Geoffrey Riley

News Director | Jefferson Exchange Host

Geoffrey Riley began practicing journalism in the State of Jefferson nearly three decades ago, as a reporter and anchor for a Medford TV station. It was about the same time that he began listening to Jefferson Public Radio, and thought he might one day work there. He was right.

Geoff came to JPR as a backup host on The Jefferson Exchange in late 2000, and he assumed the full-time host job at the beginning of 2010. The two hours of the Exchange allow him to join our listeners in exploring issues both large and small, local and global. In addition to hosting The Exchange, Geoff oversees JPR’s news department as its News Director.

Geoff is a New York native, with stints in broadcast news in Missouri, Alabama, and Wisconsin before his arrival in Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.


Jefferson Exchange | June 12, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Rookies In The Wild

Credit John Riha

John Riha recounts his time on the PCT. He lived.

Interstate Five may be the main travel artery in our region, but the Pacific Crest Trail is our sidewalk. 

People come from far and wide to hike the PCT, for hours or even weeks. 

John Riha and his son gave the PCT a whirl. 

And that might not have been a great idea, in hindsight... neither was particularly trail-savvy, and they chose a portion through the rugged Trinity Alps. 

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Jefferson Exchange | June 11, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed June 11, 2014

No School, No Lunch


Lesley Nelson and Gema McSoto paint the picture of summer food programs.

Kids may be happy that school is out for the summer (or will be shortly). 

But there's a downside, too, especially for children of low-income families. 

Free or cheap school lunches disappear in most locations when the schools shut down.  80% of the students who receive free or cheap lunches during the school year don't get to summer food programs.

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Jefferson Exchange | June 11, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed June 11, 2014

VENTSday: Minimum (& Maximum) Wage + State O' Jefferson


Listeners vent on minimum and maximum wages + "state of Jefferson".

Seattle's plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and the recent votes on the "State of Jefferson" concept form the backbone for this week's VENTSday segment.

We do not schedule guests for Wednesday at 8:30, because that's the time for VENTSday, your chance to vent (politely, please) on a pair of topics in the news. 

We bring the topics, you bring the opinions. 

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Jefferson Exchange | June 11, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Make Me A Mother

Credit W.W. Norton

Susanne Antonetta talks of adoption and the child she and her husband raised.

The woman running through the airport put the security people on edge. 

It turned out she was just eager to meet the baby she and her husband had just adopted from South Korea. 

And that was just the beginning of the adventure. 

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Jefferson Exchange | June 10, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Agreement Leads To New Timber Mill Activity

Logging ponderosa pine in the Malheur National Forest, 1942.
Credit Public Domain

John Shelk and Susan Jane Brown explain the Malheur restoration agreement.

It's a rare thing when a timber mill adds another shift. 

It's far rarer that an environmental group applauds the addition. 

But Malheur Lumber is adding a shift at its mill in the eastern Oregon town of John Day, and an agreement with environmental groups played a part in the move.

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Jefferson Exchange | June 10, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Lake Shasta Caverns Celebrate 50 (?) Years

A view inside Lake Shasta Caverns.
Credit Wikimedia

Matt Doyle describes Lake Shasta Caverns and their history.

It seems a little weird to think of Lake Shasta Caverns reaching a 50th birthday. 

Because the caverns themselves may be many millions of years old. 

But their availability for public tours dates back only to 1964. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | June 10, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Medical Leave And Poetry With Bill Gholson

Bill Gholson reports occasional pain, but nothing like what he felt last year.
Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Dr. Bill Gholson shares his poetry and his story of recovery from a medical coma.

It was just last year that Bill Gholson spent 30 days unconscious from a serious medical condition. 

He woke up with a lot of poetry to put on paper, with a new appreciation of life. 

Gholson was already a longtime professor of literature and rhetoric at Southern Oregon University, so no stranger to writing. 

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Jefferson Exchange | June 9, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon June 9, 2014

National Wildland Fire Strategy

2013's Jenny Fire burns down toward the Rogue River.
Credit PNW #2 IMTeam

George McKinley explains the national strategy on wildfire.

Wildland fires grab our attention and headlines easily. 

They seem to get bigger and more numerous every year. 

But away from the headlines, work has quietly been underway to develop a broad strategy for approaching fires and their causes. 

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy ordered by Congress five years ago was recently released. 

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Jefferson Exchange | June 9, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Measles Returns From The Brink

Credit James Gathany/CDC

Dr. Paul Cieslak lays out concerns about measles cases getting more numerous.

The year is not even half over, and there are already nearly as many measles cases in Oregon (five) as all of last year. 

Which is a problem, when you consider that public health officials considered the disease "eliminated" 14 years ago. 

For a dead disease, 280-plus cases across the country (60 so far in California) this year is a lot. 

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Jefferson Exchange | June 9, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Student Loan Mess

Credit University of California Press

Joel Best and Eric Best describe how student loan debt got so high.

Maybe you got a student loan or two to get through college.  A lot of people do. 

But a TRILLION dollars? 

That's the current debt load of all the people in the United States who took out student loans. 

Joel and Eric Best, a father-and-son writing team, examine how we got here in their book The Student Loan Mess. 

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