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 | January 5-9, 2015
11:26 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Benefits, Legal Pot & Texting Literary Figures: Jan 5-9 on JX

Wages and benefits change in many parts of the region with the New Year.  A pair of Monday segments will focus on those.

Later in the week, we'll talk about the preparations for marijuana going legal in Oregon.

And we'll get to imagine literary figures in the smartphone age with the author of "Texting Jane Eyre."

It's the first full week of a new year on the Jefferson Exchange, and here's our list:

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Jefferson Exchange | January 1, 2015
1:22 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Whitewater and "Wild"

Credit Wikimedia

Happy New Year from The Exchange!

New Year's Day is a day off for the JX staff.  But we trolled the archives for a couple of memorable shows from the past.  

At 8: river guide Jo Deurbrouck wrote about a daring/reckless attempt to set a whitewater speed record, in her book Anything Worth Doing

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Jefferson Exchange | January 2, 2015
1:20 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Peacemakers And Drinkers


The holiday weekend continues with another off-day for the JX staff.  So we reach again into the archives for significant interviews from the past.  

At 8: she never liked either bullies or violence, and stood in their way from an early age. 

Her convictions led Jody Williams to a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Her book is My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize.  

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Jefferson Exchange | December 31, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Singing In A New Year

Credit Jefferson State Choral Coalition/Facebook

Darn, with Christmas over, there are no more seasonal concerts.  Or are there? 

The Jefferson State Choral Coalition held back while a myriad of other groups held holiday concerts. 

JSCC's big bash is January 3rd; twice, in fact. 

The choir--or is it a chorus?--features American popular music in a variety of styles. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 31, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed December 31, 2014

VENTSday: Big Stories of 2015 + Resolutions


New Year's Even marks the VENTSday to end all VENTSdays... or at least to end the year. 

These topics are easy:

1) what's the biggest news story of the year?

2) What's your New Year resolution, either for yourself or somebody else--even the whole world? 

VENTSday is our weekly "opinion swarm"… we throw a pair of topics on the table, and let listeners vent--politely--on those topics. 

We bring the topics, you bring the opinions. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 31, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed December 31, 2014

The Story of David, THE David

Credit Yale University Press

"For unto you is born in the city of David…" 

We hear that line every Christmas season (thank you, Linus). 

Which David?  The one who slew Goliath, or the one who ruled as a king, or the poet with the sensitive heart? 

Same guy. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 30, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Whooping Cough And Chicken Pox Flare Up

A child with pertussis coughing.
Credit CDC

California is seeing more cases of whooping cough (pertussis) than at any time in the last 70 years. 

And Jackson County on the Oregon side is seeing more cases as well. 

Pertussis and chicken pox are both up in number, causing concerns for county health officials. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | December 30, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Sharing The Dental Wealth (and Health)

Credit Wikimedia

There's nothing quite like the pain of a toothache. 

It's remarkable how a problem with one little tooth can affect so much more. 

Actually, it's not remarkable to medical people, who know the many ripple effects of poor dental care. 

Providence Medford Medical Center partners with La Clinica and St. Vincent de Paul to provide dental services to people who can't otherwise afford them. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 30, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Diet Advice From a Diet Maker (And Breaker)

Credit Penguin Books

Ted Spiker is author or co-author of a dozen books on health and diet. 

But he's not a strict adherent of his own advice. 

In fact, Ted has been known to wear his wife's pregnancy pants upon occasion, and finds them quite comfortable. 

So her certainly knows the ups as well as the downs (on the scale). 

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Jefferson Exchange | Monday, December 29 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Year-End Whale Watching

Credit Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

If the torn wrapping paper and long nights and excessive eating are all too much, there is a holiday season alternative: whales. 

In the right conditions, gray whales can be spotted this week off the Oregon coast, heading south. 

And by OFF the coast, Oregon State Parks means they can be seen FROM the coast. 

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Jefferson Exchange | Monday, December 29 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Smokejumping Into History

A smokejumper crew ready for action in New Mexico, 1948.
Credit Forest Service/Public Domain

The idea of jumping out of a plane to fight a forest fire sounds hazardous (it is), but it has a long history. 

Long enough to be commemorated in a museum. 

The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base in Cave Junction operated for decades, closing in 1980. 

Now it's a museum, restored to its 1950 appearance, with additional protections from the federal government. 

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Jefferson Exchange | Monday, December 29 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Parenting With All Those Screens

Credit The Guilford Press

Remember when we used to joke about the TV as "the electronic babysitter?"  We're not joking anymore. 

Today's kids park in front of the TV less, but only because they have a dizzying array of OTHER screens to look at, from computers to smart phones. 

How much is too much?

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Jefferson Exchange | Dec 29, 2014-Jan 2, 2015
3:00 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

Smokejumpers, Screens, and Year-End VENTS: JX Dec 29-Jan 2

Many of us would not jump out of a plane with a parachute.  Fewer would do so to fight a fire, we'd guess.

The practice of "smokejumping" gets a discussion this week, along with how screens--TVs, phones, etc--can help or hurt kids.

And our VENTSday segment invites comments on top stories of 2015 and New Year resolutions.

Here's the entire list for the week...

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Christmas Day | 8:00
10:22 am
Wed December 24, 2014

JX Sub: The Christmas Truce

An artist's depiction of the Christmas truce, from a London newspaper of the time.
Credit Public Domain

Merry Christmas from all of us at JPR! 

The Exchange staff gets the day off, and we present holiday programming in place of the Exchange. 

In Hour 1: The Christmas Truce of 1914 stopped the shooting in World War I. 

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Christmas Day | 9:00
10:22 am
Wed December 24, 2014

JX Sub: Tinsel Tales 3

Credit Wikimedia

Our Christmas Day programming continues in Hour 2 with NPR Tinsel Tales 3. 

Tinsel Tales began several years ago, assembling NPR voices past and present in something like an hour of story-telling.  

Boxing Day | 8:00
10:21 am
Wed December 24, 2014

JX Sub: Tinsel Tales 1

Credit Wikimedia

Call it Boxing Day or St. Stephen's Day, but the Jefferson Exchange crew calls December 26th a day off. 

In Hour 1 today: NPR Tinsel Tales (the first edition). 

Sit back and enjoy more stories of yuletide from NPR contributors past and present.

Boxing Day | 9:00
10:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

JX Sub: Tinsel Tales 2

Credit Wikimedia

And the Christmas glow continues into Hour 2 of the usual Exchange slot today:

NPR Tinsel Tales 2 presents another round of seasonal stories from NPR contributors past and present.

Jefferson Exchange | December 24, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Holiday Sounds With Em Harriss

Credit Eric Teel/JPR

Sure, the music business can be a grind. 

But making music sure is fun… especially during the holidays, when everybody seems to hum a tune. 

Ashland-based Em Harriss recently visited the JPR studio to play some of her own songs, along with holiday favorites. 

JPR Music Director Eric Teel put together this segment of songs and interviews. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 24, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Growing The Food Project

Credit Ashland Food Project

People donate a mountain of money and food during the holiday season.  But people need food all year long. 

The Ashland Food Project set out to address the need several years ago, with regular, predictable food pickups. 

Now the model is in place in several Rogue Valley cities, and being copied elsewhere. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | December 24, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Secret Sidekicks Of History

Credit Chronicle Books

From the First Lady who ran the White House after Woodrow Wilson's stroke to the husband who stayed grounded while Amelia Earhart took off, history is full of interesting "plus-ones." 

These unsung heroes of history are featured in text and art in The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History

Authors Jenny Volvovski and Julia Rothman did most of the text work. 

Read more