Karen Frillmann

Executive Producer, WNYC Narrative News Unit

Karen is a veteran editor in WNYC’s newsroom, and directs the long-form narrative unit that created the acclaimed podcast series There Goes the Neighborhood and The United States of Anxiety. Karen lends her expertise as a story whisperer to the New Yorker Radio Hour for the development of long-form features and special episodes like “Syria, The World’s Nightmare.”

As a producer, she launched Senior Edition which helped establish WNYC as a destination for talk and public affairs. She worked for five years as a freelance reporter and producer contributing to National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Company. As a senior producer at Simon and Schuster Audio, Karen worked with Alice Walker, Bob Woodward, Hunter S. Thompson  Stephen Ambrose and many other notable authors. She returned to public radio as an editor and co-producer for a series of documentaries which included an exploration of the changing NY Waterfront, the 1968 New York City teacher’s school strike and the changes in the city six months after the attacks of September 11th.  She took on the senior editorial position in the newsroom in 2003. 

Awards for her reporting and editing achievements include recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Armstrong Award, the Dupont-Columbia University Awards,  the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, The Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Award, The Associated Press Broadcasters Association,  the Newswomen’s Club of New York and  the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences from whom she received a Grammy nomination for her production of  “War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars.”     

Growing up in southeast Queens and having lived in various neighborhoods around the city, Karen is very happy to continue to document and report on her hometown. On summer weekends, she can be found swimming upriver in the Hudson where she has helped to establish a free floating river pool in Beacon, NY.    

Karen Frillmann appears in the following:

Episode 4: Music, McCarthy and the Sound of Americana

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The "common man" era in the 1930s and '40s needed a truly American music. Aaron Copland created it in one America and 20 years later found himself in quite another United States.

America's Allergy to Intellect — Why It Keeps Flaring Up

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What's up, America? Why the qualms about erudition and expertise? Where does this wariness spring from, and what role did it play in the rise of Donald Trump?

The Birth of Climate Denial

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Our "Culture Wars" series continues with a look at when the movement that doubts the reality of climate change began — and how scientific consensus has been perpetually undermined.  

Whose Kansas Is it Anyway?

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

In the first episode of "Culture Wars," WNYC travels to Kansas, the site of a February killing that's changing the relationship between America and its South Asian community.

Episode 8: Where Are We Now?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WNYC and The Nation take the temperature of a country soon to be under the leadership of Donald J. Trump.

Comments [2]

Episode 7: This Is Your Brain on Politics

Thursday, November 03, 2016

With the 2016 election taking every twist and turn on its way to November 8th, WNYC and The Nation explore how our minds and bodies are responding.

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Episode 6: The Kids Are Not Alright

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In Suffolk County it is said that everyone knows someone who has been affected by the national opioid epidemic. WNYC & The Nation travel to Long Island to find out just how true this is.

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Episode 5: White Like Me

Thursday, October 20, 2016

For some on Long Island, their expectations don't match their realities. So, we examine what truly happens with a dream deferred.

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Episode 4: Down the Rabbit Hole

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The failure to listen, but success to be heard may be the cornerstone driving today's cultural and political climates.

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Episode 3: This Land Is My Land, That Land Is Your Land

Thursday, October 06, 2016

One thing politicians on both sides of the aisle have agreed on is that immigrants seeking legal status should "go to the back of the line." Problem is, that line doesn't exist.

Episode 2: Who Owns the Deed to the American Dream?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Suburbia's current existential crisis comes as no surprise to those who know the history beyond its white picket fences.

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Episode 1: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Join us as we take our first steps into Long Island to find out if America has truly lost its mind.

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The Legacy of Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pat Summitt, the legendary women's college basketball coach, passed away on June 28th.

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How New York Fashion Week Created American Style

Thursday, June 02, 2016

For most of the early 1900s, America took its fashion cues from Paris. But in 1943, Eleanor Lambert changed the game.

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The Presidential Election, as Performed by a Queens High School

Friday, April 22, 2016

Townsend Harris High School, a magnet school in Queens, mounts a mock Presidential election.

The Case Against Assad

Friday, April 15, 2016

At an undisclosed location in Western Europe, a group called the CIJA is gathering evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the Syrian government.

Dirty Little Secrets: In Your Fish

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WNYC
Eating any fish from the Lower Passaic can cause cancer, liver damage and reproductive issues. Now, companies who polluted the river are swapping contaminated fish for frozen fillets. 

Comments [13]

The Search for Big Brown

Friday, December 25, 2015

Jill Lepore's three-part story about Adrianna Alty's search for her biological father, a once-prominent downtown poet, is presented here in its entirety.

A High School Mock Election Keeps it Real

Friday, December 04, 2015

Townsend Harris High School in Queens mounted a school-wide presidential election simulation, with students playing the candidates, pollsters, fundraisers, and journalists.

A Father's Mission

Friday, November 20, 2015

Staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman spent time with Taylonn Murphy to understand how and why he has dedicated his life to ending the feud that killed his daughter.