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KOSU’s New Morning Edition with Ben Allen

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 @BenAllenKOSUand you’ll see what I see every day, from the news to “Colvin Center Encounters”, my trips to Oklahoma State University’s gym.

Ben Allen was the Morning Edition host at KOSU, from March 2012 to October 2013.
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