Karen Frillmann

Executive Producer, WNYC Narrative 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:

Giving Birth While Black

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Black women and their babies are dying at shockingly high rates during and after child birth. One big reason is the implicit bias of doctors. So what do we do about it?

A Conversation with Eric Holder, Jr.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. told us that Dr. King’s long arc of the moral universe only bends towards justice when people put their hands on it and pull it.

The People vs. Dutch Boy Lead

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

What do a handful of baby teeth, a creepy cartoon character and The Young Lords have in common? This is the story of one of our worst public health epidemics.

The System is Broken. But That Means We Can Fix it.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Coming up on The Stakes podcast, host Kai Wright and team identify what's not working about our society and imagine ways to do it better. 

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?

¡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. 

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

The Pedestal

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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