New Chapter for NHPR's Laura Knoy
LONGTIME HOST OF THE EXCHANGE LAURA KNOY LEAVING NHPR IN JUNE FOR NEW PURSUITS
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF CIVIL CONVERSATIONS, WITH THE HOST NEW HAMPSHIRE TURNS TO
CONCORD, NH – After more than 30 years in the news business, NHPR host Laura Knoy is ready to start a new chapter in her professional life and pursue longtime interests in writing, speaking, and community service. Knoy shared plans to leave New Hampshire Public Radio in June, after a memorable 25-year stint as host of NHPR’s weekday talk show, The Exchange. Her final day hosting the program will be Thursday, June 10.
Just this past October, The Exchange marked a quarter-century of distinctive New Hampshire conversations, discussing the issues of our times and the topics on listeners’ minds. The Exchange story began in 1995, when Laura Knoy accepted an offer from NHPR to move back to New Hampshire and become the founding host of the program. Since then, she 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.
In the past two years alone, the program dealt with a relentless and quick changing news landscape. Throughout the lead-up to the New Hampshire primary, politics was a common topic, as Presidential candidates appeared on the show, creating in-depth policy discussions. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the program has been a vital source of timely, thoughtful conversation and information about the pandemic and its impact on Granite Staters. With an ongoing national conversation about racial justice, The Exchange also produced many programs relating to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion both nationally and in New Hampshire.
“After the conclusion of our New Hampshire primary coverage in February 2020, I thought then about perhaps stepping away from the host chair. Although creating and hosting a talk show was a dream come true - after 25 years, I wanted to see what else I could do. But then the pandemic hit and I just did not feel it was the appropriate time to leave,” said Laura Knoy. “Our team was producing live daily shows about an unprecedented topic - a global pandemic. We were giving the audience both the vital information they needed and a vital space to process intense emotions. There was no way I was going to step down at that moment. In addition, we had an enormous national election to cover in the fall. Now, though, feels like the right time. I leave with gratitude, with thanks, and with the utmost respect for my talented, committed team and for the mission of New Hampshire Public Radio and all who support our mission. I will miss our listeners, and the contributions and kind gestures they have made over the years; The Exchange is built on listener feedback and the relationship we have with our audience. But I’m looking forward to turning my attention to some new projects and longtime interests and seeing what the future holds next.”
Following a break this summer, those future plans include a continued association with NHPR, hosting community events as New Hampshire rebounds from the challenges of the past year. In addition, Laura is completing her first novel, Hide and Go Seek. The book is based on the real-life story of a Jewish family in France: how they evaded the Nazis during World War II and all the people who helped the family survive, at great personal risk. Knoy has a longtime interest in France, since her days as an exchange student studying in Strasbourg in the 1980s; in fact the story behind Hide and Go Seek comes from friendships she made while there. One of her pandemic relaxation pursuits has been French conversation practice via Zoom with other fluent speakers. Knoy also plans to continue to teach fitness classes at the Concord YMCA and is looking forward to resuming national and global travel. (Her eldest son is studying at a university in Scotland.)
“Laura Knoy has connected the people of New Hampshire to one another, to their elected leaders and to the most interesting and knowledgeable experts on an encyclopedic array of subjects for 25 years,” said Jim Schachter, President & CEO of New Hampshire Public Radio. “NHPR’s audience has trusted Laura to be fair, thorough, respectful - and always prepared. We’re all sad that she won’t be on the radio every morning and glad that she will remain associated with NHPR as she pursues her passions. We’re excited, too, at the prospect of finding our next great host and building on the foundation of serious journalism and deep engagement that Laura helped establish.”
The Exchange is New Hampshire’s longest-running locally produced statewide call-in 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.
With Laura’s departure, NHPR and The Exchange team will be taking a fresh look at how to best serve the local news, information and engagement needs of New Hampshire’s dynamically changing population. The station is recruiting a new executive producer who will lead this development process and the search for a future host.
“Laura has been a terrific contributor not only to NHPR, but to the broader ideals of public media through additional service earlier in her career at WAMU and at NPR in Washington, D.C.,” said Michael Brindley, NHPR’s program director and the current executive producer of The Exchange. “Laura will be much missed with her audience, her team at The Exchange, all of our staff, and with NHPR supporters throughout New Hampshire. But The Exchange will remain rooted in its longtime mission of surfacing important conversations with a New Hampshire perspective – an indispensable listening post whenever the news touches people’s lives.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Listeners are invited to tune in for Laura Knoy’s final program as host of The Exchange, on Thursday, June 10. On Monday, June 14, Laura will be a guest on the program and will reflect on her 25 year stint as the founding host of the show. Listeners will be able to share their remembrances as well.
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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 152,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage and enlightening programming. Thousands more view NHPR.org, follow our social media sites, stream our service online, or listen 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, 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. Visit nhpr.org to access our news and information.