Legendary broadcaster Ken Squier on local media, America & his legacy

Ken Squier is an American broadcasting legend and Vermont icon. He is best known to Vermonters as the owner of WDEV Radio Vermont, the 90-year-old independent radio network, and to its listeners as the host of Music to Go to the Dump By. The last three years have been especially momentous for Squier. He sold Thunder Road, the Vermont car racing track that he co-founded more than a half century ago. In January 2018, he was the first journalist inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a recognition of his lifetime achievement as a broadcaster with CBS and TBS and as the founder of Motor Racing Network. Squier reflects on community media, the state of the country and his legacy. (January 8, 2020 broadcast)

Ken Squier, NASCAR Hall of Fame broadcaster and owner, WDEV Radio Vermont

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Bill McKibben & Ken Squier: Media, resistance & the way forward

32637A rare meeting of two icons: Bill McKibben, author, activist and founder of 350.org, and Ken Squier, owner of WDEV Radio Vermont and a legendary sports broadcaster who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January 2018, held a public conversation moderated by Vermont Conversation host David Goodman on December 6, 2017 at Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, Vermont. McKibben’s latest book, Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance, is a story about a septuagenarian radio man and his people-powered independent radio station that lead a resistance movement against growing government tyranny. McKibben acknowledges that Squier and WDEV provide the inspiration for this fable. Squier has been an outspoken advocate of independent media and McKibben is a longtime fan of WDEV (and an occasional guest) when not traveling the world leading the movement to halt climate change. The two discuss the world under Trump, the vital role of an independent media, and the way forward. (December 27, 2017 broadcast)

Bill McKibben, author, founder of 350.org

Ken Squier, owner, WDEV Radio Vermont, legendary sports broadcaster, NASCAR Hall of Fame 2018

Bill McKibben: Radio Free Vermont & resistance

Could an aging Vermont radio man, aided by a crew of Olympic cross-country skiers and craft-beer drinking fellow travelers, lead the resistance to Donald Trump? That’s the plot of Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance, the latest book by author and activist Bill McKibben. The central character of McKibben’s first novel bears an uncanny resemblance to Ken Squier, the legendary owner and broadcaster of WDEV, the independent radio station that he and his late father have run since 1931 (on which the Vermont Conversation airs). “This is James Bond meets A Prairie Home Companion, and no one but Bill McKibben could pull it off,” writes author Naomi Klein.

McKibben is the founder of the grassroots global climate change organization 350.org and author of a dozen books, including The End of NatureEnough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, and Deep Economy. He talks here about resistance–fictional and real–how he has been personally targeted by the fossil fuel industry, why craft beer matters, and his recent travels to Alaska and Africa in search of climate solutions and sanity. (November 1, 2017 broadcast)

Bill McKibben, author and activist

Ken Squier: A life on the air

Ken Squier 2017 has been an eventful year for Ken Squier: he became the first journalist ever inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he sold Thunder Road, the race track that he has owned for over a half century, and he has put his beloved WDEV radio station up for sale. In its Hall of Fame announcement NASCAR paid tribute to him: “One of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, Squier began his career with the Motor Racing Network  in 1970. It was his golden voice that took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage, giving his insider’s view of what he famously described as ‘common men doing uncommon things.’” Squier reflects on these milestones, growing up on the air, the fight to preserve independent media, what he is proudest of and his advice to young people. (July 19, 2017 broadcast)

Ken Squier, owner, WDEV Radio, NASCAR Hall of Fame 2018 inductee