American Public Media Names Desiree Cooper
New Co-Host of Weekend America
Fresh Voice to Public Radio Brings New Perspective to Weekends in America
(St. Paul, Minn.) June 20, 2007—American Public Media,™ creator of distinctive, signature programs for public radio, announced today that award-winning journalist Desiree Cooper will join Bill Radke as co-host of Weekend America,® public radio’s two-hour weekly program about the issues of the week, the arts and public affairs. Cooper’s first broadcast as co-host of Weekend America is scheduled for August 18, 2007. She will work at American Public Media’s Saint Paul headquarters, while Radke will continue in Los Angeles.
"We are delighted to name Desiree as co-host," said Peter Clowney, executive producer of Weekend America. "She’s a magnetic personality, a terrific journalist. She loves talking to people and overflows with ideas for the program. And, she and Bill have genuine chemistry in the studio."
Cooper is a popular columnist at the Detroit Free Press, where she’s been since 1999. The paper twice nominated her for a Pulitzer Prize and she’s been named "best columnist" or "favorite writer" in Detroit several times, by both journalism organizations and reader polls. As a broadcaster, Cooper has contributed national commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered for the past seven years. She’s also appeared frequently on Detroit area radio and television.
Cooper’s interests range beyond print and radio journalism. She’s a prize-winning poet whose short fiction will be anthologized this fall.
"It was poet Gwendolyn Brooks who said, ‘One wants a teller in a time like this,’" said Cooper. "I’m so grateful to join a team committed to telling those stories that both bind and define us as Americans. I can’t wait to co-host with Bill—his smarts, humor and spontaneity are what are best about public radio."
Bill Radke is equally enthusiastic. "When I first met Desiree, I forgot we were supposed to be doing a host audition. I wanted to listen to her stories. I wanted to bat back her opinions. This is what radio conversation should be!"
An attorney, Cooper also served as editor-in-chief at Metro Times, an alternative weekly newspaper in Detroit, for five years. Under her leadership, Metro Times doubled its readership to 600,000.
Cooper was born in Itazuke, Japan, and has lived in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland and Michigan. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland in 1981 with a double major in journalism and economics and received her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1984.
"Living around the world has taught me people everywhere want to feel empowered about their lives and their communities," said Cooper. "Instead, the news media offers a crush of bad news everyday. Weekend America is a place where listeners can find hope, illumination and maybe even a good laugh."
About Weekend America
Making its debut in October 2004 with generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Weekend America is a place where each week two curious, lively hosts spark conversations, share unexpected stories and connect listeners with the most compelling ideas and events of America this weekend. Weekend America features material from the producers and stations around the country.
Weekend America is today heard on 139 public radio stations across the county, including in 22 of the top 50 markets, and has built its audience to already reach 685,000 listeners each week (Audience estimates are copyright Arbitron Nationwide DMA P12+, Fall 2006). Weekend America is on the Web at www.weekendamerica.org.