The Exchange: Celebrating 25 Years of Community and Connection
This October, NHPR’s weekday talk show The Exchange marks 25 years of distinctive New Hampshire conversations, discussing the issues of our times and the topics on listeners’ minds.
The Exchange is New Hampshire’s longest-running, locally produced statewide call-in talk show – and indeed one of the longest-running public radio talk shows in the country. The program airs five days a week on NHPR, streams on nhpr.org, and is also available in podcast form. Mondays through Thursdays feature a different topic per day, with Friday’s edition a roundup of the week’s most pertinent news. Hundreds of newsmakers participate in the program each year – from state government leaders and members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation to local lawmakers, authors, academics, citizen activists, cultural influencers, and the many listeners who call into the program and engage via social media, email and other interactive channels.
The Exchange story began in 1995, when host Laura Knoy accepted an offer from NHPR to move back to New Hampshire and become the founding host of the program. Laura, who graduated from Keene High School, had spent many years working as a journalist in Washington, D.C., including time as a newscaster and reporter for NPR. With original producer Scott McPherson, the show had its inaugural broadcast that October 9 and aired five days a week. Since then, Laura Knoy has emerged as one of the state’s most respected journalists, with an experienced team of producers who keep the show fresh, informative and always focused on listeners.
“Engagement is the holy grail for media today – making deep connections with the audience, forging the bonds of loyalty and community – and The Exchange, with Laura Knoy as host, has been all about engagement since before it had a name,” said Jim Schachter, President and Chief Executive Officer of New Hampshire Public Radio. “Often, the listeners are the best guests on a subject – the experts on their own lives and experiences. The Exchange is New Hampshire’s indispensable listening post whenever the news touches people’s lives.”
Audience interaction and the voices of the community have always been the centerpiece of the program – an exchange of thoughts, of ideas, of perspectives. In the early days, listeners could only call into the program on a landline phone; now they can tune in via their mobile phones, post comments and questions on social media, send an email or respond to surveys.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Exchange regularly took the show on the road, holding community conversations and events throughout the state at historic sites, urban centers, libraries, universities and community gathering spots. Earlier this year, once the pandemic became a public health emergency, The Exchange quickly shifted from an in-studio model to hosting conversations remotely, as well as holding virtual events.
“I’m extremely honored and grateful that for a quarter century, Granite Staters have graciously and bravely shared their stories, their opinions, their hopes and fears with our program,” said Laura Knoy. “So much has changed in our state over the last 25 years, but the connection The Exchange has with the people of New Hampshire has not. Looking ahead, I hope that despite all of the challenges we are now facing as a state and a nation, we can keep these conversations going in the same spirit of curiosity, respect and kindness.”
Conversations aired on The Exchange offer snapshots of key moments in the life of our state and our nation: breaking news topics including national and local election results; major and ongoing issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and state politics; the economy; our natural environment; education, criminal justice and social services issues.
The show also looks in-depth at the lives and legacies of remarkable people and Granite Staters from all walks of life; discusses community and cultural fare such as popular annual book reviews with local booksellers; and offers practical and engaging lifestyle content on topics ranging from how best to access the outdoors, the future of grocery stores, and the lasting appeal of the public television program Downton Abbey. Once a year, the program’s editorial team produces “The Exchange: In-Depth”, a multi-show series that delves into nuanced topics such as education or mental health. Creativity, relevance and civil conversations are core values of The Exchange’s approach – an approach that is always evolving to produce excellent topical journalism and serve as a vital gathering space for New Hampshire-focused conversations.
THE EXCHANGE ON NHPR
Listen Live: 9 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday on NHPR, with a repeat broadcast from 9 to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
Send an email to the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Download The Exchange podcast
Submit a show idea
THE EXCHANGE TEAM:
Laura Knoy, Host
Michael Brindley, Executive Producer
Ellen Grimm, Senior Producer
Jessica Hunt, Producer
Christina Phillips, Producer
Jane Vaughan, Fellow
Since 1981, New Hampshire Public Radio has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of more than 157,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage, with thousands more viewing NHPR.org, following our social media sites or listening to our podcasts. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally produced programs and podcasts include The Exchange, The Folk Show, Outside/In, Bear Brook, and Civics 101, among others. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life. www.nhpr.org