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Mike Kiniry



Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

He became the first producer of Gulf Coast Live when the show launched in 2004, and also worked as the host of All Things Considered from 2004 to 2006, and the host of Morning Edition from 2006 to 2011. He then left public radio to work as PR Director for the Alliance for the Arts for five years, and was then Principled Communicator at the election integrity company Free & Fair for a year before returning to WGCU in October, 2017.

In the past Mike has been a bartender and cook at Liquid Café in downtown Fort Myers, a golf club fixer/seller at the Broken Niblick Golf Shop in Fort Myers, and a bookseller at Ives Book Shop in Fort Myers. He lives near downtown Fort Myers with his daughter, and their dog and two cats.

  • When gyms and yoga studios were ordered to close, instructors had to get creative. We talk to Gil Gonzalez of Gil's Zumba and yoga teacher Jackie Chiodo about how they managed.
  • We meet the new Senior Scientist in Mote's Research Division, Dr. Demian Chapman, who will also serve as the Manager for the Sharks & Rays Conservation Research Program, and hold the title of Perry W. Gilbert Chair in Shark Research. Dr. Chapman was recently an Associate Professor at Florida International University in the Department of Biological Science, and was the lead scientist for the international initiative, Global FinPrint, which is the world’s largest-ever shark survey.
  • Recent incidents of police violence have brought what’s called Qualified Immunity into the public discourse. Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine established by U.S. Supreme Court precedent that grants police officers immunity from civil lawsuits unless the plaintiff shows that the officer violated clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. We learn more about how qualified immunity plays out in the real world with Dr. David Thomas, Professor of Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, Senior Research Fellow at the National Police Foundation, and a former law enforcement officer.
  • On this episode of the Gulf Coast Life Book Club, we hear from Lauren Hough, author of the NYT bestselling essay collection Leaving Isn't The Hardest Thing, and Elizabeth McCracken, whose new collection of short stories is The Souvenir Museum.
  • Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark passed away last month on April 9 at the age of 93. Clark served under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He supervised the drafting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. We get some insight into who Ramsey Clark was and the long life he lived with Fort Myers resident Woody Hanson. Hanson is a doctoral candidate in history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. His dissertation 'Liberal Democracy & Radical Dissent’ connected him with Ramsey Clark for the past three years because Clark plays a central role in it.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that will expand legal protections for agricultural operations. Passed by both the Florida House and Senate, the bill (SB 88) expands the state’s 1979 “Right to Farm” law and will shield the agriculture industry from what they consider nuisance lawsuits.
  • Dr. Ella Mae Piper, an African American woman born in Georgia in 1884, moved to Fort Myers in 1915 and immediately opened businesses including a beauty salon and a soda bottling company. Her entrepreneurial spirit formed the foundation of a life focused on philanthropy and community building — including the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services that has supported low-income seniors, frail elderly, at-risk youth, and special needs children since 1976.
  • On February 15, 1991 two Air Force fighter pilots — Capt. Stephen R. Phillis and 1st Lt. Rob Sweet — flew together for the 30th time on a mission during Operation Desert Storm. During that mission, Lt. Sweet’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire and he was forced to eject. As he descended in his parachute toward thousands of members of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard forces, his wingman, Capt. Phillis remained flying overhead in order to draw their fire and give Sweet a better chance at surviving. After nearly four minutes of circling his A-10 was also hit and then crashed. Our guest today is on a mission to have the Medal of Honor awarded posthumously Capt. Phillis for his actions on that day.
  • On Thursday, May 6 the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership is hosting the 2021 Southwest Florida Climate Summit. It’s a free, virtual, daylong event featuring interactive audience question and answer sessions with experts, to exchange ideas on how best to expand southwest Florida’s capacity to respond to climate challenges, and to build climate resilience.
  • As Charlotte County prepares to celebrate its centennial this Friday, April 23 we meet publisher and historian, James Abraham, to talk about his new book “Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County” that expands upon existing historical accounts by providing a narrative and historical overview of some of the lesser known people and moments that shaped the county’s history since its founding.