Joel McCord | WYPR

Joel McCord

News Director

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.

He began his reporting career while still a music major at what then was West Chester State College in West Chester, Pa., filing reports for WCSC, the campus radio station. He transferred to the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he managed to earn a degree in journalism in 1973, despite having spent an inordinate amount of time playing pinochle in the student union.

He worked as a reporter and editor at The Maryland Gazette, America's oldest continuously publishing newspaper, and the Annapolis Capital, where he covered education and county government.  He also spent 23 years as a metro staff reporter and occasional editor at the Baltimore Sun, covering local governments, land use issues, transportation and environment before he became one of the old farts who Tribune Company, the paper’s owners, offered a semi-reasonable amount of money to leave.

McCord worked as a freelance writer and editor until joining WYPR as a reporter, where he has covered the Maryland General Assembly and two governors.  Joel also reprised his role as an environmental reporter, only this time, he used the sounds one hears on God's green earth to help tell the stories of commercial watermen, farmers, hunters and people who are laboring to save the planet.

He became WYPR’s news director in October 2012.

And he still plays the trumpet with your occasional big band or small jazz group, just not as often or as well as he would like.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, died at 7:22 a.m. April 15th, 150 years ago. That much is certain. But trying to piece together the story of his murder and the escape of assassin John Wilkes Booth is something like that college stunt where someone runs into a classroom, fires a cap pistol and runs out and the professor asks what happened. 


The water is clearer, the underwater grasses are coming back and so are the oysters, if only incrementally, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s latest report on America’s largest estuary.

Pollution is declining and the dead zones are shrinking. And that’s all to the good. But two of the bay’s iconic species—crabs and rockfish—are in trouble. And the scores for other indicators, such as wetlands, toxics and nitrogen pollution did not change.

In his second inaugural address last weekBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said that he wants county residents to feel that their local government represents them all. WYPR's Joel McCord and John Lee talk about why this message of inclusion matters in the wake of protests around the country and how Kamenetz hopes to accomplish his goal.

Why Jan Gardner Won Race For Frederick County Executive

In their first election under charter government, voters in Frederick County rejected a conservative radio talk show host for county executive but gave the Democratic winner a majority Republican County Council. Cliff Cumber, the editorial page editor at the Frederick News Post, joins WYPR’s Joel McCord by phone to talk about the results.

Mr. Key's Questions

Sep 15, 2014

As we all know, the first line of the first stanza of Francis Scott Key’s poem, the Defense of Ft. McHenry, talks about the “dawn’s early light.” So, why did the folks at Fort McHenry wait till 9 a.m. Sunday to raise that giant replica of the 1814 flag that inspired Key and say it was going up at the very moment 200 years later that Key saw the flag?

Election 2014: Who Is Russell Neverdon?

Aug 8, 2014

Election 2014: Who Is Russell Neverdon?

Though the primary is over, the race is still on for Baltimore City State's Attorney. WYPR's Joel McCord and P. Kenneth Burns talk about the background and platform of an independent candidate, local defense attorney Russell Neverdon.

The Baltimore Ravens open their preseason campaign at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday with a new inside linebacker, a new nose tackle and a new singer to deliver the national anthem, Baltimore native Joey Odoms.

WYPR's Joel McCord and Bryan Sears of The Daily Record talk about a few incumbent Maryland Republicans who lost their seats in this week's primaries, and what the results say about how the party operates.

Frosh Victorious In Attorney General Primary

In the race for attorney general, State Sen. Brian Frosh put on a late rush to close the gap with Del. Jon Cardin and win the Democratic nomination. Del. Aisha Braveboy ran third. WYPR’s Joel McCord and Kenneth Burns were at the Frosh and Cardin headquarters last night.

Federal geologists once warned that the silt trapped behind Conowingo dam was “a time bomb,” threatening to choke the life out of Chesapeake Bay. The mass of muck piled up behind the dam over the years is enough to fill M&T Bank Stadium 80 times over. And a major storm could hurl tons of it through the flood gates down river and into the bay, destroying grass beds and suffocating oyster bars.

Pages