Emily Rooney

Host and Special Correspondent

Emily Rooney is the host of Beat the Press and a WGBH News special correspondent. She is the creator and former host of Greater Boston. Since 1997, Emily has brought her journalistic credentials and deep knowledge of media, politics and culture to the WGBH audience 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.


Local News
8:54 am
Fri October 30, 2015

LISTEN: Emily Rooney Interviews Tom Menino From The Great Beyond

The late Thomas Menino, former mayor of Boston, announces he will not run for re-election at Faneuil Hall in 2013.
Credit AP Photo

It's been a year since the death of Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Boston's longest-serving chief executive. His successor, Marty Walsh, will preside over two minutes of silence at 2:30 this afternoon at City Hall Plaza. Read our complete coverage of Menino's death and his legacy. Below, in a journalistic coup, Emily Rooney interviews Menino one last time.

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Local News
8:29 am
Mon October 19, 2015

Whitey Bulger Companion Catherine Greig Pleads Not Guilty To Contempt

James 'Whitey' Bulger, left, and Cathering Greig
Credit FBI

She looked thin and frail and older than her 64 years — today James "Whitey" Bulger's longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig stood in federal court pleading not guilty to one charge of contempt of court.

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12:14 am
Wed October 14, 2015

And The Winner Is: Hillary Clinton, Says Emily Rooney

From left, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chaffee and Bernie Sanders.
Credit Brendan Lynch

This is not hard, or complicated, or difficult to parse. Hillary Clinton was the best speaker and debater.

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10:01 am
Fri September 18, 2015

Mother, Boyfriend Charged In Death Of "Baby Doe" Bella Bond

Bella Bond, the child who was found dead after washing up on Deer Island in June.
Credit Facebook

Update, 5:16 p.m.: Law enforcement officials have identified the child known as "Baby Doe" as Bella Bond, and her mother and her mother's boyfriend have been arrested in connection with her murder.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley said Friday afternoon Bond died in an act of violence in her home in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester.

“Her name was Bella,” Conley said.

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Local News
4:50 pm
Thu September 17, 2015

'Black Mass' Is Now In Theaters. Here's The Real Whitey Bulger > WATCH: The Outlaw And The Lawman

Shortly after "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob," was published in 2001, Emily Rooney and then-Greater Boston producer Jared Bowen got together with "Black Mass" co-writer Dick Lehr to produce a video version of the book. Drawing on video archives and riveting FBI undercover photos, the story of James "Whitey" Bulger and corrupt FBI agent John Connolly comes to life in "The Outlaw and The Lawman."

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Local News
1:34 pm
Tue September 15, 2015

Did Pope Francis Pick Philly Over Beantown To Avoid The Abuse 'Spotlight'?

Pope Francis arrives aboard of the popemobile to celebrate mass in Asuncion, Paraguay, Sunday, July 12, 2015.

It was January 2002 when the Boston Globe’s spotlight team broke the stunning news about widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church — dozens of priests accused of molesting children, and rather than confront the problem, the church instead moved those priests from parish to parish, hiding their pasts from unsuspecting new victims.

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3:21 pm
Mon September 14, 2015

David Ortiz: 500 Home Runs Are The Least Of It

David Ortiz hits a three-run home run (his 499th) off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Credit AP Photo

Five hundred home runs — congratulations, David Ortiz.

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3:22 pm
Wed August 12, 2015

Tom Brady Is Innocent: Here's Why

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an event at Salem State University in Salem, Mass.
Credit AP Photo

I believe Tom Brady is telling the truth about deflategate. 

Just a few weeks ago that declaration would have prompted thunderous chortles. But a funny thing happened after the NFL Player’s Association released thousands of Brady’s emails and a transcript of his June hearing before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. People stopped laughing because there is not a shred of evidence that Brady was involved in any way with game balls before the AFC championship in January.

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Local News
12:04 pm
Fri July 24, 2015

Getting Into The Mind Of Baby Doe's Killer

A computer generated image of Baby Doe.
Credit Mass State Police

Just getting to Deer Island- takes some doing - you go beyond Suffolk Downs - to Winthrop - then maneuver through an endless maze of tiny streets passing numerous cul-de-sacs. Even the scream of planes taking off from nearby Logan airport are dulled by the sheer beauty of the islands surroundings.

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1:35 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Tsarnaev: A Media Slapdown

There is no question that the media presence throughout the the Tsarnaev trial was intense.
Credit AP Photo

The first few people to speak at Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s formal sentencing hearing were the families of Tsarnaev’s murder victims including Krystal Campbell’s parents, Patricia and Bill, and the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, Bill Richard. But one speaker you didn’t hear much about was Jennifer Rogers, the sister of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier. Jennifer’s victim impact statement was lengthy and detailed. She talked about getting a phone call at 12:08 a.m.

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Local News
3:23 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Tsarnaev And The Chemistry Of Groups

United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz, surrounded by law enforcement officials, speaks to members of the media after the death penalty verdict for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev outside the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthous
Credit AP Photo

I miss going down to the John J. Moakley courthouse every day. Not because I wanted the trial of marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to continue beyond the 10 weeks it did, but because I miss the daily camaraderie.

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6:58 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

The Tsarnaev Trail And The Jury's Verdict: Emily Rooney Reflects

In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (center) flanked by his attorney's, stand while the verdict, death by lethal injection, is rendered.

 Just getting there was a challenge  - first the mountains of snow - and then the hassle for parking. It was all unfamiliar territory. I wasn’t even sure who was who for either the defense or prosecution. Slowly though it all came together and, like the dozens of other reporters and camera crews at the Moakley Federal Courthouse, we settled into a routine.

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Local News
1:00 am
Tue May 12, 2015

As Testimony Ends, Tsarnaev's Last Witness, Sister Helen Prejean, Was His Most Effective

Credit Jane Flavell Collins / AP

After calling more than 40 witnesses, the defense rested Monday in the penalty phase of the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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News Analysis
7:56 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

At The Tsarnaev Trial: Chipping Away At The Death Penalty

Credit Jane Flavell Collins / AP

As an almost daily attendant at the penalty phase trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, I found myself sensing that the defense made some headway this week. Their primary mission is to convince jurors that were it not for the influence of his older brother Tamerlan, Dzhokhar never would have gotten involved with radical Islam and never would have participated in a terrorist attack against innocent people.

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Local News
5:11 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

The Tsarnaev Trial: 3 Days Of Heart-Wrenching Victim Testimony

In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, center, is depicted between defense attorneys Miriam Conrad, left, and Judy Clarke, right, during his federal death penalty trial in Boston.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

A lot of people were wondering what the prosecution would do differently after moving from the guilt phase of the trial into the penalty phase. It was similar in that they primarily relied on victims to tell their stories, but the difference was the intensity and raw emotion they evoked from the people who took the stand this week.

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Local News
2:18 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Bombing Trial: Tales Of Lost Limbs And Loved Ones; Plus Photo, Video Of Tsarnaev Giving The Finger

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gives the middle finger to a camera in his holding cell in 2013.
Credit US Attorney's Office

By the time court recessed at day's end, it had proven to be a grueling day.

Prosecutors moved quickly enough through witnesses Wednesday, day two of the penalty phase for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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Local News
11:36 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Citing Fingerprints And Forensics, Defense Rests: Portrays Tsarnaev As A Pawn

In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, center, is depicted between defense attorneys Miriam Conrad, left, and Judy Clarke, right, during his federal death penalty trial in Boston federal court.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

UPDATED: 4:00 p.m.

After a confusing stop-and-start finish the defense for admitted-Boston-Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested shortly before 3:00 this afternoon.

They called only 4 witnesses, and did little to mitigate the mountains of dramatic evidence the government presented against Tsarnaev.

The defense, however, might have given the jury at least reason to pause for thought.

As the defense has made clear in this federal death-penalty trial, their client is guilty.

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Local News
5:59 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

The Case Against Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Prosecution Rests

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three and wounded more than 200.
Credit (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

After 15 days of testimony and 92 witnesses the government rested its case at noon Monday in the trial of admitted marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The first people to testify were those who lost the most, Bill Richard, the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who died at the scene; and a friend of Lingzi Lu talked about holding her hand until her last breath.

We heard from people who lost limbs: Roseann Sdoia and Jessica Kensky, a double amputee.

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Local News
3:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

'I'm Really Down For That Jihad Life.': So Texted friend of Tsarnaev, Say Feds

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, is depicted beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. at his trial.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins sketch

Jurors in the federal death-penalty trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev  have been shown pressure cooker parts, BBs, nails and a piece of hobby fuse that were found in his apartment.

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2:04 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Tsarnaev 'Was In It For The Kill'

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that
Credit (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

To all the naysayers who believe we should have skipped the trial of admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and gone straight to the penalty phase, you’ve got to admit it’s been interesting, if not downright illuminating

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5:02 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About The Tsarnaev Trial -- So Far

Tamerlan, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Credit FBI

It’s all about the surveillance, stupid. And, oh, man does the prosecution have it.

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Local News
4:48 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

What's Wrong With This Picture?

The car to the right got a ticket for “angle parking” in Back Bay.
Credit Emily Rooney / WGBH News

Here’s what’s wrong with this picture, the car to the left has been plowed under since the first snowstorm on January 27th and has not moved an inch. The car to the right was dug out by its owners who did the best they could under the circumstances. Today, the car to the right got a ticket for “angle parking.” The car to the left is still there.

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9:05 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

James Foley's Parents Critical Of Media Coverage Of Kidnapping

Ever since their son was murdered in Syria last summer, the parents of Jim Foley have been critical of the government’s role, saying officials didn't do enough to help find and rescue him. Now Diane and John Foley are also claiming the media did not do enough.

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Local News
1:04 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

The Tsarnaev Trial: The Drip, Drip, Drip Of Jury Selection

A judge agreed to hear a motion to change the venue of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial.
Credit Jared Bowen / WGBH

Like hundreds of schools and businesses around the area, the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been delayed by snow amounts so unmanageable it would have been impossible for potential jurors to make it to court. So far the trial has been set back a total of 6 snow days. The process was slow enough but the snow has been a killer since Judge George O’Toole had hoped to begin testimony January 26th – a date long in the rear view mirror.

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2:33 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

The Case For Moving The Trial Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, third from right, is depicted with his lawyers and U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly room at the federal courthouse, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Boston.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

The defense team representing Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has tried three times to get Judge George O’Toole to rule in their favor regarding a change of venue. So far, O’Toole has resisted to the point where he virtually ignored the latest request that was filed on January 22.

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3:47 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

The Tsarnaev Trial: The Peculiar Art Of Jury Selection

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in Boston.
Credit Jane Flavell Collins / AP via NPR

I’ll admit it, I’m a glutton for watching paint dry, which is why I’ve enjoyed the jury voir dire in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Boston Marathon bombing case so much. I’m ready to fast forward through Judge George O’Toole’s daily 12-minute elucidation to potential jurists about why this is a death penalty case even though Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, but other than that repetitious tedium, the proceedings are pretty interesting.

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Tsarnaev Trial
3:24 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

A Week At The Tsarnaev Trial: Jury Selection -- A Close Up

Depiction from the jury selection for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Credit Jane Flavell Collins / AP


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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." 

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." 

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.