21 October 2013

RAG RADIO / Thorne Dreyer : Father-Daughter! Newsman Dan Rather & Environmental Activist Robin Rather

Dan Rather and Robin Rather on Rag Radio, Friday, September 27, 2013, in the studios of KOOP-FM in Austin, Texas. Photos by Roger Baker / The Rag Blog.
Rag Radio podcast:
Legendary newsman Dan Rather
and environmental activist Robin Rather
Their first ever father-daughter interview is a funny, far-ranging discussion spiced with lively anecdotes, sharp political insights, and touching family memories.
By Rag Radio / The Rag Blog / October 21, 2013

Legendary newsman Dan Rather and Austin-based environmental activist Robin Rather join Thorne Dreyer for their first-ever father-daughter interview. The incisive, far-ranging, and frequently funny session was originally broadcast live on Rag Radio, Friday, September 27, 2013.

Rag Radio is a weekly syndicated radio program produced and hosted by long-time alternative journalist Dreyer and recorded at the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, a cooperatively-run all-volunteer community radio station in Austin, Texas.

Listen to or download the podcast of Rag Radio's interview with Dan Rather and Robin Rather here:

Texas-born newsman and former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, who was recently honored with the prestigious Trustees Award of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and his daughter, Robin Rather, an Austin-based environmental activist and sustainability advocate who chaired the city's historic Save Our Springs Alliance, join us in a lively discussion, spiced with oft-funny anecdotes and personal reflections.

Dan talks about his early career in Houston, including his stint as a play-by-play announcer for the minor league Houston Buffs (in road games they "recreated" the on-field action in the studio by reading from a telegraph ticker tape) and his dramatic and innovative coverage of Hurricane Carla in Galveston in 1961 that led to his hiring by CBS News.

He also discusses his controversial exit from CBS; his blogging about Aaron Sorkin's HBO series, The Newsroom; and his take on larger contemporary issues including the increasing corporatization and concentration of ownership in the news business and what he considers to be an endemic lack of courage in today's news reporting.

Robin talks about growing up as the daughter of a famous reporter and media star; about her seminal work in the movement to protect and sustain Austin’s unique environment; and about the daunting challenges -- especially to the region's fragile ecosystem -- caused by the city’s current unprecedented growth spurt. And they each reflect on the other's accomplishments and their close relationship over the decades.

Rag Radio's Thorne Dreyer with Dan Rather and Robin Rather in the KOOP studios.
Dan Rather, now managing editor and anchor of Dan Rather Reports on AXS TV, went to work at CBS News in 1962 and was anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, from 1981-2005. Born in Wharton, Texas, in 1931, he began his career as a full-time journalist with Houston's KTRH radio and KHOU-TV.

The recipient of numerous Emmy and Peabody awards, Dan joined the illustrious company of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite when he was honored with the prestigious Trustees Award of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in New York City on October 18, 2013. Rather's new book is Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News. Dan and his wife, Jean Goebel, to whom he’s been married since 1957, maintain homes in New York City and Austin, Texas.

Robin Rather is an Austin-based environmental activist and sustainability consultant. She is the CEO of Collective Strength where she consults on projects involving renewable energy, water conservation, health care, and community values. Robin was chair of the board of the historic Save Our Springs Alliance, established in 1992 to advocate for Austin's iconic Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer ecosystem. Robin was also co-founder of Liveable City, Hill Country Conservancy, and Envision Central Texas, and serves on the advisory board of the Sustainable Food Center.

Born in Houston in 1958, she is the daughter of Dan Rather and Jean Goebel.

Rag Radio is hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer, a pioneer of the Sixties underground press movement. Tracey Schulz is the show's engineer and co-producer.

Rag Radio has aired since September 2009 on KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas. Rag Radio is broadcast live every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on KOOP and is rebroadcast on Sundays at 10 a.m. (EDT) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA. Rag Radio is also aired on KPFT-HD3 90.1 -- Pacifica radio in Houston -- on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (CDT).

The show is streamed live on the web and, after broadcast, all Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.

Rag Radio is produced in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive Internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Rag Radio can be contacted at ragradio@koop.org.

[Thorne Dreyer edits The Rag Blog, hosts Rag Radio, and is a director of the New Journalism Project. Dreyer was a founding editor of The Rag in Austin in 1966 and Space City! in Houston in 1969. He was on the editorial collective of Liberation News Service (LNS) in New York, was general manager of Pacifica's KPFT-FM in Houston, and was a correspondent for the early Texas Monthly magazine. Dreyer can be contacted at editor@theragblog.com]

Coming up on Rag Radio:
THIS FRIDAY, October 25, 2013: Feminist pioneer and Houston Area NOW president Frances "Poppy" Northcutt, veteran of NASA's Mission Control and first Houston Women's Advocate (1972).
Friday, November 1, 2013: Singer-Songwriter Slaid Cleaves.

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