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KOSU’s New Morning Edition

Filed by KOSU News in Feature.
March 19, 2012

What does the new Morning Edition look like?

We’ve put a lot of thought into this, and we hope you’ll be happy with the changes. All of this means we can offer more from here in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma headlines at 6:04, 7:04, & 8:04

News updates on the :19’s and :49’s

KOSU Features at 6:33 & 8:33

Every Monday, the Legislative Lowdown with Michael Cross

Weekly Features at 7:35

Tuesday – An essay from Oklahoma City blogger Jennifer James

Wednesday  – Campus Connection with O.S.U. President Burns Hargis

Thursday  – Commentary with Neva Hill

Friday – Fridays with Frosty

Who are you, again?

The Basics:

Name: Ben Allen

Hometown: Springfield, MA – birthplace of basketball, and Dr. Seuss (!)

Birthday: May 21, 1989

Siblings: One brother, Chris, a sophomore at St. Michael’s College in Burlington, VT

Mom: Kathy, lawyer

Dad: Rich, city government

College: Fordham University ’11, Proud to be a Ram

How did you find your way to Oklahoma?

As a college graduate, I had a choice: mom and dad’s, or grow up. I chose the latter. I had worked at Fordham’s NPR member station WFUV as a reporter, anchor, host, and whatever else they needed. So I started applying for jobs, and I was lucky enough to make it to Oklahoma.

What’s your typical morning like?

Hit snooze on alarm at 3, crawl out of bed at 3:15, get to work for 4. I start to put together that day’s stories after I have the weather all set to go. I use everything from the Associated Press to the Oklahoman to whatever I might have seen the night before. By the time 6 AM has arrived, I’ve written a good chunk of my newscasts for the day, and the rest is all gravy.

Favorite Oklahoma experience so far?

That’s a tough one. So many things I would have never expected. I’ve checked out water dams in Caddo County, driven a bus, poorly, through an obstacle course in the Oklahoma State University Bus “Roadeo”, walked through the Mercruiser factory closing in Stillwater, talking with workers who had given so much, and seen students take part in a unique program in Oklahoma City called the ArtsScience Prize. But my favorite has to be anything related to Woody Guthrie. From seeing the exhibit at the Gilcrease to the concert at the Brady Theater, I’ve developed an appreciation for him. To me, he is Oklahoma.

How is KOSU different from other stations you have worked at?

When I was at WFUV, there were 30 full time staff and as many as 90 students, plus some freelancers and fill ins, to come up with radio for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here, we’re not nearly as lucky. But with a smaller staff, I get to do a lot more, and can see the work from start to finish. And plus, we get to try a lot more. Plus, we’re growing and anyone would want to be a part of that. With continuing support from listeners, we will hopefully be able to do even more.

What’s up with that accent?

Ha! Well I’m from the Northeast, so that should explain most of it. Luckily, I managed to escape Massachusetts without the accent you hear in just about every movie set in Boston (Springfield is on the other side of the state). I don’t pahhhk my cahhh in Hahhhvard Yahhhrd; I park my car in Harvard Yard. I never realized I had an accent until I came to Oklahoma and once words came out of my mouth, people were asking me where I was from.

What do you do with your free time?

I’m a news junkie, so checking out blogs, good journalism from around the country, and just reading magazines (subscribe to Sports Illustrated, New York, Esquire, and Rolling Stone) all fill up my days. Sports is also near the top, although its sometimes best if I just stay away from games involving my beloved Boston Celtics, for both my short and long term health.

What don’t we know about you?

Well, a lot. I’m on my way to becoming a runner again after a knee injury, and I cook and bake. My coworkers would probably like me to bake a little bit more, though. When it comes to cooking, eggplant parmesan and penne with portabella mushrooms are some of my specialties (if you can call it that).

What if we want to get in touch?

You can always reach me at ben@kosu.org. And I can’t let the moment pass by without mentioning twitter, my new best friend. Follow me @BenAllenKOSU and you’ll see what I see every day, from the news to “Colvin Center Encounters”, my trips to Oklahoma State University’s gym.

 

24 Responses to “KOSU’s New Morning Edition”

  1. Amanda says:

    I love listening to you, Ben. As an Oklahoma transplant myself, and longtime NPR listener, you really caught my ear, so to speak. You and NPR help make the mornings a little easier.

  2. Sara says:

    I wish you would leave your personal commentary out of the news and weather. I find it very unprofessional!

    • @RyanVDeusen says:

      YEA! We only want to hear news, no slants. Watch your comments, opinions and tones. Heck, I'm thinking it may be best if we just built a Robo-Ben. Robo-Ben would have no opinions, voice inflections or personal thoughts. I think Sara would be with me on this. Please, give us Robo-Ben!____(Apply sarcasm to previous rant)

  3. Shirley Burton says:

    Hi Ben, I really enjoy listening to you weekday mornings from around 5:40 am while I'm thinking about waking up and I continue listening on my drive to work and all day long while I'm at work, then on the drive back home. It's so good to know more about you. Keep up the good work! I love KOSU!!

  4. Stillwaterresident says:

    I commute from Stillwater to OKC, and every morning NPR is my driving companion, and I've come to enjoy your show and voice. My coworker (who also listens) and I even talk about you. "Hey, did you hear Ben Allen got a national spot this morning?" "Hey, did you hear Ben Allen got invited to the president's speech on Thursday?" "Hey, did you hear Ben Allen's joke about the weather this morning?" ;-)

    We're both originally from out of state, too, so we were betting on Pennsylvania for the accent, but we were off by 100 miles or so.

  5. ThePlainsman says:

    Hey man, you are great. As somebody who has tuned in and out of NPR for over 25 years now, it's easy to hear that you are a star. Enjoy your stay here in Oklahoma. You are doing a great job. From a Native Oklahoman.

  6. Charlie says:

    Perfect commentary. Just perfect. Please stick around Oklahoma.

  7. Guest says:

    What happened to Fridays with Frosty?

  8. John Purdy says:

    I thought you were a breath of fresh air when you arrived! OSU personalities until then were a turn-off. I happen to like the way you do the weather reports. Also like the commentary you sometimes interject. Don't let this go to your hed now; but you are the only reason I listen to local news and weather on KOSU. It is too bad that under Kelly's new master plan "uniquely KOSU" we don't get to hear as much from you. Has he told you to tone it down?

  9. Mary says:

    Sure do miss Frosty!!!

  10. Allison says:

    That is a very nice picture of you in front of Whitehurst. Had always assumed you were a brunette.

    I prefer weather reports to be more direct without too much extra fluff and personal comments about your young age.

    I think giving your name so often during the broadcast is not so appropriate on a non-profit station. Even the NPR announcers are more discreet about the frequency of their introductions.

    I support personnel decisions that reach out to geographical diversity in voices, opinions, and accents. It is a strong point that you are from another part of the U.S.

    • Teressa says:

      Allison, you have said what I want to say. And you managed to do it nicely. Please, Ben, stop making so many comments about the weather. It doesn't add color, it shows your lack of understanding about weather.

  11. Joel says:

    I think the morning show is great, don't change a thing. I recently moved here from the West Coast and like that the local on-air people here have personality.

  12. Leah says:

    Ben – I love your show and your personal commentary about the weather. At least once a week I have a "laugh out loud" moment during my morning commute due to your commentary. You are doing a great job and KOSU is lucky to have you. A joy to listen to.

  13. Jennie H says:

    Ben- I love your show! Thank you for not being hum-drum and making me giggle. <3 KOSU Glad that they have you!

  14. Rachel says:

    Hi Ben!
    I have been listening to KOSU for a while, but when you arrived your personalized weather reports and sense of humor really caught my attention! I really enjoy what you add, thanks for keeping me smiling every morning.

  15. MissouriTransplant says:

    Ben, you have been the greatest asset to the morning lineup – I was really skeptical about you when you first arrived, but your subtle dry wit won me over in a big way. I am also an Oklahoma transplant and it is a breath of fresh air to hear you. I used to do most of my public radio listening in the afternoons, but now I prefer the mornings. Keep on being awesome.

  16. Jay says:

    Ben, you are a very impressive young man. I love your voice and your personality. You are truly an asset to ksou

  17. Jessica S. Nguyen says:

    We really like listening to Ben Allen in the morning. I am looking for the link to JenX67 commentary of 12/18/2012. Can you put it in a more visible place? Thanks

  18. Michael says:

    This bio explains why the weather report sounds like Ben Allen is giving it from inside a locked room without windows. Skip the narrative, and try reporting on the actual weather, rather than creating the narrative and recording the whole thing before the sun has even risen.

  19. Marla says:

    I agree with everyone about the weather. It used to be slightly irritating, and now I switch off the station for a few minutes when the weather comes on. Please, please leave the commentary out. Just give us the weather. Quickly. The pauses drive me crazy almost as much as the commentary.

  20. Anne says:

    I am a transplant to Oklahoma and have learned that it is common to have warm days during the winter, so I find it off-putting to have Ben so surprised that it will be warm. That is the mid-south for you. (I grew up in Tennessee and it is common there as well.) I wake up to KOSU and find the pauses and commentary too much. I really enjoyed Rachel Hubbard's weather and commentary these past few days. I miss so much about the old KOSU. I miss performance today in the evening and more of the national input in the mornings. The weather reports are more memorable than the old quick way, but they take waay too looong.

  21. Ed B says:

    You are an excellent addition to KOSU. Love your weather and news coverage. Too bad your station has switched its music format to country and rock. Now it just sounds like every other commercial station in OK. Maybe you could get a job at KCSC,

    • Ben Allen says:

      Hey Ed,

      Thanks for the kind words. On the music switch, we aim to provide a unique mix: red dirt, indie/alternative, techno, and more. I hope you can find something that appeals to you.

      Ben

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