Don Marsh


Don Marsh has extensive and broad media experience, with a career beginning in 1959. Starting as a managing editor for a small magazine in New Jersey, he went on to become a radio news writer in Germany; an Eastern European correspondent and bureau chief for the American Forces Network; news director at WJZ-TV in Baltimore; anchorman/political specialist reporter/producer at KTVI-TV in St. Louis; a talk show host for KMOX radio; an anchorman for KDNL-TV; and a producer of training videos for law enforcement. He began as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s St. Louis on the Air in September 2005. His many professional awards include 12 Regional Emmy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Don was inducted into the STL Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2015, he was named STL Media Person of the Year and also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

According to a survey of Associated Press newspaper editors and broadcast news directors in Missouri, the top news story in the state was Republican Representative Todd Akin’s controversial and unscientific remarks about “legitimate rape.”

(via Flickr/AndrewEick)

The holiday season abounds with well-known Christmas stories and cherished family traditions.

In this St. Louis Public Radio holiday special, we asked our listeners and some members of our staff to share with us their favorite holiday memories, stories and gifts.

We included those stories and well-known stories such as a staff-reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” and part of “A Christmas Carol.”

We also featured music by the Ambassadors of Harmony of St. Charles and Bach Society of Saint Louis.

(Courtesy: RAYGUN)

The Midwest sometimes gets short shrift from people on both ends of the country.  They often call it “flyover country.”  In other words, they ask, “Why would anyone want to stop in the Midwest?”

Native Midwesterners or transplants might take exception to the term, “flyover country.”

One man who certainly takes exception to the term is Mike Draper.

Jason Van Eaton, Kit Bond Strategies

Earlier this month, Missouri and St. Louis-area leaders wrapped up a trade mission to China.  The trip was designed, in part, to revive the so-called China Hub project.

Members of the Midwest-China Hub Commission and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics signed an agreement in Shanghai to pursue expanding trade between the U.S. and China, and in particular adding new airfreight routes between the Asian nation and St. Louis. 

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says arming school personnel should be considered when discussing ways to improve school safety.

Host Don Marsh talked with Fitch about his proposal, which he made a couple of days after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

Fitch acknowledged that there are serious concerns about his proposal but said he hasn’t heard any other ideas for how to address the lag time when someone starts shooting and police can respond.    

(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

It’s said that one of the certainties in life is taxes.  However, taxes for 2012 are to some degree, uncertain because of ongoing negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff.

Host Don Marsh talked with tax expert Lance Weiss, C.P.A., of SFW Partners, LLC about end-of-year tax preparations and what can be done to minimize the amount owed on federal and state income tax returns due in April.

James Cridland via Flickr

The recent school shooting in Connecticut brought up renewed discussions about the relevance of an Illinois appellate court’s ruling which endorsed the right to conceal and carry.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced a new appointment to the state Supreme Court.  And, the LGBT community in St. Louis County recently received good news.

Host Don Marsh talked with a panel of experts during a monthly legal roundtable discussion.


(Courtesy: HarperCollins Publishers)

When St. Louis native Bill Knoedelseder pitched the idea for a TV series about a wealthy brewing, baseball-team-owning family, Hollywood was skeptical. How could a Midwestern mansion hold a candle next to, say, an oil family in Dallas?

(via Flickr/Rojer)

Midwesterners are often known for their kindness and, unfortunately, some people take advantage of it, especially during the holidays.

Host Don Marsh talked with Bill Smith, an investigator for the St. Louis Better Business Bureau.

They addressed ways to avoid becoming the victim of so-called “grinches,” including these twelve tips to outsmart scammers.

Evan C. Parker / Via Flickr

Going over the so-called fiscal cliff is the major talk in Washington D.C. though the Missouri and Illinois delegations are dealing with other issues as well.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Beacon Washington D.C. Correspondent Rob Koenig about the latest news from the nation’s capital, including the fiscal cliff.

(via Flickr/Eric Fischer)

The “Delmar Divide” refers to Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis.  It is a street which runs east/west and to a large extent separates the racial make-up of the city.  In a sample of households north and south of Delmar, residents south of Delmar Boulevard are 73% white, while residents north of Delmar are 98% African American, as the BBC pointed out in, “Crossing a St. Louis street that divides communities,” last year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The main location of the St. Louis Public Library system has reopened after a $70 million renovation and restoration.

The downtown landmark was unveiled to the public on Sunday, December 9, 2012 after more than two years of construction.

Host Don Marsh talked with Waller McGuire, Executive Director of the St. Louis Public Library and George Nikolajevich of Cannon Design.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann reported:

(Courtesy: Jenny Dibble)

When Jenny Dibble returned to St. Louis after five years on the West Coast, she was struck by two features of her hometown’s entrepreneurial culture: one, it was way bigger and more dynamic than she expected; and two, there were a lot of men.

“At every event I attended, I noticed a strange absence of women,” Dibble said.

She decided to investigate and found that she was not the only St. Louis businesswoman craving a community. From that, the idea for Women Entrepreneurs of St. Louis (WEST) was born.

(Courtesy: Saint Louis University Medical Center)

The World Health Organization has declared tuberculosis a global health emergency.

There is already a TB vaccine given to infants in countries other than the United States  but it was developed more than sixty years ago.  That vaccine protects babies from the worst forms of TB but it does not protect adolescents and adults from a type of tuberculosis which accounts for most cases of the disease.

(via Flickr/slgckgc)

The St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center debuts a new interactive exhibit called “Change Begins With Me: Confronting Hate, Discrimination and Ethnic Conflict” this week on the premise that “the lessons of the Holocaust are not yet learned.”

(Courtesy Photo)

John Seigenthaler is a journalist and champion of the First Amendment.  He was previously an editor and publisher of The Tennessean in Nashville and was the founding editorial director of USA Today.  Prior, he served as a special assistant to Robert F. Kennedy during the 1960s, when Kennedy served as U.S. Attorney General. 

During his time as a special assistant, Seigenthaler was involved and injured while trying to protect some of the freedom riders in Alabama.

(Photo By: Richard Stamelman / Provided By: Random House)

The guest on today’s program was Calvin Trillin.  He’s a guest of top billin’.

He talked with host Don Marsh.  It was an interview, which despite the political climate, was not harsh.

Trillin is a journalist, humorist, and author of “Dog Fight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse.”  It’s a volume of poetry, concise but not terse.

Trillin was born and raised in Kansas City.  Discussion of politics is witty, and focuses less on Obama than it does on Mitty.

Related Event

Brain sculpture in Bloomington, Ind.
(via Flickr / Ali Eminov)

While it may be well established that our brains command our actions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we can have greater control over the message.

Increasingly, research shows people can take steps to protect the health of their brain and as one aspect of that, may be able to sidetrack compulsive behaviors such as eating disorders.

The Missouri Eating Disorders Association is one agency which provides education, resources and advocacy to bring understanding and support to those treating or affected by the disease.

(via Flickr/mike matney)

A group called Missourians for Equality is interested in gathering petition signatures for a ballot measure which would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Plus, St. Louis firefighters won a big decision in the Missouri Supreme Court.  The ruling allows them to live outside city limits if they’ve been with the department for at least seven years.

Those are just a couple of the topics for our monthly legal roundtable.  Host Don Marsh talked with a panel of legal experts including:

(Courtesy: The Grannie Annie)

Public radio listeners are familiar with weekly Friday segments from StoryCorps in which family members and close friends talk with one another, sharing memorable stories.

And as we head into the holiday season and families begin to gather, we’re reminded of opportunities to take full advantage of documenting and preserving family histories and stories.

(via Flickr/SodanieChea)

Within approximately the last twenty years, Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened.  That’s according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we also take note of the report’s finding in which the gap between the very richest and the poor is even larger with the top 5 percent of Missouri households having an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.

Evan C. Parker / Via Flickr

The lame duck Congress is now in session and while historically known as a time of inaction, the large task of avoiding the “fiscal cliff” is ever-present.

The fiscal cliff is a combination of tax increases and spending cuts which would take effect on January 1, 2013, primarily due to the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Host Don Marsh talked with Rob Koenig, the St. Louis Beacon’s Washington D.C. correspondent.

(Judy Schmidt, James Gathany / CDC)

On November 6, 2012, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition E, which prohibited the Governor or any state agency from establishing or operating a state-based health insurance exchange without legislative or citizen approval.

The Affordable Care Act, however, moves on toward full implementation in 2014.

Host Don Marsh talked with Sidney Watson, Professor of Law at Saint Louis University’s Health Law Policy Center, and Ryan Barker, Director of Health Policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health.

Don Crinklaw

Many St. Louisans remember Elaine Viets from her time as a columnist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

In the 15 years since she left the city, she has become a prolific and New York Times best-selling author of mystery novels.

One of Viets’ series features St. Louis mystery shopper Josie Marcus.  The series debuted in October 2005 with “Dying in Style.”  “Murder Is a Piece of Cake" is her eighth adventure.

Host Don Marsh talked with Viets about her new book and experiences in St. Louis.

Related Events

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

The EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri in May 2011 killed 161 people and a left city and its residents devastated.

Two filmmakers - Beth Pike and Erica Tremblay - have created films documenting the disaster, the fallout, and what they call a “remarkable recovery.”