Ron Jones | KBIA

Ron Jones

Ron Jones returned to KCUR in September, 2013 as Director of Community Engagement.  He leads a team that will focus on the arts, entrepreneurship, neighborhoods and community diversity. Its goal is to coordinate community conversations about important issues on-air, online and in person.

Before returning to KCUR, Jones was Program Director at WDET in Detroit, where he oversaw all programming content.  Jones worked closely with news/talk and music programming to provide an administrative structure for programming, quality control and program development.  He also managed production, on-air fundraising, promotion and broadcast operations.  WDET has received national recognition for its work with community engagement, and crowdsourcing for both content and fundraising.

Prior to his position in Detroit, Jones served as Vice President of Programming at Chicago Public Radio, where he oversaw all station programming activities, including news, music, engineering and other initiatives for WBEZ, Chicago, WBEQ, Chesterton, Indiana and WBEW, Morris, Illinois.  Under his leadership Chicago Public radio received numerous national and regional awards for programming and journalistic excellence.  In addition he provided management oversight of WLUW, an independent community station licensed to Loyola University and managed by Chicago Public Radio. 

Prior to his work with Chicago Public Radio, Jones served as Program Director at WGBH-FM in Boston.  His responsibilities included oversight of on-air staff, promotion, audience research and fundraising activities.  In addition, he has served as General Manager of WERS-FM in Boston, and Program Director at KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Missouri and KANU-FM in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Jones served on the board of the Public Radio Program Director’s Association and The World Vision Report.  He holds a B.S. degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kansas.

A tribute to the Kansas City tax attorney who spent 40 years hosting a music show devoted to rock and roll.

Bill Shapiro recently died at the age of 82. To remember him, we rebroadcasted his final episode of Cyprus Avenue, the "smart" rock and roll show he hosted on KCUR on Saturday nights. His abridged final broadcast includes snippets of some of his favorite tunes and reflections on his personal relationship with music.

A journey along Quindaro Boulevard in northeast Kansas City, Kansas, takes us through history, demographic shifts, religion, and plans for economic development. Visit a black-owned bookstore in the 1960s, an integrated church and hear about one of the country's first black police chiefs. Plus, teens grapple with whether they have to leave the area to succeed.

This show is a culmination of months of reporting along Quindaro Boulevard as part of KCUR's Here to Listen initiative

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Northeast News publisher Michael Bushnell has to wrestle with politics in his work all the time. 

"I write an opinion column every week, and 9 times out of 10 it falls on the conservative side," Bushnell says. "But it's more common sense than it is anything else, I think."

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Kristin Chow and Kurt Wheeler met for the first time as part of StoryCorps' One Small Step. To get a better sense of where Wheeler's ideology stands, Chow asked a big question.

"When you think about the future what are you most scared of?" Chow asked.

"I'm most scared of us losing sight of our core values as a country," Wheeler said. "I'm scared of people feeling entitled to things that are not a right."

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Joanna Berkebile and Stacey Todd have lived very different lives. Berkebile intentionally set down roots in Kansas City, working as a realtor. She's also active in the city's arts scene and has found a strong sense of community there.

"I'm not super politically active, but I'm active in my community," Berkebile saidto Todd. "[But I'm] not afraid to speak my mind wherever I am. That has ripples and reverberations around me."

A poet and playwright is working to preserve the legacy of an iconic leader in the black community of Liberty, Missouri.

The poet and playwright is Shelton Ponder, a lifelong Liberty resident who graduated from Liberty High School in 1961.

A visit to the town of Liberty, Missouri and its outlying areas to hear about a growing Mormon community, a legendary teacher in the city’s formerly segregated schools and William Jewell College’s evolving role in the town.

Guests: