Forum Behind the Scenes — Senior Editor Dan Zoll
See also "Michael Krasny Celebrates 20 Years with KQED"
If you're a Forum fan, you certainly know the names Michael Krasny and Dave Iverson. The name Dan Zoll, maybe not so much. But without Dan and the rest of the Forum team, the show certainly wouldn't be on KQED Public Radio each weekday morning.
Dan stepped away from checking Forum emails to answer some questions about himself and his job.
What is your job title?
Senior editor, Forum.
How long have you worked at KQED? Where were you working previously?
Nearly six years. Before that, I produced a radio show for Washington Monthly magazine. My other gigs have included print reporter and cab driver. I was once paid to watch every Roy Rogers movie ever made.
What's a typical day at work for you, if there is such a thing?
I usually arrive between 7 and 7:30am, having already absorbed the major headlines and a coffee from Martha Bros. There are usually loose ends to tie up on that morning's show — last-minute fact checking, finalizing guests, things like that. Around 8:15, I meet with the host and producers to talk through the show and figure out the following day's first-hour topic. The 10am guests are usually booked further in advance. The bulk of the rest of the day is spent doing research and interviews for future shows, attending meetings, and trying to keep on top of more than 1,000 emails per week, most of which are show pitches.
What do you like most about your job?
It is never boring! In the past week alone, we've done shows on summer books, gene patenting and the crisis in Syria. But the best thing is probably working with such a smart, fun, hardworking and dedicated team.
What is a particular challenge of your job?
Did I mention the thousands of weekly emails? It is sometimes challenging to cope with daily deadlines and the pressures of filling 10 hours of programming per week — with a small staff — while upholding the high standards of the program and KQED.
Has there been a Forum guest that's left you particularly awestruck?
Recently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and authors Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon. And, of course, Mike Tyson. But I get particularly excited about the local segments — such as our show on the best movies filmed in San Francisco or our "First Person" series on local leaders and innovators.
What's one of your guilty pleasures?
Zante Indian pizza.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
Drought Watch 2015: Record-Low Sierra Snowpack
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California's water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That shatters last year's low-water mark of 25 percent (tied with 1977).
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area
KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.