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.

Counterpoint Press

Mark Lombardi was an artist, to be sure, but what else was he?  Before his death, he made intricate drawings that told stories of banking and organized crime and intelligence agencies. 

The FBI and CIA both studied his work. 

With that backdrop, more than a few people doubt that Lombardi's death in March 2000 was a suicide. 

His story is told at length in the book Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi

Rogue Valley Messenger

Bill Hahey is equally at home on guitar, keyboards, or trumpet.  We assume not at the same time. 

Bill, a member of DUDE (Disabled United in Direct Empowerment), joins us in studio with music and chat, as part of our First Friday Arts Segment.  

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month.


For a guy in the minority party in the Senate, Jeff Merkley knows how to make headlines. 

He certainly did so this week, with a proposal (shared with Sen. Bernie Sanders) to stop leasing federal lands for fossil fuel extraction. 

He makes a rare studio visit to discuss the proposal. 

Sen. Merkley, who came from Southern Oregon, supports the Jordan Cove natural gas export plan, despite his position on the new fossil fuel bill.

Rowman & Littlefield

Dr. Marjorie Woollacott at the University of Oregon knows at thing or two about the human brain. 

You know... nerve tissue, chemicals, electricity. 

But once she started meditating, her own conception of human consciousness changed in a big way. 

The collision of neuroscientist and meditator produced a book, Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind.

Maybe the police chases and house fires get the headlines and the big pictures, but it's another corner of the Medford Mail Tribune that garners a lot of the eyeballs. 

The paper has been running a question-and-answer column for many years now called "Since You Asked."

And it's become a highly popular feature, with many questions submitted. 

Best of all for the writers, it's delivered in a fairly wry and snarky voice. 


More than a quarter of a million children go into foster care in the United States every year, often because they were abused or neglected at home. 

The numbers and causes fluctuate a bit, as do concerns about the system. 

The foster care system in Oregon gets some attention next week (November 10th) in a town hall meeting set up to share ideas on improving the system. 

The Jackson County Foster Parent Association is a partner in the meeting with Oregon State Representative Duane Stark, who represents parts of Jackson and Josephine Counties. 


The difficulties of some veterans in returning to civilian life are well-documented. 

What is often missed is the long list of services available for veterans, from government and non-government sources. 

You can put Rogue Valley Veterans and Community Outreach on that second list. 

RVVCO offers programs designed to assist struggling vets in achieving self-sufficiency and independence. 

Executive Director Samantha Brix visits with case managers and clients.   

This is another of several Veteran-related interviews in a joint project between JPR and Southern Oregon Public TV called "Local Focus: Debt of Honor."

Medicinal Missions

The fate of veterans returning home after combat can be downright bleak.  Bleak enough that many commit suicide. 

Doc King and Daniel Egbert, both veterans themselves, fixed on the number 22. 

That's how many veterans commit suicide every day. 

They formed a group called "Medicinal Missions" to address veteran issues, and made a movie called "Project 22." 

The movie shows in White City on November 18th; Daniel and Doc join us to talk about their work.  

This is another of several Veteran-related interviews in a joint project between JPR and Southern Oregon Public TV called "Local Focus: Debt of Honor."


We've got sheriffs saying they won't enforce gun laws, states bypassing federal drug laws, even the president saying he won't enforce immigration laws.  Who gets to do that?  Give us your answer in our VENTSday segment. 

And/or give your thoughts on the person (Paul Ryan) or the tough job of Speaker of the House in Congress.

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. 

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.


The care of dying people is often about physical comforts and medical efforts.

But music can be part of the closing of life's book as well. 

Music thanatologists play instruments, often harps, to soothe people approaching death. 

Jane Franz wrote a book about it, Behind The Harp; she joins us on the phone. 

Mary Landberg

We don't mind talking about taxes, but death is another matter entirely. 

Oregon Humanities is determined to break through the resistance, with a series of conversations on the end of life called simply "Talking About Dying." 

Communities all across the state are hosting the discussions, including Ashland, Medford, and Klamath Falls. 

Pastor Fred Grewe talks about death a great deal in his role as hospice chaplain. 


Just because the growing season is over is no reason to stop thinking about farms and gardens. 

Jackson County Master Gardeners Association members keep busy during the winter. 

And they point out there's plenty to do outside the growing season. 

The gardeners share their knowledge in the coming "Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium," coming to Medford November 7th. 

Just when people think manners may be in decline, along comes a helper.  A proven one, at that. 

25 years ago, author and screenwriter Delia Ephron published Do I Have to Say Hello? Aunt Delia's Manners Quiz for Kids and Their Grownups

The charming, soft-but-firm approach of the book helps kids learn and gives adults a few chuckles and smiles. 

The concerns of disabled veterans and their families take center stage when JPR News and Southern Oregon Public Television team up for Local Focus: Debt of Honor. It’s the first joint project between JPR and Public TV in many a year, and could pave the way for future efforts.

Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Libraries in Jackson County are assured of a future, since voters created a countywide library district in an election last year.  And now library users and friends can help shape that future. 

A series of meetings stretching from mid-October to mid-November ask attendees to "Discover & Dream: Design the Destiny of Your Library."

Each library gets a meeting, some more than one. 


It's been a tough couple of years for race relations in America. 

So there's really no better time to bring the subject up and spend several days talking about it. 

That is the approach at Southern Oregon University, which observes Race Awareness Week November 2nd through 6th. 

Speakers from on and off campus are involved in the project, including Claudia Alick of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Multicultural Resource Center director Marvin Woodard. 

Simon & Schuster

Race relations and police interactions can be hard enough for mature people to understand. 

How do we explain it to younger people? 

Co-authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely give the explanation a try in their YA novel All American Boys

They alternate chapters in the voices of two teens, one black and one white, as they respond to the beating of the black teen by a white cop. 

Oregon State Archives

So much of what we know about the past and our ancestors comes from the records they kept. 

And those end up archived somewhere. 

In recent years, the "I Found It In The Archives!" campaign has highlighted some significant finds of documents and the stories they tell. 

Now the Oregon State Archives are getting in on the act, pulling records of notable events in Oregon history out for the public to see. 

Abraxus Games

Just in time for Halloween, the card game that nearly scares you to death! 

Alex Williams and Patrick James are board game designers from the Rogue Valley, and the makers of the new card game "Don't Die!"

The name tells you the object of the game.  Actually, it's a shortened version of "don't die as much as the other players." 


Quick, name the most successful academic program at the nearest university.  No luck? 

Then try this question: how is that school's football team doing this fall?  That one is probably a lot easier, thanks to the American obsession with college football. 

Diane Roberts, who teaches at Florida State (6-1 through October 30) knows about the many issues with college football, but says she surrenders to her own "Inner Barbarian" on Saturdays in the fall. 

She examines the national obsession in her book Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America