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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.

  • This episode originally aired on August 11, 2021.While scholars have mostly focused on law enforcement’s use of aggression and brutality as a means of maintaining African American subordination, Black citizens of that time have often come off as powerless in their encounters with law enforcement.The new book, “Race, Crime, and Policing in the Jim Crow South” explores the various ways African Americans responded to the expansion of police departments in the early 20th-century South, including thousands of examples of African Americans seemingly working with law enforcement in order to, in some sense, take advantage of the only government institution they had access to: the police department.
  • For 17 years as an Extension agent with the Florida Sea Grant program at University of Florida, Betty Staugler has been based at the UF/IFAS Extension’s Charlotte County office, helping coastal residents and people whose livelihoods depend on the marine ecosystem deal with issues including harmful algal blooms in southwest Florida.She's taking on a new role now as NOAA’s Harmful Algal Bloom Liaison, where her work will include developing new data-driven communication tools about harmful algal blooms to better serve decision-makers in addressing this growing concern.
  • This Wednesday SpaceX is planning to launch from Kennedy Space Center with four private astronauts on board for its Inspiration4 mission. It’s the first of its kind, with a crew made up entirely of civilians. Today, we meet space reporter Brendan Byrne from WMFE in Orlando to get a bit of a peek behind the curtain of that mission, and what else he's been covering.
  • In the fall of 2001, Florida Gulf Coast University was still a new school. It only had been open to students for four years, and the campus was still quite small and intimate when 9/11 occurred. While there was no immediate campus-wide response, a group of FGCU professors responded with a campus-wide event on November 9 called "Messages of Hope, Healing and Understanding: The Humanities and Arts Respond to September 11."Mike Kiniry spoke with two of the professors who created the event about, and what it was like being on campus at FGCU on 9/11.
  • When Cape Coral resident Marion Kminek heard about the terrorist attacks on 9/11 one of her first thoughts was whether her daughter Mari-Rae Sopper's travel plans would be delayed. She was moving from Washington D.C. to California to begin her dream job as a collegiate women’s gymnastic coach. It wasn’t until later in the day Kminek learned that her daughter was aboard the plane that was flown into the Pentagon.
  • On September 11, 2001 former WGCU reporter Valerie Alker Cooper went to Sarasota to cover a visit by the President George W. Bush. He was visiting Emma E. Booker Elementary School to meet students and staff and to talk about his plans for education reform — but the event was disrupted by the news of the day.
  • Claudia Szurkowski's father worked for the union of painters and wallpaper hangers and was working in the North Tower on 9/11. She was born 8 months after his death, and then her mother brought her and her sister to Florida, where she grew up and still lives today. She was recently included in the PBS special GENERATION 9/11 which focuses on the stories of seven children whose fathers died that day and reveals how an entire generation was shaped by the tragedy and its aftermath.
  • Sea Turtle nesting season in Southwest Florida runs from April 15 through October 31, which means it’s beginning to wind down. Find out what it takes to monitor and help protect the large marine reptiles.
  • Bats have been in the news in recent years in connection to deadly epidemics including Ebola and COVID-19, yet scientists are discovering evidence that bats may hold a key to longer and healthier lives.
  • On this episode of the Gulf Coast Life Book Club, we talk to Brittany Ackerman, author of The Brittanys, and Julie Klam, author of The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters.