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:
Thursday, June 04, 2020
What if we release prisoners with no one to help them? We follow a psychiatrist and social worker as they try to find and support mentally ill inmates being released during a pandemic.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
In the aftermath of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, Kai calls up "Friday Black" author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah to reflect on love, loss... and American zombies.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
As Covid-19 has hits black communities uniquely hard, here's how one essential worker is coping during the pandemic.
Friday, May 08, 2020
Here's the story of investigative journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, who's courageous anti-lynching work just received a Pulitzer Prize.
Friday, May 01, 2020
There are roughly 2.3 million people in jails and prisons. They can’t socially distance. They can barely wash their hands. So now what?
Friday, April 24, 2020
The pandemic has hit black communities uniquely hard. To understand why, we explore how racism shows up in black bodies — all the way down to the cellular level.
Monday, April 13, 2020
Many of us are bracing for the changes Covid-19 will bring, including to our relationships. So reporter Jenny Casas turned to Benji Hart’s poem as a tool for connecting with one another.
Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Here’s how black women in Chicago used lace and jewels to turn their mandatory face masks into works of art, more than 100 years ago.
Friday, April 03, 2020
From the homeless in San Francisco to immigration detention centers, here's how the response to Covid-19 is undermined by choices that have little to do with healthcare.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Research shows that racism and other prejudices are most acute when the stakes are high, so Kai talks with Dr. Gail Christopher about how to control for that reality, during a pandemic.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Salah Hasan Nusaif al-Ejaili knows the atrocities that can be committed during a time of crisis. Seventeen years after the American invasion of Iraq, he's still trying to get justice.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Liberal politics have relied on the same coalition for 160 years. But do black people have any real power in that alliance? Kai Wright and Rashad Robinson discuss presence versus power.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
We speak to descendants of the Great Migration in South Bend, Indiana about their family stories of housing in the “heartland,” and inequity in home ownership today.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
We travel from Liberty Island to U.S.-Mexico border to discover how the end of Reconstruction and America's present-day immigration crisis are inextricably bound.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
We talk to voters about their fear of making the wrong decision, and remember an election so consequential it split a major party - and the country - in two.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
In the classrooms and town meetings of Marin, California we witness a community grappling with what desegregation and reparations might look like in the 21st century.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
We fact check a family legend about "40 acres and a mule," and find a story about the promise and peril of the American Dream at the end of Reconstruction.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
After the Civil War ended, America set out to build the world's first multiracial democracy. More than 150 years later, we’re still trying to pull it off.
Friday, January 03, 2020
The Stakes’ host, Kai Wright, and Karen Frillmann, the shows’ executive producer, on their trip to The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery, Alabama.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Life and loss in Little Haiti, where residents find themselves in the path of a land rush.