Emily Rooney

Host and Executive Editor, Greater Boston Productions

Emily Rooney is the host, executive editor and creator of "Greater Boston" and "Beat the Press." Since the show's inception in 1997, Emily has brought her journalistic credentials and deep knowledge of media, politics and culture to the program and has earned numerous awards, including the National Press Club's prestigious Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism, a series of New England Emmy Awards, and Associated Press recognition for Best News/Talk Show.

Before coming to WGBH, Emily was director of political coverage and special events at Fox Network in New York from 1994 to 1997. Prior to that, she was executive producer of ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Emily also worked at WCVB-TV in Boston from 1979 to 1993, where she served as news director for 3 years and as assistant news director before that.

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LOCAL NEWS
7:09 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Emily's List: Kerry Healey

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been inviting back some special guests we’ve come to rely on for their unique insights and special perspectives. We’re calling it "Emily’s List." 

LOCAL NEWS
5:08 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Emily's List: Jim Walsh

I’ve got just a few more shows as host of Greater Boston. And between now and my final night in this chair, we’re squeezing in as many interviews with newsmakers and big thinkers as we can.  We’re calling it "Emily’s List." 

Jim Walsh is a research associate in MIT's Security Studies program and author of "Talking To Terrorists." 

LOCAL NEWS
7:31 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Emily's List: Roseann Sdoia

When we started thinking about the special series of interviews I would conduct before signing off as host of Greater Boston, there was one person we knew had to call. Roseann Sdoia stands out from the rest of the people on "Emily’s List." She’s not a household name. She’s never run for office. She hasn’t written a book, at least not yet. But she made a lasting impression on me because of her resilience and her spirit.  

LOCAL NEWS
11:46 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Emily's List: Juliette Kayyem

The guests on this show runs the gamut, from academics and authors to politicians and pundits, even the occasional celebrity. And before I hang up my hosting hat, we’re inviting back a select group of people who’ve made a real impression over the past 18 years. We’re calling it "Emily’s List."

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LOCAL NEWS
6:34 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Emily's List: Harvey Silverglate

As I think back on my time as host of Greater Boston, there are certain people who stand out, people we came to rely on for unique perspective on the issues we tackle here. And so, before I step down from this post, we’re inviting back a select few who helped elevate the show over the years. We’re calling it "Emily’s List."

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LOCAL NEWS
6:32 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Emily's List: Wyc Grousbeck

When we invite experts and newsmakers on this show, it’s almost always to ask them about current events.  We rarely get the chance to find out how they got their start, when they got their big break and what makes them tick. That’s why, in my final few weeks as host of Greater Boston, we’ve been inviting a parade of familiar faces back on the show, for a segment we’re calling "Emily’s List."

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LOCAL NEWS
6:11 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Emily's List: Jared Bowen

If you’ve been watching over the past few weeks, you know I’m conducting a special series of interviews before I sign off as host of Greater Boston. The guests run the gamut. They’re renowned experts, public officials and personal friends, and they’ve all made an impact on this show and this community. 

We’ve got an extra special edition in store, one I’ve been looking forward to. You know him as the polished, sophisticated connoisseur of Boston’s cultural scene. But that wasn’t always his beat. 

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LOCAL NEWS
6:13 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Emily's List: Scott Harshbarger

I’ve got just nine more shows as host of Greater Boston. And between now and my final night in this chair, we’re squeezing in as many interviews with newsmakers and big thinkers as we can.  We’re calling it "Emily’s List." 

LOCAL NEWS
6:54 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Emily's List: Larry Lucchino

As the year comes to a close, so too is my tenure as host of this program. I’m not going away entirely: I’ll still be here each Friday hosting Beat the Press, and before I sign off from Greater Boston, I’m conducting a series of interviews with news makers and big thinkers who helped set the tone and raise the bar of this show. We’re calling it, "Emily’s List." And I don’t care if that title is already taken.

LOCAL NEWS
6:42 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Emily's List: Matt Siegel

I’ve interviewed all kinds on this show: politicians, advocates, celebrities and even convicted felons. Now, as I wind down my tenure as host, we’re inviting back a select few who have helped make this program what it is today.  We’re calling it the Greater Boston version of my weekly radio segment, "Emily’s List."

LOCAL NEWS
6:21 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Emily's List: Nancy Koehn

As I think back on my time as host of Greater Boston, there are certain people who stand out, people we came to rely on for unique perspective on the issues we tackle here. And so, before I step down from this post, we’re inviting back a select few who helped elevate the show over the years. We’re calling it the Greater Boston version of my weekly radio segment, "Emily’s List."

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LOCAL NEWS
6:32 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Emily's List: Michael Goldman

As host of Greater Boston, I’ve got about 18 years in the rearview mirror and just four more weeks ahead of me. And before I leave this perch, we’re inviting people back on the show who helped make it what it is today.  We’re calling it the Greater Boston version of my weekly radio segment, “Emily’s List.”

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LOCAL NEWS
12:34 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Emily's List: Stephen Freyer

When you’ve hosted a show as long as I have, you meet a lot of interesting people with interesting perspectives. And so as I wind down my duties here on Greater Boston, we’re inviting some of our standout guests back on the show. We’re calling it a version of my weekly radio segment known as "Emily’s List."

LOCAL NEWS
5:57 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Emily's List: Wendy Murphy

After hosting Greater Boston the past 18 years, I’ll be stepping away from the anchor desk in just about five weeks. And before I go, we're inviting people back on the show who have special perspectives and who have elevated the discourse over the years. We’re calling it the Greater Boston version of "Emily’s List."

LOCAL NEWS
6:56 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Emily's List: Bob Lobel & Susan Wornick

For the next few months, as I wind down my duties here on Greater Boston, I’m going to be talking with a select group of people we’ve had on the show before, people with unique skills and perspectives who have elevated the discourse of the show. We’re calling it the Greater Boston version of "Emily’s List."

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COMMENTARY
11:24 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Everybody Knew Menino's Name

Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino listened during a forum held at Boston University in Boston on Monday, March 24, 2014.
Credit (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Everybody knew his name, but he was called a lot of things: Hizzoner, the urban mechanic, the people’s mayor, a friend to the little guy, a good listener, thin-skinned, vengeful, and a bully who would take a sledge hammer to swat a fly. Each carried a ring of truth, including that “Mumbles Menino” moniker.

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LOCAL NEWS
5:49 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Remembering Ben Bradlee's Legacy At The Washington Post

Longtime Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee died at the age of 93. His brusque and charismatic manner, combined with a laser sharp wit and zest for news, made him the ultimate power broker in a city of power brokers.
Credit (AP Photo)

Ben Bradlee was Boston born and went to Harvard, roots that served him well in Washington when a relative of his first wife moved down the block in Washington. Ben Bradlee and then Congressman John F. Kennedy became fast friends just as Bradlee’s journalism career was getting started. 

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LOCAL NEWS
6:06 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Emily's List: Andrea Cabral

For the next few months, as I wind down my duties here on Greater Boston, I’m going to be talking with a select group of people we’ve had on the show before, people with unique skills and perspectives who have elevated the discourse of the show. We’re calling it the Greater Boston version of "Emily’s List."

We got to know Andrea Cabral, the secretary of public safety here in Massachusetts, during her tenure as Suffolk County sheriff and even then she was willing to sound off on issues that went far beyond her jurisdiction, which we appreciated because so many people in public life are unwilling to share their opinions, period.

LOCAL NEWS
6:39 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Emily's Farewell List: Wendy Kaminer

For the next few months, as I wind down my regular duties here on Greater Boston, I’m going to be talking to people we’ve had on the show before, people with extraordinary skills and special perspectives, and people who’ve elevated the discourse of the show over the years: call it Emily’s List.

COMMENTARY
12:39 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Sweetheart Deal: Casino Gambling, East Boston, And Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun's latest rendering for a casino in Revere.
Credit Courtesy Mohegan Sun

So, call me jealous since I live in the Back Bay and not Eastie, but I don’t get why it’s such a great thing that Mayor Marty Walsh has shaken down Mohegan Sun for $18 million a year to hand over to just one neighborhood for “improvements” when frankly, everyone in Greater Boston is going to be affected by a casino in either Revere or Everett.

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Local News
12:46 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

The Back Bay Speedway

Police work the scene of a crash Saturday at Fairfield and Beacon Streets in the Back Bay.
Credit Emily Rooney / WGBH News

Boston Police have yet to release a report on the Back Bay accident Saturday night that took the lives of a young couple, 27-year-old Jessica Campbell and 28-year-old Jack Lanzillotti. While police have to take time and responsibly reconstruct events of that night, I’m under no such constraint and can verifiably report that the accident was caused by speeding and a gross disregard for the fact that it’s a busy residential neighborhood.

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COMMENTARY
3:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Give Me A Break

Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Emily Rooney on the set of Greater Boston.
Credit Abbie Ruzicka / WGBH

At the end of 2014, I will have hosted Greater Boston for 17 years. That’s roughly 4,400 episodes which include a minimum of three interview segments a show with between one and three guests per segment, and well, you see where I am going with this. 

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COMMENTARY
3:10 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Jill Abramson: The Truth Doesn’t Change A Thing

Jill Abramson
Credit AP Photo

New York Times media columnist David Carr set the record straight with his piece about the firing of executive editor Jill Abramson. Carr reports Abramson’s unceremonious beheading had nothing to do with her complaint over pay inequity and everything to do with her management style.

Carr confirmed that her “masthead colleagues” had lost confidence in her just as publisher Arthur Sulzburger, Jr. wrote in a public statement over the weekend. Still, Carr acknowledged the paper’s handling of the firing was clumsy at best.

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COMMENTARY
2:45 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Stephen Crosby: What Was He Thinking?

Stephen Crosby
Credit AP Photo

As public policy officials go, Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Stephen Crosby is a standout.

Crosby has worked in both Republican and Democratic gubernatorial administrations; he’s served as chairman of various technology and publishing companies; and he founded SmarteRoute Systems, the innovative traffic jam indicator used by several television and radio stations.

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Local News
4:25 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

What The Hell Happened To My Internet?

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Each line is drawn between two nodes, representing two IP addresses. The length of the lines are indicative of the delay between those two nodes.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

An interesting experiment took place at WGBH News today. Our Internet, wireless and cable connections went down around 7:45 a.m. after RCN experienced some kind of a line cut in downtown Boston.

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COMMENTARY
6:11 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

DCF Fall Guys

Patrick accepts Roche's resignation.
Credit WGBH News

There's no question that ousted Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche made some mistakes, chief among them was telling a legislative committee that she was certain there were no more "Jeremiah Oliver cases" out there— that all children under DCF care had been accounted for.

There’s no way she could know that for certain, so saying it made her sound naïve, not a quality you want in your DCF commissioner. She didn’t inspire confidence, which made her leadership shaky, and the governor was right to accept her resignation.

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COMMENTARY
3:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

A Marathon Conversion

Lelisa Desisa Benti and Rita Jeptoo, winners of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Credit AP Photo

I started getting an anxious feeling last weekend, not because it was nearing the anniversary of the marathon bombings, but because the marathon itself was approaching.

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COMMENTARY
3:00 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Snapshot: Firefighter Michael Kennedy On The Job

Michael Kennedy stands with Emily Rooney in her kitchen on Easter 2013.
Credit Courtesy Emily Rooney

Last Easter Sunday, I was preparing dinner for eight guests when I trustingly allowed one of my friends to stir-fry her own vegetables. She pumped the front gas burner to full tilt, poured olive oil into a pan, and walked away for a minute. In seconds my tiny kitchen filled with smoke and -- for the 5th time in the seven years I have lived in the Back Bay -- my smoke alarm went off.  

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LOCAL NEWS
6:04 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Justina Pelletier's Parents Fighting To Get Her Back

Justina Pelletier with her parents, Linda and Lou, who lost custody of the 15-year-old when Children’s Hospital took over her care and accused the parents of child abuse.

Living with her family in West Hartford, Justina Pelletier was a normal, active girl, even though she had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease as a child. But something changed in 2013: she had just finished a skating competition when  she developed flu-like symptoms. 

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Local News
6:08 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Michelle Kosilek: 'You Don't Lose Your Right To Humanity When You Go To Prison'

Michelle Kosilek is serving a life sentence for the 1990 murder of her wife. Kosilek has been embroiled in lawsuits with the state over its repeated refusal to provide hormone treatment, electrolysis and gender reassignment surgery.
Credit Associated Press

There hasn't been a more perplexing prison controversy in Massachusetts than the case against Michelle Kosilek. Convicted of killing her wife when she was referred to as Robert, today Kosilek is serving a life sentence for murder.

But the case is bogged down in Kosilek's demand to have gender reassignment surgery.

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