Robin is so cool [Katherine Bidwell]
We officially bid farewell this evening — with rooftop beers — to beloved Robin Amer (Amer like America). She’s headed to an exciting new gig in Chicago as a producer and host for Vocalo, WBEZ’s brand-spanking-new community station. So you’ll be able to hear her on the air or online very soon. She’s been eyeing this job since last autumn and marched right through a hugely competitive application process. We’re so proud of you, kid!
Robin’s been part of the crew since the infancy of Open Source and has poured her prodigious energy and curiosity into the show for two years. She was freshly 23 when she started and had real radio chops already, but in Mary’s Awesome School of Journalism she’s become a formidable reporter, able to wrestle just about anything into a compelling blogpost and hour of radio.
In a story meeting, probably pitching one of your ideas! [Katherine Bidwell]
If you’ve met Robin, you know how ebullient she is, and how engaged with the world. This place just isn’t quite the same without her keen brain and her enthusiasms for urban communities, the artworld, and of course BIKES. Afternoons lag in the absence of her mandatory Cute Overload-and-grapefruit study breaks.
It’s also strangely quiet without her warm but resonant voice. So resonant, in fact, that it required a small adjustment period… Robin and I sat next to each other, at 90 degrees, and it took some experimenting to figure out how to preinterview guests by phone when she was talking, too. First we glued some soundproofing foam in Robin’s corner. Then I started wearing headphones, askew, to cover the ear that wasn’t on the phone. And finally, Robin kindly learned to interpret the occasional wild arm flap as an international signal for “I’m on the phone. I. Can’t. Hear.” The flipside? Her voice sounds fantastic on the radio.
We miss you, dear Robin, but this Vocalo adventure sounds like it will stretch you and your creativity in so many great ways. We’ll be listening. As Mary McGrath would say, don’t ever be a stranger. We expect visits and wild tales from the Windy City.