Jay Cowit

Technical Director, The Takeaway

Jay Cowit is the technical director for The Takeaway.  

He hates polar bears. But he loves radio, and has for over a decade. He's been with The Takeaway since 2008, starting as a board operator and quickly developing a two Redbull-a-day habit.

In 2009, Jay was named Technical Director, and switched from Red Bulls to coffee with tons of sugar and a strict no-vegetable diet. He credits this for his raging insomnia, fledgling insanity and most certainly convivial demeanor that allows him to preside over live hours of radio each morning. He speaks mainly in movie quotes and catchphrases. And he carries a bat.

However, he wants you to know that he is extremely grateful to be working with an absolutely amazing staff, who work harder (and faster and better and, well, longer) than anyone he's ever seen. He also works with the  the best hosts who has ever lived in John, and for that, he's honored to walk through the studio doors each day.

Cowit lives in Prospect Park-Lefferts Gardens with his incredible and wonderful wife Cate Contino Cowit and their two cats, one of which is kinda a jerk, albeit a cute jerk. He also plays drums in Wounded Buffalo Theory, writers of The Takeaway's Theme Song, and The Sometime Boys. Reach him at jcowit@wnyc.org.

Jay Cowit appears in the following:

Drawn Out: The Value of a Vote, From Pennsylvania to the Supreme Court

Friday, February 16, 2018

The nation finds itself at a turning point in a major fight over redistricting and gerrymandering. This special podcast takes you on a tour to find out if we can fix the system.

Comments [6]

Earth, 2067: Technology Will Spell the Death of Independent Thought

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What will the world look like in 50 years? While we don’t have a time machine yet, we do have science fiction writers to take us there.

Comments [3]

Karen and The Sorrows: Reinventing Country Music For a New Age

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Country music isn't all cowboy hats and heartbreak — if you dig a little deeper into America’s heartland, you can also find some new and diverse faces. 

Comments [2]

RIP Grant Hart: 15 Hüsker Dü Songs You Should Listen To

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Grant Hart helped foster the hugely influential hardcore punk sound of Hüsker Dü, which inspired artists from Dave Grohl to Ryan Adams, to The Pixies and thousands more.


Afro-Beat Band Antibalas Searches for the Rhythm of Change

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Brooklyn-based Afro-beat band Antiblas is moving away from current day political conflicts and focusing instead on historical wrongs.

Comments [1]

Crafting The Sound of The Takeaway

Friday, August 11, 2017

As John Hockenberry says goodbye, he sits down with Director Jay Cowit to discuss how The Takeaway approaches sound design and the news. 


The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Prog Rock" or progressive rock is a morphing of classical, rock, and improvisational sound. A new book explores how the genre has changed since the 1960s. 

Comments [4]

The Shift: Exploring America’s Rapidly Changing Workforce

Thursday, May 04, 2017

It's the free market that decides which jobs stay and which jobs go, and technology and innovation are changing the present and shaping the future of the U.S. labor market.

Comments [10]

The World Loses a Jam Band Legend: Colonel Bruce Hampton Dead at 70

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Colonel Bruce Hampton, who inspired bands like Phish, Widespread Panic, Medeski Martin and Wood, and Gov't Mule, died last night after collapsing during a performance in Atlanta. 


International Women's Day 2017 Playlist

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Here's a playlist of some pioneering female musicians to help you celebrate International Women's Day.

Comments [1]

Life After Prison: A First Step Towards A New Beginning

Thursday, March 02, 2017

In part IV of the new series, "Commuted: Life After Prison," The Takeaway travels with former inmate Aaron Glasscock to the halfway house where he will start his new life. 

Comments [1]

Life After Prison: High Hopes For an Uncertain Future

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

In part III of the new series, "Commuted: Life After Prison," Aaron Glasscock is finally free and talks about his expectations and worries as he heads to a halfway house with his family.

Comments [1]

Life After Prison: An Anxious Ride on the Road to Freedom

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In part II of the new series, "Commuted: Life After Prison," The Takeaway travels with the family of Aaron Glasscock as they meet him for the first time as a free man.

Comments [1]

Commuted: Life After Prison

Monday, February 27, 2017

Aaron Glasscock was just 22 when he was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1999 for a non-violent drug offense. Now 20 years later, Aaron’s sentence was commuted. This is his story.

Comments [4]

Calling Twitter Unusable for Anyone But Trolls, Lindy West Signs Off

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Writer, feminist, and humorist Lindy West says she's leaving Twitter because she says that the social media service hasn’t done enough to reign in trolls and hate speech.

Comments [8]

Holly Bowling Turns Jam Band Songs into Piano Solos

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pianist Holly Bowling has spent her entire life listening to the band Phish, and now she's re-imagining Phish and other jam bands like The Grateful Dead for piano solos. 


Barrio Logan Raises Concerns Over Port Expansion

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Locals are concerned that the expansion of San Diego's deep water cargo port could lead to more pollution.


How Glam Reinvented Rock, Identity, and Culture in the 1970s

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Simon Reynolds, author of the new book “Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century” explores the evolution and cultural impact of glam.

Comments [3]

LISTEN: The Entire 2016 Election in Just 4 Minutes

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

It's been an intense campaign, but we couldn't pass up one more chance to look back at the highs and lows of the 2016 election. 


LISTEN: Announcers Around the Globe Call the 2016 World Series

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The Cubs did it! Here's how announcers from Chicago to Russia called the 2016 world series. 

Comments [1]