On the 10th anniversary of The Colin McEnroe Show, the show’s producers look back and spill.
10 years, over 2,000 shows, thousands of guests. Conversations ranging from board games and pajamas to Ultimate Frisbee and UFOs. What’s it like to work on this eclectic show on Connecticut Public Radio? Five of our past and present producers give us their insights on everything from what Colin’s really like to their favorite moments in the show’s history!
How do you come up with such wide-ranging show topics?
Jonathan McNicol, Producer, The Colin McEnroe Show – For a lot of shows, it’s all about finding a really terrible idea and then trying to figure out how to turn it into a somewhat less terrible idea. The world certainly didn’t want or need anyone to do hour-long radio shows about dioramas or towels … but we get excited about doing things the world doesn’t want or need us to do.
Betsy Kaplan, Senior Producer, The Colin McEnroe Show – We mine stories from the news and cultural trends, we gather pitches from listeners, and we read a lot of think pieces about interesting, and lesser covered, themes and ideas.
What’s it really like to work with Colin McEnroe?
Chion Wolf, Host/Producer – He’s encouraging and curious and makes sure we all know that our ideas are welcome. I’m always so happily struck at how open to ideas he is! Over all these years, there wasn’t one time where I heard him shoot a show idea down.
Josh Nilaya, Producer, The Colin McEnroe Show – He’s trusting of his producers in the sense that even if he’s dubious of one of our ideas, he’s willing to let us go forward if he sees we’re passionate about it.
Over 10 years, which moments or shows stand out in your mind?
Betsy Kaplan – A show that will always stick with me was a show we produced on neonaticide. We built a show around a young girl who was recently released from many years in prison for killing her infant. I liked that we could show this young woman as more than the sum of her crime.
Patrick Skahill, CMS Founding Producer & Reporter/Environment – One of the first ideas I ever pitched to Colin was a show about “what it takes to disappear” in what was then 2009 digital culture. He immediately got really excited about the idea. That didn’t seem like a typical public radio show, but it seemed interesting and fun to both of us.
Chion Wolf – When President Obama called in, that was pretty amazing. I had my finger on his fader, so for a few brief minutes, I felt all high and mighty, being in total control over the volume of the voice of the President of the United States.
Tune in to The Colin McEnroe Show weekdays at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Radio or visit wnpr.org.