St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, 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 Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Subscribe to our e-newsletterThe Talk Studio, to receive previews of upcoming guests, highlights from the most-talked about shows, and questions from our producers.

The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

Brittish Williams and Lorenzo Gordon.
Anderson Group

St. Louis’ own Brittish Williams has made her mark on reality television in such shows as “Basketball Wives,” and, now, “Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars,” which premiered on June 3. She has also started her own clothing line.

Kameel Stanley, Alex Ihnen, Dustin Bryson, Wendy Buske and Adron Buske share their podcast wisdom at a St. Louis on the Air live recording event on June 9, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“How long did it take you to get comfortable behind a microphone?”

“I’m concerned about sound…do you rent space in a studio or do it in your house? Also, with editing: do you do it yourself or do you send it out?”

“How can I use a podcast in the classroom?”

“How much do you focus on monetization?”

“What do you think, as a medium, podcasting can do to heal the region and promote social change in the St. Louis region?”

Did you know? St. Louis is considered the first major type foundry city in the Midwest.
Ian Britton | Flickr |

See these words on the screen right here? Do you see them? No. Do you really see them? Without realizing it, the words you’re reading right now are helping to give you a certain feeling. Not because of the boundless depths of meaning held within these sentences, but because of the typeface they are written in.

One of the world's foremost Wizard of Oz historians, John Fricke, will join St. Louis on the Air on Monday.
eyemage | Flickr |

Ah, sweet summertime in St. Louis. The birds are chirping, our hair is frizzing out and another local tradition is about to begin its 98th season: The Muny. The first show in its lineup? “The Wizard of Oz.” But what’s the history of such a popular musical?

Dave Robertson, Jo Mannies and Vivian Eveloff discuss the presidential race on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed the current state of presidential politics.

Joining us:

Chris LeBeau, Diana Zeng and Andrew Lee are all involved with Full Circle, a non-profit created to help recent college graduates connect with St. Louis
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There are many factors that contribute to a young professional’s decision to stay or not stay in St. Louis after graduating college. For guests on today’s St. Louis on the Air, the potential to find and build community is an overwhelmingly important concern.

Dzemal Bijedic and Adil Imdad started the non-profit House of Goods in 2015 in response to the needs they saw in the St. Louis community.
House of Goods |

When St. Louis city police chaplain Dzemal Bijedic responded to a call for help from a newly-arrived family of Syrian refugees last year, he couldn’t have imagined that it would lead to the creation of a non-profit organization called Bait Ulmal, which means “House of Goods” in Arabic, to provide supplies to those in need at no cost.

Mary Lynn Faunda Donovan is the executive director of VOYCE, a local organization that helps people negotiate these conversations in the family at no cost to the family.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Have you had “the talk?”

No, not that talk — a talk that is actually far more awkward, unwanted and, indeed, painful to have: a talk about end-of-life and long-term care decision making between parents and children.

Author Tim Prosch has written extensively about this issue in his book dubbed “The Other Talk.” He said the issues is becoming more prominent because 77 million baby boomers “are marching into retirement” and will live longer and require more care for a longer period of time.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In January, Jennings Superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, who is credited with turning around the district and helping it reach full accreditation, announced she was leaving to take the position of superintendent with Topeka Public Schools, effective July 1. 

New Line Theatre

Note: Due to an actor's injury, the June 10 and June 11 performances of "Atomic" have been canceled.

The creators of “Atomic,” a new rock musical currently on stage at New Line Theatre, remember living through the fear of nuclear war.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Lizzie Weber’s ‘Falling Like Fools’ Is Your New Favorite Song About Heartbreak,” read a Huffington Post story from September of 2014 about the Richmond Heights native’s first single from her eponymous debut album.

The singer-songwriter’s music has been lauded in the time since, with the music video for “Falling Like Fools,” screening at several film festivals and winning the “Best Music Video of 2016” from the Real Teal Film Festival in North Carolina.

Mike Hart and Joe Reagan discuss measures by the St. Louis Regional Chamber to boost inclusion in business.
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

While the recent economic cycle has impacted St. Louis positively, St. Louis Regional Chamber president and CEO Joe Reagan says that the long-term strategy around the future of the St. Louis economy lies in inclusion and talent attraction/retention.

“We have a change agenda,” Reagan told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “We have to make some changes. We have three elements. We have to provide equity and opportunity throughout this region. We can’t afford to leave anyone behind, we shouldn’t leave anybody behind.”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Recently, the Arch riverfront grounds reopened with the completion of a $33 million riverfront redevelopment project spearheaded by CityArchRiver Foundation. It is part of a dozen projects revitalizing the grounds surrounding the Gateway Arch.

What’s next on the docket? On Monday, Ryan McClure, communication director for CityArchRiver, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what’s next in the $380 million plan.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson takes questions from Alderman Sam Moore (in hat), D., 4th Ward, at a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee on June 1, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed public outcry about public safety in St. Louis, the NGA announcement and the Illinois budget situation after Illinois’ spring legislative session closed on Tuesday.

Here’s who joined us:

Nancy Anderson as Titania in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
J. David Levy | Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

It has been a bloody two summers in Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park.

“The past two years have been a lot of death on stage,” said Rick Dildine, artistic and executive director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. “There is a high body count. Henry IV, Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra … I wanted something that ended with marriage and happiness.”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Local podcasting guru Adam Frick says that a podcast can be “really anything, these days.”

“They’ve been around for over a decade now,” Frick said. “The most common example would be something like an NPR show that gets distributed digitally. It’s like Netflix or anything else that you can time-shift how you want to listen to things. They range from 5-10 minutes to three hours.”

Beth Huebner and Herb Bernsen are in the second year of a MacArthur Foundation grant to reduce the St. Louis County jail population by 15-19 percent.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a discussion about UMSL and St. Louis County’s partnership to reduce the county’s jail population by 15 to 19 percent over two years.

Beth Huebner, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at UMSL, is the lead researcher on a $2.25 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that makes this work possible. She joined the show alongside Herb Bernsen, the director of justice services for St. Louis County, to discuss how the project is going.

Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) was started in 1944 by William Trent, Frederick D. Patterson and Mary McLeod Bethune. It was created to help raise funds for scholarships for 37 private historically black colleges and universities.

Now, funding has expanded for scholarships to non-HBCUs. The group predominantly provides scholarships to African American students, but also extends funding to other minorities as well.

sirmichael | Flickr |

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of June.

Catherine Klene, the magazine’s managing editor, and Kristin Schultz, the magazine’s staff writer, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list?

Five Aces BBQ, 4000 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Following today’s discussion with Circus Flora, Michelle Stevens, Vice President of Grand Center, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss proposed new developments and those already on the drawing board in Grand Center.

How are projects for the area decided upon?

Courtesy Circus Flora

Circus Flora, St. Louis’ most famous big top show, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer. The theme? “Pastime,” which hearkens back to the “golden age” of baseball. Performances start on June 2 and go through July 3 this year.

Wikimedia Commons

This St. Louis on the Air program will be re-broadcast on Monday, May 30 at noon. You can listen live online here. It was initially aired on July 22, 2015. 

During the summer and fall of 1948, President Harry S. Truman’s risky journey toward a second term turned out to be one of his greatest campaigning decisions.

After a 31,000-mile train ride across the country and 352 speeches during what’s known as his “Whistle Stop Tour,” Truman won the presidential election against then New York Governor Thomas Dewey.

From left: Jeff Sears (Brian Howard), Kari Ely (Georgette Howard), Edward Juvier (Albert), Zoe Vonder Haar (Judy Steinberg), and Stacie Bono (Rebecca Steinberg) in STAGES’ 2016 production of "It Shoulda Been You."
Peter Wochniak

Picture the “perfect” wedding day: the sun is shining, no one spills anything on dresses or tuxedos, and there is no family discord about who is walking who down the aisle.


In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed the LouFest and Murmuration festivals, Ferguson city attorney Stephanie Karr’s resignation and movement on the Bayer-Monsanto offer.

Joining us:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The “For the Sake of All” project made waves with the revelation that, in St. Louis, less than 10 miles apart between Clayton and north St. Louis, there is an 18 year gap in life expectancy at birth.

The multi-disciplinary project on the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis, which combined a multi-part report and recommendations to the community, hasn’t stopped its work.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Andrea Boyles, an associate professor of criminal justice at Lindenwood University – Belleville, who has recently started a research project called “How Do Blacks Police Themselves?”

Her project seeks to gain insight into how African Americans feel about neighborhood crime. On the program, we learned more about her research.

WordShore | Flickr |

Even in 2016, talking about mental health is hard to do. There’s a persistent stigma about mental illness and it is hard to know when and what to say or do. What steps are being made to reduce the stigma? What are the signs of mental illness? What resources are available for those who deal with mental illness in their day-to-day lives?

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed these questions with representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) St. Louis.

Stephanie Arne, host of 'Wild Kingdom.'
Wild Kingdom

Stephanie Arne is the host of Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom,” a nature adventure television show that came on the air in 1963. It is a show that holds a dear place in many St. Louisans’ hearts because it was originally hosted by St. Louis zoologist Marlin Perkins, who worked many jobs at the St. Louis Zoo and eventually served as its director.

You can now find it on a web series that is updated regularly.

Practical Cures | Flickr |

Typical symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder behavior include forgetfulness, distractedness, hyper-focus, disorganization and emotional difficulties. Tackling these issues by oneself is difficult enough, but bringing another person into the equation in a relationship can be even harder.

Jim Craig, Jacqueline Thompson and Harold Taylor joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh to discuss "The Telling Project," which is a collaboration between UMSL and local veterans.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed a collaboration between UMSL and local veterans and their family members called “The Telling Project.” The project brings those veterans and families on stage to share their stories with the community.

For more background in the project, please read St. Louis Public Radio education reporter Dale Singer's feature on the project here

Here’s who joined the show: