Tom Michael

General Manager

Tom Michael joined Boise State Public Radio in 2016 as General Manager. As the executive director of the radio network, he is responsible for its management and leadership.

Tom arrives from West Texas with more than a decade of experience in public media management as the founder of Marfa Public Radio. He built the radio network from the ground-up, expanding its broadcast coverage area to a size equivalent of South Carolina. He launched a daily public affairs show, a weekly science show, and other unique programs.

He was also the chief fundraiser, helping to attract millions in grant funding and member donations to the rural region. In 2015 and 2016, his News Department won 8 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, the most in the nation among small stations; plus a National Murrow Award in 2016.

Tom speaks at national media conferences and has participated on review panels for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, including "The Future of Public Media" in 2015, a gathering of thought-leaders in journalism.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

If you live here in Idaho, it’s hard to miss stories about Monday’s upcoming eclipse of the sun. For several months, we’ve been visiting the towns and cities along the path of totality. Here we check-in with officials in Stanley, who are concerned about the crowds expected this weekend.

Album, So You Wanna Be An Outlaw / courtesy of the artist

On Wednesday, singer-songwriter Steve Earle returns to Boise, playing a concert at the Egyptian Theater. The Grammy Award-winning musician has released 18 studio albums.


Kelly Stribling / Boise State Public Radio

Many Idahoans will be looking up to the sky next Monday for the total solar eclipse. But what about animals? How will the natural world react?


Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is prime viewing for the August 21 total solar eclipse. While the majority of people are excited to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event, the eclipse has a very narrow segment of the population worried.

 

Beth Pendergrass / Twin Falls School District

This week in Boston, the National Education Association is holding its annual meeting to debate new school policies. A group from Idaho is among the 8,000 educators there. 

The Idaho legislature has been looking at changing the public school funding formula. Part of the challenge is balancing the redistribution of dollars between urban schools and the rural schools that make up the majority of the state.

courtesy of the artist and Dolby Chadwick Gallery, S.F.

Idaho cities in the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21 are preparing to host hundreds of viewing parties. Some cities are more accustomed to welcoming tourists, like Sun Valley. 

Courtney Gilbert, from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, explained, "Hotels started selling out about two years ago. The city of Ketchum is partnering with the city of Sun Valley to organize a day of activities that will take place in Festival Meadows."

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

It’s Mid-May, I’m at the Boise airport, hopping in a Cessna with pilot Don Reiman and Kevin Lewis, the director of Idaho Rivers United. We’re going to “fly the flood,” to see what the swollen rivers and reservoirs look like from the air, especially along the Boise and Big Wood rivers.

There has been months of flooding on Idaho rivers, with a reservoir system that’s been straining at capacity, as the deep winter snowpack has slowly melted off. Now, in the second half of June, the floodwaters are receding.

Don sketches out the flight path.

NPR

Invisibilia is back for a third season on Boise State Public Radio. Broadcast on Saturdays at 1 p.m., the NPR program uses creative storytelling to investigate human behavior.

Tom Michael spoke with the program hosts, Alix Spiegel and Hannah Rosin, who try to make science relatable. He began by asking Spiegel if she had ever interviewed anyone who seemed completely un-relatable.

Pride Flags
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s Pride Festival is underway at Capitol Park. The annual event celebrating the state’s LGBT community has expanded to two days this year.

As traffic zooms past, Pride Festival board member Joseph Kibbe climbs a ladder up to the light posts lining leafy Harrison boulevard.

fiddle
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Musicians from across the country are now making their way to Washington County in western Idaho in what has become an annual summer tradition.

There’s one thing every fiddler has on their calendar, according to musician Ken Worthington: "The nationals up at Weiser, the third full week in June."

Festivities have already begun in advance of the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest. The city has been home to an annual contest since 1953. And it became a national event 10 years later.

Climate March
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

This past winter Southern Idaho experienced one of its snowiest and coldest on record. So we can’t be blamed for wanting to look ahead into the summer. But one organization wants us to look back again.

skateboard
Robbie Wroblewski / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Friday and Saturday, Boise is playing host to the X Games Qualifier at Rhodes Skate Park. What are the X Games and what does it mean for the city?

 

The X-Games feature relatively new sports, sometimes called “extreme sports,” including skateboarding and BMX biking. The competition began Friday afternoon, as some Boise streets west of downtown were closed.

 

Whittier School Students Kids Buses
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

The results of an annual survey, released this week, show the majority of Treasure Valley high school students plan to go onto college, but not all of them achieve that goal. 

Zinke Perdue Agriculture Interior
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Friday morning two U.S. Cabinet members visited Boise: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. 

In a conference room high about the Boise State University football stadium, Secretaries Perdue and Zinke spoke about land management.

They were introduced by Celia Gould, Idaho's Director of Agriculture, who observed that the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture cover a lot of ground in the state. "This is possibly the first time in Idaho's history," she quipped, "that we have had the two largest land-owners in the state."

Keith Ridler / AP

Friday morning, two U.S. Cabinet members made a visit to Boise. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appeared at Boise State University. Tom Michael attended the event and sent this report.

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