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 11: Kirsten Gillibrand's Path to Power

Thursday, November 15, 2018

As we head towards 2020, what can Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's rise within the Democratic Party tell us about the relationship between gender and power in American politics?

Episode 10: ¡Sí Se Puede!

Friday, November 09, 2018

Before “Yes we can!”, there was “¡Sí se puede!”

The New Fight for Abortion Access, by Mail

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Non-surgical, medication-induced abortions have already changed the landscape of reproductive health. A clinical trial is bringing them to women who will never set foot inside a clinic. 

Comments [8]

Episode 9: What Does the Right Kind of Woman Sound Like?

Monday, November 05, 2018

Shrill, strident, bossy. These are the misogynistic slurs women often face when they run for elected office. So what should power sound like?

Episode 8: The Right Kind of Woman

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Mikie Sherrill of suburban New Jersey are both Democrats fighting their way into Republican territory, but in very different ways.

Episode 7: The Women of Texas's Secret Resistance

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A group of women in rural Texas share a secret: they’re progressive, and they’re organizing. Membership is by-invitation-only, and they’ve sworn not to discuss the group with outsiders.

Episode 6: Ida B. Wells

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Journalist and activist Ida B. Wells is in some ways a forgotten figure, but she was unwavering in her mission: calling America out on racial injustice.

Episode 5: The Original Nasty Woman

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Jeannette Rankin had a belief: That having women in elected office is essential to the health of our democracy. But how important is it?

Episode 4: The 'Indoor Man' and His Playmates

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Playboy wasn’t just about the pictures. Hugh Hefner’s magazine helped create the notion that women were there for the taking.

Episode 3: The Pedestal

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In Tennessee, the women's suffrage movement collided head on with an effort to preserve white supremacy.

Episode 2: We've Been Here Before

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This episode is about “The Year of the Woman” – but not 2018. Barbara Mikulski and three female senators elected in 1992 look back at the start of the modern era of women in politics.

Kavanaugh Allegations Bring Echoes of Anita Hill

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Kai Wright, host of WNYC's The United States of Anxiety, examines how new sexual assault allegations brought against Brett Kavanaugh echo the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings.

Comment

Episode 1: The Dream Was Not Mine

Monday, September 17, 2018

Jennifer Willoughby and Saily Avelenda each woke up one day wanting to make a change. They ended up toppling two political giants. Plus: why the 2018 midterms could make history.

The United States of Anxiety Season Three: There's an Election Coming

Friday, September 14, 2018

Women have had the vote for nearly a century. Yet, power remains concentrated in the hands of men. Will 2018 change that?

Episode 9: 'You Just Sit There and Wait for the Next Day to Come'

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Solitary confinement has been proven gravely dangerous for young people. The Marshall Project teamed up with Caught to investigate how widespread the practice remains in New York.

Comment

Episode 8: 'I Want Someone to Love Me Even for a Second'

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Girls make up a small fraction of the incarcerated juvenile population, but they often land in detention because they have experienced some form of trauma or abuse.

Comment

Episode 7: 'It’s the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done'

Monday, March 26, 2018

Parents know that, sometimes, kids just need time to work through stuff. A network of expensive, intense programs is selling that time to families with the means to buy it.

Comment

Episode 6: 'Please Lock Up My Kid'

Friday, March 23, 2018

One of the most notable entry points in the school-to-prison pipeline opened when desperate parents turned to law enforcement for help keeping their kids out of trouble.

Comment

Episode 5: 'The Teenage Brain Is Like a Sports Car'

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Brain science convinced the Supreme Court to give thousands of so-called "juvenile lifers" a shot at freedom. Stephen is one of them.

Comment

Episode 4: 'Oh My God, What Have I Done?'

Monday, March 19, 2018

Children who struggle with mental health issues are often swept up in the justice system. Honor perpetrates a violent crime, but instead of jail, he gets a shot at a diversion program. 

Comment