Dan Rodricks

Host, Midday

Dan Rodricks has been an award-winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun since 1979, and speaks of his adopted hometown as both its champion and its scold. He has observed local, state and national political trends for three decades.

His "Dear Drug Dealers" series in The Sun, a public call for an end to criminal violence in Baltimore bolstered by his one-man campaign to provide jobs or job training for ex-offenders, won the 2006 Excellence in Urban Journalism Award from the Freedom Forum and the Enterprise Foundation. His series, which exposed the obstacles that paroled felons face in finding jobs, was cited on national television and radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. It won the 2005 Public Service award from the Chesapeake Associated Press. In 2006, he was named Public Citizen of the Year by the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

From 1989 until 1993, Dan hosted a nightly talk show locally, as well as a five-hour Saturday morning show that ran until 1995. More than interviews and conversations with listeners, Dan's shows involved unique undertakings. His radio documentaries won acclaim, as well as the Silver Medal in an international broadcast competition in 1993. Listeners will recall some of Dan's popular radio features, including "Along The River," an outdoors travelogue and natural history, "Country Life Farm," a visit to a Maryland thoroughbred farm, "900 E. 33rd St.," a radio elegy to Memorial Stadium, "A Western Maryland Winter," and "The Greatest Game Never Played," a Chuck Thompson-Rex Barney play-by-play of a fictional game between the greatest Yankees and greatest Orioles.

A collection of Dan's columns, "Mencken Doesn't Live Here Anymore," was published in 1989, and in 1998 he authored, "Baltimore: Charm City," a celebration of Baltimore featuring the work of several accomplished photographers.

Dan also has performed in semi-professional theater in Baltimore.  His stage credits include: Young Victorian Theater Co., Samuel, The Pirates of Penzance, 1986; Monterrarat, Iolanthe, 1986; Shadbolt, The Yeoman of the Guard, 1987; Koko, The Mikado, 1988; Sir Joseph Porter, HMS Pinafore, 2001; and for Action Theater: Charlie, Death of a Salesman, 1999.  His performance in Pinafore was voted one of the Top Ten of the year by the City Paper.

Dan has lived in the Baltimore area since 1976, in the city since 1987.

Ways To Connect

Midday on the Bay

Sep 22, 2015

There are some ambitious plans for the redevelopment of parts of Towson, MD. But some community leaders and environmentalists say that the plans need more green space, trees, parks and sports fields, and that the developers should pay for them. Also ahead, Rona Kobell describes some innovative practices designed to reduce polluted run off from farms on the Maryland Eastern Shore. She'll also tell us about a trip she took to areas of the Chesapeake region threatened by both natural phenomena and human behavior.

Structural Racism & Waking Up White

Sep 22, 2015

Debby Irving is a white woman, born into privilege, who as middle age approached embarked on a personal journey to understand race and racism. She’ll tell us what she learned about herself and about American society as we take this hour of Midday for another important discussion about race and racism affects our lives, in ways visible and invisible. Up front, we hear from Diane Bell-McKoy, president and CEO of Associated Black Charities of Maryland, and the Rev. Douglas Miles, bishop of Koinonia Baptist Church in Baltimore; they signed their names to newspaper ads call for honest discussion, economic opportunities and policy changes to end structural racism they see at the root of the city’s problems.

In a startling new book called Dreamland, journalist, Sam Quinones, traces America’s heroin business back its roots in the deceptive marketing of prescription painkillers in the 1990's. Quinones says the epidemic has devastated entire middle American communities but, he looks at both sides of the operation, including the wealth it has brought to a dismally poor region of Mexico.

Tech For Good

Sep 21, 2015

We hear about three efforts to promote technology skills in Baltimore. Gretchen LeGrand, co-founder of Code in the Schools, tells how they are working provides computer science education to more than 2,500 students each year. Stephanie and Shawn Grimes from Digital Harbor Foundation, talk about the after-school programs, summer camps, workshops they provide for community members and educators. And Will Holman, of Baltimore Arts Realty Corp, talks about transforming properties throughout the city into so-called “maker spaces.”

From the Hindenburg disaster to FDR’s fireside chats, from Mae West to Dragnet, the 1930s, 40s, and 50s were considered the "Golden Age of Radio," a time when the medium exploded in popularity. In this hour of Midday, we listen back to notable moments from the golden age, hear some of the history of radio, and examine its influence on American society. Today, even with the rise of podcasts and online streaming, more than 90% of Americans still listen to a radio at some point, but radio stations face big challenges.

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