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Athens News Matters: June 26, 2020

This week on Athens News Matters, hear:

  • CCSD Interim Superintendent Xernona Thomas on the district's reopening plans
  • State Rep. Houston Gaines on a proposed hate crimes bill and the state's budget
  • The panel discuss the recent town hall and the financial impact of the pandemic
  • What you should know about COVID-19 modeling, from the director of UGA's Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases
  • ACC District 6 voters react to the results of their commission election
  • Jeanne Davis check in with local protestors amid continuing demonstrations against racism and police brutality
  • Two local high school students talk about their research-based podcast, "The Finch"
  • A look back at Igor Stravinsky's pivotal ballet "The Firebird," 110 years after its premier
Chris Shupe began work at WUGA as a part time weekend announcer in 2010. At the time Shupe was focused on maintaining a thriving career in Real Estate, as well as balancing his time as a local entertainer. Shupe may be best known as The Athens King, a tribute to Elvis Presley, which often included an 8 piece show band! In 2012, Shupe joined WUGA full time as the station’s Morning Edition Host and Assistant Operations Director, and after 2 years of serving in that role Shupe was hired as Program Director for the station. As PD, Shupe spearheaded a return to more involvement in national conferences and continuing education opportunities through industry professional organizations like the Public Radio Program Director's Association, Public Media Development and Marketing Association, Morning Edition Grad School, the NAB, and the Public Media Journalists Association. This involvement led Shupe to undertake a comprehensive market study in 2015, the first such examination of local audience trends in more than 15 years.
Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.