Susan is an arts and culture reporter for WRTI. She contributes weekly features to Creatively Speaking with Jim Cotter, produces arts news, and works as a news anchor.
She is also a freelance essayist, journalist, and speechwriter who has written about Philadelphia for Insight Guides and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation's Culture Files. A former columnist for Philadelphia Magazine, she is the author of Reinventing Ourselves after Motherhood and a book of essays. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Child Magazine, Parents Magazine, Reader's Digest and Ladies' Home Journal (Parents Digest).
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Susan is also a lawyer, with a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College, Connecticut, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She has practiced law in New York City and taught entertainment law at Rutgers Law School in Camden.
Meridee began reporting in the newsroom at WRTI in 2003 while working toward a master's degree in journalism at Temple University. Since that time, her duties have expanded to news anchor and contributor to WRTI's arts and culture series, Creatively Speaking.
A graduate of Hamline University School of Law, Meridee grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and practiced law before making a major leap into the world of journalism. She also holds a graduate degree from New York University School of Law and received a B.A in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
In 2011, Meridee was recognized for outstanding public affairs reporting by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcaster's Association (PAPBA) with awards for two News & Views stories. She received 1st place for "Baby Boomers Becoming Seniors: A Growing Population in Philadelphia," and 2nd place for "TUNE UP PHILLY: Classical Music Instruction as a Vehicle for Social Change."
Meridee can be heard weekday mornings between 6 and 10 am.
Jim was born and raised in Ireland. He began his radio career in Dublin before moving to the U.K. where he worked for BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. He lived on the island of Crete in Greece for 10 years before moving to the United States.
Since 2002, Jim has been the station's arts and culture reporter and then editor. And since 2003, he's been the host and producer of Creatively Speaking, WRTI's much-acclaimed Saturday morning arts and culture program.
Creatively Speaking has been the recipient of several awards and commendations including two Philadelphia A.I.R (Achievement In Radio) awards and an Excellence in Broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters.
Jim traveled to Europe in 2004, and to Asia in 2005 to report on Philadelphia Orchestra tours for WRTI. He is married to Claire and they have a daughter, Norah, born in 2006.
Jim can be heard on Saturdays from 11 to 11:30 am as host and producer of Creatively Speaking, and throughout the week for arts and culture reports.
Warren is the founding host and producer of WRTI's gospel music program, Ovations. A Philadelphia native, he's been a musician since he was nine years old and grew up "in church" and "in jazz" - often sneaking off as a child to participate in jazz jam sessions on Saturday nights, and then singing hymns and gospel songs in the choir on Sunday mornings.
After studying at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Warren emerged as a trend-setting pioneer within the genres of jazz worship and sacred jazz. As an arranger, composer, director, performer, and producer, he has been called "...an innovator who has taken significant strides in the fusion of gospel music and jazz...making all things new, and raising the bar in vocal jazz and praise performance..." by the Philadelphia Tribune.
Warren serves as minister of music for Broad Street Ministry (an arts outreach ministry in Philadelphia), and consults for a variety of ministry initiatives nationally. He's an elder, music minister, choir master and young adult leader at Oxford Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and conducts choral workshops and worship development seminars that explore the integration of jazz and contemporary aspects of worship.
Warren can be heard on Sundays from 6 to 9 am.
I. Robin "Bobbi" Booker is an award-winning Philadelphia-based multi-media journalist and radio personality whose work appears regionally in the Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia Magazine and The Philadelphia Tribune and nationally via NPR Books. Ms. Booker has completed two prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships at the Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism (2005) and Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival at Duke University (2008).
In 1981, I. Robin launched her professional broadcast career with WRTI as a news reporter, and in 1999 was named co-host of Ovations.
Ms. Booker can be heard on the "Spirit Soul Music" edition of Ovations on Sundays from 6 to 9 am.
It was inevitable that Zivit Shlank would land a career in the music industry. Since growing up in Brooklyn, New York, she's always been immersed in a musical world; she played vibes, flute, and xylophone in school bands and orchestras, and has been singing in jazz, gospel, and traditional choirs, and performing in talent shows throughout her life.
In college, Zivit's horizons expanded when she worked for CHRY Community Radio in Toronto. A desire to share her passion for music with others led her to WRTI in 2006 while she was studying broadcasting at Temple University. What started as a weekly jazz-hosting gig led to many opportunities, including working with the Creatively Speaking team, increased hosting duties, and producing WRTI's Sunday Afternoon Concert broadcasts for Symphony in C.
Zivit continues to learn from her WRTI mentors and the jazz community, and is happy to be a part of the WRTI family.
Zivit can be heard during the week from Wednesday through Friday, 12 midnight to 6 am, on Wednesdays as host of the All-Request Show from 12 midnight to 3 am, on Saturdays from 2 to 6 am, and as a substitute host.
Also known as "BP with the GM," (translation: "Bob Perkins with the Good Music"), Mr. Perkins has been in the broadcasting industry for more than four decades as an on-air host, and is now commonly referred to as a Philadelphia jazz radio legend.
BP broke into the radio business in 1964 when he landed an on-air job in Detroit. In 1969, his hometown of Philadelphia beckoned him back with a gig at rhythm-and-blues station WDAS, where he worked for the next 19 years. He joined WRTI in 1997.
In addition to his job as jazz host, BP writes numerous columns and commentaries on jazz for local publications in Philadelphia. He also hosts concerts at jazz clubs and at regional festivals.
BP was awarded the 2002 Mellon Jazz Community Award. And in 2007, he was honored with a proclamation for his outstanding contributions to Philadelphia's jazz community by Mayor John Street, Philadelphia City Council, and the House of Representatives in Harrisburg. Wait two seconds and you'll hear about yet another award bestowed on "Ol' BP," as he calls himself.
Bob can be heard Monday through Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 pm, and on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.
Maureen began her radio career at WRTI in 1999 while studying broadcasting at Temple University. Determined to make it in the entertainment industry, she took advantage of all the creative opportunities presented to her at WRTI - she hosted the overnight jazz broadcasts through her entire college career, she was an arts and culture reporter, and she soaked up the jazz biz from her many WRTI mentors.
After graduation, Maureen held many positions in the broadcasting and entertainment industries. She worked in casting and as a booking agent for local talent. She taught speech and acting classes for children. And she had a stint in commercial radio working in production. Along with being an independent music promoter in her spare time, Maureen still managed to host jazz at WRTI. And soon it was clear to her that jazz was her true calling.
Maureen finally found her home in an office full of amazing music, and with a sign on the door that reads "Jazz Program Director."
Maureen can be heard on Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 pm to midnight. She hosts the Jazz Hot 11 Countdown on Monday nights from 10:30 to midnight.
Mike first ventured into radio as a result of being frustrated with the lack of progressive, diverse, and adventurous music on the airwaves. His first program, Is That Jazz?, debuted on West Philly based WPEB in 1993 and ran for more than three years. Mike joined WRTI in 1994 and The Bridge, which is a local forum for progressive music and poetry, began in1996.
Music is Michael's sanctuary, and a kind of therapy for him. "Music is a passion," he explains, " a reason to live, and a bright moment."
Philadelphia Magazine awarded The Bridge its 2002 Best of Philly prize for "Best Radio Program."
Mike can be heard on Fridays from 10 pm to 2 am.
Jeff's eclectic taste in music ranges across jazz, R&B, zydeco, gospel, classical, and funk. Born and raised in New Orleans where he began his radio career at WWOZ-FM as a morning drive-time announcer, Jeff graduated from Tulane University in 1996 and then moved to Philadelphia. He immediately became involved with the WRTI jazz scene. Jeff has volunteered at community and public radio stations for over 15 years.
In addition to his radio show, Jeff has developed a jazz studies program that is used to teach fourth and fifth graders at Bluford Elementary School in West Philadelphia about the history of jazz.
Jeff can be heard on Fridays from 6 to 10 pm, on Saturdays from 6 to 9 pm, and on Sundays from 8 pm to midnight.