‘Public radio’s been good to me’: Editor Bill Raack reflects on 23 years at St. Louis Public Radio

Dec 20, 2017
Originally published on December 21, 2017 11:37 pm

In 1995, St. Louis Public Radio newscast and business editor William (Bill) Raack returned to his native St. Louis after starting his news career in Illinois – and has stayed ever since. Now, he wraps up his public radio career this Friday.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Raack as he concludes his 23 year career at St. Louis Public Radio.

“Public radio’s been very good to me and I’ve loved my time in it and I’ve enjoyed doing kind of all aspects of things we do here,” Raack said. Raack started as the Morning Edition host and later took on other positions.

Since Raack became news director in 1998, he has been responsible for hiring an array of reporters – some still with the St. Louis station and others who’ve gone to other public media organizations.

He’s seen the station grow from a small station to one of the few expanding newsrooms in the region.

“It’s nice to see what a nice, vibrant, good mix of young and veteran reporters we have on staff,” he said.

He also talked about the evolution of technology as it relates to journalism and how the newsroom adapted to the changes. He’s had his work stored on tape reels, cassettes, digital audio tapes, CDs and now digital software.

The use of social media also changed how newsrooms operate.

“There’s no such thing as a non-news period anymore,” he said. “You always feel like you need to be plugged in so that you know what’s going on.”

Assuming Raack’s position will be business reporter Maria Altman to oversee the newscasters and business news reporters.

“I leave things in good hands with her,” Raack said.

Listen for the full discussion:

 

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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