Darren Hellwege


Darren Hellwege has hosted “Morning Edition” for over 27 years on KBIA, and serves as the station’s Sports Director and as host/producer of the “Thinking Out Loud” programs. The series has won a Missouri Broadcasters Association award and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

As Sports Director, Darren reports on Tiger athletics both for the station and the KBIA Sports website. He has also served for several years as the “Mizzou Insider” for the “Fescoe in the Morning” show on 610 Sports in Kansas City. Darren is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, United States Basketball Writers Association, and National Collegiate Baseball Writers. His reports from the 2009 NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball tournament were heard nationwide on NPR, he has appeared on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” and is a regular guest with Chris Gervino on KOMU-TV’s Sunday night sports program. He previously reported on Mizzou athletics for the Official Sports Report and was the Sports Editor of his high school newspaper for four years, being named in 1984 to the Edmond Memorial Journalism Hall of Fame.

Darren’s commitment to the Mid-Missouri community can be seen in his outreach activities for the station, including work with CanStruction, the Voluntary Action Center, Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, American Red Cross, Boone County Historical Society, Columbia Public Schools and many other charitable organizations. He’s also been active in community theatre, performing with Maplewood Barn Community Theatre, Theatre NXS, and MoHip. Darren coached youth sports for several years with Boys/Girls Club of Columbia, Columbia Diamond Council and Columbia Youth Basketball Association. Darren currently serves on the Board of Directors for ACT (www.actservices.org) and the Missouri River Cultural Conservancy (www.morivcc.org) and is a member of the Boone County Democratic Central Committee. In the past he’s been a member of the Columbia/Boone County Board of Health and the Boone County Mental Health Board of Trustees, and was a board member for the Central Missouri Humane Society and Rock Bridge Christian Church. 

Darren was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma and grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma where he attended the University of Central Oklahoma. Darren and his wife Bonnie have two grown children. Their son Kristian lives in Columbia and daughter Janie Lavelock lives in Pleasant Hill with her husband Jake and is a student at UMKC.

Prior to coming to KBIA, Darren worked for public radio station KCSC (now KUCO, www.kucofm.com) in Edmond and at Oklahoma City radio stations WKY and WWLS. He’s also worked for KFRU and KFMZ in Columbia and KWRT in Boonville.

Darren is an avid genealogist, and enjoys playing guitar, chess, all kinds of music, and - of course - sports. 

Darren is on Twitter at @kbiamorning and his reports on Tiger sports are at @kbiahellwege. Both “Morning Edition” and “Thinking Out Loud” also have Facebook pages.

Ways to Connect

Nicholas Rodriguez

Tonight on Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege talks with Nicholas Rodriguez, also known as NicDanger, about his new E.P. and his career in hip-hop and rap music. Also, Doug Wilson previews this weekend’s Central Missouri Renaissance Festival in Callaway County.

This week, Doctor Watson regales us with a colorful account of one of his finest adventures with detective Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band.

Alycia McGee / Cancer Research Center

On a recent Thinking out Loud, Darren Hellwege visited with Jack Bozarth and Alison Fea from Columbia's Cancer Research Center about the work that group is doing to better understand cancer.


This program originally aired April 5, 2016.

Listen for new episodes of Thinking Out Loud each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on KBIA.

Thomas Jefferson scholar Peter Onuf visited with KBIA's Darren Hellwege in advance of his visit to Columbia. Onuf is a regular contributor to BackStory as one of The History Guys.

Also on this week's program Darren talked with Columbian Nanette Ward about an April 22 event Freedom From Fashion that is a benefit for Ward's group, the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition.

This program was originally broadcast on March 29, 2016.

Listen for new episodes of Thinking Out Loud each Tuesday evening at 6:30 on KBIA 91.3FM.

Being a father in this hectic modern world and coping with the problems of teenage youth is a bewildering task for even the most intelligent of fathers, so you can imagine the trouble a man of Chester A. Riley's mentality goes through...

Commercials in this show are from the original radio production and are included for historical authenticity. They are not intended to endorse or promote any products or services.

Last week, Thinking Out Loud’s Darren Hellwege attended the Poetry Out Loud competition, in which students from all over Mid-Missouri recited poems. Darren takes us to the competition and visits with a Hickman High School student who was the day’s winner.

Anna Soulstice / Facebook

On this week's episode of Thinking Out Loud, KBIA's Darren Hellwege talks with a pair of Mid-Missouri musicians. We have in-studio performances from Boonville country singer Tanner Lee and Columbia singer-songwriter Anna Soulstice. Also on this week's program, we have a preview of this Sunday's Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

Scott Peterson

In the second part of this two-part episode of Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege talks with Tony Lotvin, David Dearnley, Jeff Wheeler and Debra Hardin about "Love Matters." The new CD is a compilation from Debra and a group of Columbia-area musicians.


As you may have heard, KBIA will soon change formats. Within the week, we expect  to launch a new station where classical music can play 24-7. Soon thereafter, KBIA will change sounds. On this week's Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege explores what our new format means for the sounds emanating from your radio.  

Here at KBIA, we've been talking for years about how we best meet listeners' needs. The new station at 90.5 will be a full-time classical music station. This frees up KBIA to serve up more news and information programs.

Credit: MUSports.com

Mack Rhoades talks about funding, facilities and why athletics matters so much to the University of Missouri and to Columbia. Rhoades replaced longtime MU Athletic  Director Mike Alden in April 2015.

Credit: Michael Cochran / Facebook

Tonight on Thinking Out Loud, Darren visits with Anna Duff and Vanessa Leitza of the Missouri River Cultural Conservancy about the 10th annual EcoArtFest happening Sept. 12th and 13th at Cooper’s Landing in southern Boone County.

Listen to new episodes of Thinking Out Loud each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on 91.3FM KBIA.

Credit: Seth Barr

For over ten years, Thinking Out Loud has been a staple heard at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday on KBIA. On this week's episode, producer Darren Hellwege shares selections from a decade of music and poetry performance as heard on Thinking Out Loud.

Credit: John Wisjman

How do you celebrate 40-years in operation as a non-profit providing services to those with disabilities? If you are Columbia's Alternative Community Training then you host a roller derby match.

Credit: Mike Sleadd / www.michaelsleadd.com

How does one become Missouri's Poet Laureate? Darren finds out and hears some recent works from Boone County writer Walter Bargen.

David Sapp

The Booneslick Trail was a pathway for westward migration in the years before Missouri statehood. In this episode of Thinking Out Loud, KBIA's Darren Hellwege talks with local historian David Sapp about the origins of the trail, how it helped form a boomtown and the local effort to keep the vestiges of the Booneslick Trail from disappearing under the plow or from being developed.

Intersection / KBIA

Singer-songwriter Lee Ruth arrived in Columbia in 1962. In this week's Thinking Out Loud, self-described 'old guy' Lee Ruth discusses his musical influences, former students of whom he is especially proud and and what makes the Mid-Missouri music scene special. 

Darren Hellwege / KBIA

This spring, KBIA's Thinking Out Loud visits some colleges and universities in our area that you may not know as much about as, say, the University of Missouri. This week, Darren Hellwege headed north from Columbia to check in with leaders at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.

Public domain

This year is the 25th anniversary year of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On this Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege visits with Chuck Graham of the Great Plains ADA Center about the history of the Act and the current status of disability rights in the US and Missouri. They also discuss the ADA Legacy Project, which is in Mid-Missouri this week as part of a nationwide tour.

Stephens College

On this week's episode of Thinking Out Loud, KBIA's Darren Hellwege interviews Stephens College President Dianne Lynch and others about what's going on at the college.

MU Rec Center

A big weekend is ahead in Columbia. The True/False Film Fest takes over downtown Columbia starting Thursday. Also rolling into action Thursday is the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at MU's Rec Center. Both events are previewed on this week's Thinking Out Loud on KBIA.

Thinking Out Loud is a thrice weekly show in which Darren Hellwege and Trevor Harris interview people of note in the Columbia community.  this is a compilation of some of the best work on the show in 2014.


On this week's Thinking Out Loud, hear part two of Darren Hellwege's conversation with the Reverend C.W. Dawson. The conversation touches on the role of Martin Luther King and others in re-energizing the black churches' engagement in the civil rights movement, weaving black history into the broader telling of history and why we need to better monitor election fraud in America.

Vandalia Leader

This week on KBIA's Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege talked with the Reverend C.W. Dawson about work Dawson is doing to bring together the area's African American clergy for activism, education and fellowship.

Coming up next weekend in Columbia, the Central Missouri Returned Peace Corps volunteers sponsor the ninth annual Third Goal Film Fest. Darren Hellwege talked with the festival's organizers and a filmmaker for a recent episode of Thinking out Loud.

Mizzou Magazine

In this program from our archives, we bring you a “Fridays At Mizzou” show in which Darren Hellwege participates in a program at the MU Law School designed to teach students about the process of Voir Dire, or selection of jurors for a trial. It’s an interesting look at how courts work, and educational programs at the School of Law here at the University of Missouri. From August, 2000.


For nearly a year Dr. R. Bowen Loftin has served as the Chancellor of the University of Missouri. The chancellor and his wife Dr. Karin Loftin sat down with KBIA's Darren Hellwege recently to talk about their backgrounds and reflections on their time spent so far here in Columbia. This week's Thinking Out Loud is the first of a tw0-part broadcast interview with the Loftins.

In part two of a special Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege talks with a trio of campus Title IX leaders about where the institution is headed with efforts to enhance gender equity on the University of Missouri's flagship campus. Guests include University of Missouri-Columbia Interim Title IX Coordinator Linda Bennett, Executive Associate Director of Athletics Sarah Reesman and Title IX Investigator Salama Gallimore.

Part one of this program is online here.

Joyce Peng / kbiasports.org

Gender equity issues have been at the forefront of discussion on college and university campuses nationwide. How does Title IX affect the University of Missouri? On this episode of Thinking Out Loud we explore issues of gender equity in higher education. This is the first of a special two-part Thinking Out Loud. Part two airs next week at 6:30 p.m. on KBIA.

Citizen Jane Film Festival

Seen any good movies by women lately? On this episode of KBIA's Thinking Out Loud, Darren Hellwege visits with Kerri Yost of the Citizen Jane Film Festival. This annual festival shines a spotlight on the work of female  filmmakers. Darren and Kerri discuss why women get overlooked in the world of movie-making, talk about some of this year’s featured films and preview some of the other events surrounding Citizen Jane. We also hear a report from Brady Finn of KBIA News talking about the festival with Paula Elias.

Facebook/The Flood Brothers

This weekend Columbia's Stephen's Lake Park plays host to the eighth annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Festival Director Julie King told KBIA's Darren Hellwege to look forward to artists like John Prine, the Avett Brothers and Amos Lee. King also suggested festival-goers check out up-and-coming act Lake Street Dive performing Saturday at 4:15pm.