The charismatic voice of All Things Considered on rocking out, his advice for future journalists, and the TV series he can’t get enough of.
Weekdays at 4 p.m., listeners who turn on Connecticut Public Radio can hear Ray Hardman report the latest local breaking news on All Things Considered. His days are filled with writing news stories, catching up with other reporters, and preparing for the afternoon broadcast. But after the mics are turned off, the Maryland native is just like the rest of us: he loves nothing more than spending time with his wife and two sons, playing music, and binging Netflix.
Did you always want to be a journalist? No! I started in public radio as a classical music host while I was in graduate school at Florida State University. I was working on a Masters in Opera, and I still sing to this day! I jumped into the news side of things back in the early 90s.
What do you love most about Connecticut? There’s many things I love about this state – the history, the culture, and especially the change of seasons! The foliage in the fall, the crisp spring mornings, and the snowy winters. I grew up in Maryland and it would snow occasionally and for someone who loves the snow, Connecticut is just perfect. Plus, I love to ski. I’m not the greatest skier, but I would probably ski every day if I could.
Do you have any hobbies? What do listeners not know about you? I have a rock and roll band called The Sparkomatics. We play 60s garage rock covers plus garage-inspired originals. I sing, play an old combo organ, and harmonicas. We have been together for years, and I really love it. That genre of rock is special to me, and there were so many great garage rock bands from that era that lived and played in Connecticut.
What is your favorite public media show or podcast now? I love public television. Antiques Roadshow, Masterpiece, Downton Abbey, all of it. But right now I am addicted to Finding Your Roots. I think Mr. Gates is such a great host, and the people they bring on are fascinating. The information his crew can dig up is astounding.
Any non-public media guilty pleasures you can share? I love Parks and Recreation. I didn’t appreciate the show as much when it was on, but now it’s like eating potato chips for me. My wife is worried.
Any advice for students interested in pursuing a career in journalism? My best advice is to cover things that are important to you personally. Explore what intrigues you. Tell stories that you think matter. Find your own niche and go for it!
What is your favorite stress reducer? Parks and Recreation. Just kidding. I love to get home and get outside in the yard with my two boys. Just playing catch or shooting hoops in the driveway helps me get back to what’s really important.
You can hear Ray host the day’s news on All Things Considered every weekday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Radio, or online at wnpr.org.
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