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:

Review: Fear and Violence in "Office Hour"

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Julia Cho's play at the Public Theater explores gun violence and the "what ifs" that could prevent mass shootings.

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The City of Beacon Tries to Live Up to Its Name

Thursday, October 26, 2017

After the election of Donald Trump in 2016, a debate broke out about 65 miles north of New York City in the small city of Beacon: how to protect their most powerless residents.

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The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

From our friends at The United States of Anxiety: David Yerushalmi sees the threat of radical Islam everywhere. And thanks to him and his allies, the president now does, too.  
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Video: Living in Between Worlds

Monday, September 11, 2017

One Brooklyn woman's complicated relationship with the hijab and the experience of living in between worlds.

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Episode 12: The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President

Monday, September 11, 2017

David Yerushalmi sees the threat of radical Islam everywhere. And thanks to him and his allies, the president now does, too.  

America's Fourth: Beyond Pie and BBQs

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

As we come to celebrate the independence of America on the Fourth of July, we talk about the holiday's past, present, and future.   

Episode 10: The Drug War

Monday, July 03, 2017

The "War on Drugs" began over fifty years ago as part of a political strategy to create anxiety around race and crime and also in response to a growing opioid problem.

Episode 9: Nixon's Enemies

Friday, June 23, 2017

Richard Nixon felt he was surrounded by enemies. So he had a list drawn up and then wanted to use the power of the federal government to go after them.

Episode 8: These 'Witches' Are Empowering the Next Generation

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

At a time when "traditional" values are making a comeback, a new radical group is forming around skateboarding and art, trying to disrupt the system and empower young people.

Episode 7: In Jesus' Name... We Legislate

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

America’s long, twisted debate over religion and civil liberties.  

The New, Old White Supremacist Movement

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Trolls, memes and red pills. Here's how a cadre of digitally-savvy culture warriors used media disruption to build a new far right around familiar and dangerous ideas.

Episode 5: How Politics Turns Violent

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why do people move from radical politics to political violence? How does a person decide that peaceful protest is not enough?

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 9: 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.

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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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