptly at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland of what’s considered to be a pulmonary embolism. 

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Darian Woehr/NPR

NPR is mourning the loss of its Culture desk books editor as Petra Mayer died at 46. The media outlet’s senior vice president for news, Nancy Barnes, announced Mayer’s death in an email to their staff. 

Barnes says the former books editor died abruptly at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland of what’s considered to be a pulmonary embolism. 

“Petra was NPR through and through,” Barnes wrote. “To say that Petra will be missed simply seems inadequate.”

Before becoming the books editor, Mayer was an associate producer and director on the weekends for “All Things Considered,” the radio network’s flagship news program. 

“This is a heartbreaking loss for all of us at NPR, our member stations, and the millions of listeners in the public radio family,” an NPR statement said. “Petra’s passion for her work, her love for her colleagues, and her joy sharing books with public radio listeners have made a lasting impact.”

Mayer’s NPR colleagues stated that they’d remember her for the smarts she displayed, sarcastic humor, and loyalty.

“She is like the keeper of a certain wonderfulness of NPR,” Rose Friedman, a books and culture editor, said. “She is the spirit of the place.” 

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WMAL Adds Co-hosts to the “O’Connor and Company” Show

Joining host Larry O’Connor are Amber Athey, Julie Gunlock, and Patrice Onwuka.

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Some new faces are coming to WMAL-FM Washington (105.9) as the radio station announced hiring a trio of female co-hosts to the “O’Connor and Company” morning show.

Joining host Larry O’Connor is Amber Athey, a Washington Editor at The Spectator. Julie Gunlock Director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at Independent Women’s Forum. Patrice Onwuka, political commentator and Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Independent Women’s Forum. 

“We are excited to welcome these fresh voices to WMAL,” Program Director Bill Hess said in a release. “Their varied life experiences, chemistry with Larry and with each other, and opinions on the issues of the day serve to create compelling content each weekday morning.”

The three women have served as guest hosts for the show for several months. Now they’re officially part of the program from now on. 

O’Connor has been in the morning slot at WMAL since May 2021 after the departure of co-host Mary Walter and Vince Coglanese shifting from mornings to afternoons.

“Having a daily conversation with Julie, Amber and Patrice about what matters most to the people of our community is an absolute pleasure,” O’Connor added. 

“From the halls of the Capitol to the vital debates at our local school boards, these intelligent and engaging women bring insights and humor that represent the best of Washington. It’s a genuine honor to team up with them every morning on WMAL.”

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Former KABC Talk Host Michael Jackson Dies at 87

Jackson’s radio career spanned five decades; 32 of those years were spent at KABC (1966-1998).

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One of the pioneers in the Los Angeles talk radio scene has passed away. Michael Jackson, a longtime fixture at KABC Los Angeles (790), died at 87-years-old on Saturday in his LA home, a spokesperson said

“The world knew and adored our Michael Jackson. But Michael’s home was California, Los Angeles, America. For that, we are grateful,” former California Senator Barbara Boxer in a statement.

Jackson’s radio career spanned five decades; 32 of those years were spent at KABC (1966-1998) and syndicated on the ABC Radio Network for nearly a decade. During his time at KABC radio, Jackson had interviewed hundreds of public figures from politicians, actors, musicians, etc. 

“It was a testament to Michael, that so many of the guests and celebrities preferred to actually come in studio, rather than do phoners,” said Lyle Gregory, Jackson’s Show Producer of 30 years. 

“With his British accent and boyhood charm, Michael made people comfortable, they opened up. That was his gift. Michael molded an interview into conversation, news and information. Like two people sitting at a kitchen table talking. A table, an open window, where millions tuned in daily across the nation, so many of them referring to Michael as their personal University.”

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Jason Rantz, Chris Stigall Talk Crime Increase in Their Cities

Rantz and Stigall joined Fox News’ Dan Bongino over the weekend on his show “Unfiltered.” 

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A pair of conservative radio hosts are speaking out about significant increases in crime in their respective cities. 

Jason Rantz of AM 770 KTTH in Seattle and Chris Stigall with 990 The Answer in Philadelphia and KCMO in Kansas City, joined Fox News’ Dan Bongino over the weekend on his show “Unfiltered.” 

Stigall told Bongino that the crime problem in Philadelphia stems from District Attorney Larry Krasner’s propensity to reduce jail time for people convicted of serious crimes. 

“The criminals in Philadelphia who I suppose largely are the Democrats too, they know Larry Krasner as “let ‘em loose Larry,” said Stigall. “The crime infestation has been huge; you’ve had businesses burned and looted.” 

Rantz said people who commit serious crimes need to be punished accordingly. 

“Laws no longer apply anywhere,” Rantz said jokingly. “It’s not like conservatives are saying every single crime that’s committed by every single person deserves life in prison, nobody is taking that position.” 

Several cities in the U.S. including Philadelphia established new records for murders in 2021.

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