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.


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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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."

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."

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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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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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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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.

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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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4:38 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Veteran WCVB Anchor Susan Wornick Signs Off

It was then-news director Jim Thistle and me who hired Susan Wornick away from WHDH radio 34 years ago. At the time, we all joked about her “not ready for prime time hair,” but in truth,  it was she who came up with the phrase. She got hired because she was fresh, tenacious, hard-working, and very, very funny. All those things are still true as Susan Wornick signed off from Channel 5 for the final time.

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Local News
7:36 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Narcan 'Brings People Back From The Dead'

In this Tuesday Feb. 27, 2012 photo, Kathy Deady holds up a tube of Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, in her Quincy, Mass., home.
Credit (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The recent death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman renewed the focus not just on heroin, but on the cheap, easy access more people have to this deadly drug. This week WGBH puts a focus on heroin abuse in our area.

Pat Byrne works at the Lynn Multi Service Center dealing with homeless men and women, and an endless stream of junkies.

Pat has never had an addiction himself, but says his son Jamie took up heroin 20 years ago as a college student.

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How We Live
5:24 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Mandela Singled Out Massachusetts For Anti-Apartheid Support

Nelson Mandela, center, dances to African folk music during the rally and concert at the Hatch Shell on Boston’s Esplanade Saturday, June 23, 1990. Mandela was joined by U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, left, and Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.
Credit Charles Krupa / AP

It was June 1990 – South Africa’s Nelson Mandela had been a free man for just four months when he came to Boston – singling out Massachusetts and the region for its faithful anti-Apartheid support.

As many as 250,000 people from all over the region gathered on the Esplanade to welcome Mandela and his then wife Winnie – waving  flags with the colors of the African National Congress.  South Africa was at the threshold of  fundamental change, but the separatist Apartheid government was still a threat, Mandela told the crowd. 

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Local News
10:02 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Gardner Heist Update: Museum Got Threats After Theft, FBI Needs Public's Help

Empty frames hang in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Credit AP Photo

Twenty-three years since 13 priceless pieces of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Gardner and the FBI issued a public appeal similar to the one launched just prior to James "Whitey" Bulger's capture — complete with wanted posters.

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3:31 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Allston Gym Owner Talks About Former Regulars: Tsarnaevs, Todashev

Wai Kru gym owner John Allan (right) talks about former regulars at the Allston gym: Tamerlan Tsarnaev (top left), Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (middle left), and Ibragim Todashev (bottom left).
Credit Allan: Howard Powell/WGBH News; mugshots: AP photos

Both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Ibragim Todashev were regulars at Wai Kru, a martial arts gym in Boston's Allston neighborhood. It was this gym where the Tsarnaev brothers were seen just three days before the Boston Marathon bombing. They arrived with a third, as-yet unidentified individual, seen in the photo at right.

Gym owner John Allan told Greater Boston's Emily Rooney what happened when the brothers showed up at the gym three days before the bombing, and how he came to hear that Tamerlan Tsarnaev might have murdered his own best friend.

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2:56 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Bodies Of Evidence: What The Jury Saw

Eddie Connors body was left in a phone booth where he was shot.
Credit AP Photo

It’s of a bygone era – Cadillac DeVilles, aluminum sided split level homes, Levi jeans and sideburns. The evidence is a slice of life going back more than 50 years, conjuring a wisp of nostalgia for a simpler era - even the gangland warfare once romanticized by Frank Sinatra who, by coincidence, is found in the evidence file in a photograph with Richard Castucci, just one of the Winter Hill Gang’s murder victims.

Also in the files, thousands of documents, surveillance video, photographs, handwritten notes and communications between the FBI, mobsters, the state police, victims and innocents.

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Local News
12:13 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Deerfield Academy Sexual Abuse Victim Speaks Out

A yearbook photo of Whit Sheppard when he was at Deerfield Academy in the 1980s.
Credit Whit Sheppard

Earlier this year, an anonymous man came forward saying he had been sexually abused by a popular coach and math teacher at Deerfield Academy in Western Massachusetts in the 1980’s. 

Now that accuser,  Whit Sheppard, is putting his name out there. Sheppard wrote a first-person account of what happened for Boston Globe Magazine and he recently spoke with WGBH’s Emily Rooney.


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Marathon Bombings
9:06 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Greater Boston Video: Surviving the Bombing - Extended Interview with Roseann Sdoia

Roseanne Sdoia
Credit Liz Alesse / WGBH

Three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, many of the most severely injured victims are being treated at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s new facility in Charlestown. Roseann Sdoia was waiting for a friend to cross the finish line when the second bomb exploded just feet from where she was standing. Her right leg was so badly hurt it had to be amputated above the knee. Today, Sdoia is walking on crutches and will soon be fitted with a prosthetic leg.

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5:50 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Greater Boston Video: Bikes, Cars Maintain Uneasy Equilibrium

This is national bike month – something we’ve been anticipating for many months – WGBH News, along with our partners at Wicked Local, are taking a close look all week at how bicycles, cars and pedestrians share our roads. Tonight our Right of Way series kicks off with a drive around the city of Boston – Emily Rooney is the driver and she's looking for bicyclists.

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5:47 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Terry Francona Talks Baseball, Boston & Books

Former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona
Credit AP Photo

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona left town early this morning after a whirlwind media spree about his new book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years.” Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy convinced Francona to do the book with him shortly after the infamous collapse of 2011. Francona sat down with WGBH’s Emily Rooney.

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11:27 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Mattapan Massacre Verdict Leaves Loose Ends

District Attorney Daniel Conley waits for word about the jury's decision as the jury in the quadruple Mattapan homicide trial of Edward Washington and Dwayne Moore deliberates for a sixth day at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
Credit (AP Photo)

This week the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office finally got a conviction in the 2010 massacre in Mattapan, in which four people were gunned down -- including a 2-year-old boy. But while the conviction of 35-year-old Dwayne Moore brings some satisfaction to victims relatives, there is no clean ending to the case for those involved.

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