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“The Cut” is a weekly reporters notebook-type essay by an Ideastream Public Media content creator, reflecting on the news and on life in Northeast Ohio. What exactly does “The Cut” mean? It's a throwback to the old days of using a razor blade to cut analog tape. In radio lingo, we refer to sound bites as “cuts.” So think of these behind-the-scene essays as “cuts” from Ideastream's producers.

Finding a new sound for the 'Sound of Ideas'

Jenny Hamel sits in the studio at the Idea Center beside microphones, headphones and banners for the "Sound of Ideas."
Rachel Rood
Ideastream Public Media
Jenny Hamel will be filling in as guest host for most of the summer on the “Sound of Ideas.”

For the first time since I started producing for Ideastream Public Media’s flagship public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas,” which was almost eight years ago, the show is without a permanent host. Earlier this month, Rick Jackson, who filled the host chair for the last three years, retired after working more than 20 years at Ideastream and more than 40 years in journalism.

The last time the position was open was when Mike McIntyre, the host before Rick, started more than a decade ago. Mike still hosts the Friday “Reporter’s Roundtable.”

The open position presents an exciting opportunity to bring new voices to the table from both inside and outside Ideastream.

We’re lucky to have an amazing in-house roster of talent who have stepped in as guest host over the last few weeks, including our reporters Anna Huntsman, who covers the Akron/Canton region, and Gabriel Kramer, who focuses on underserved communities, as well as our “Morning Edition” host Amy Eddings.

We have also tapped editors to fill in, such as Marlene Harris-Taylor, our director of engaged journalism, who also hosts our “Living for We” podcast, about Black women’s experiences in Cleveland. And we were fortunate to have Ken Schneck, editor of The Buckeye Flame and frequent guest on the Reporter's Roundtable, guest host for a few days last week.

But while this group of guest hosts bring so much to the show — with their own ideas for show topics and different lived experiences — they also have day jobs. So we knew we needed a longer-term solution as we begin the process of finding a permanent host.

For the next six weeks, you’ll hear a familiar voice return to the mic — Jenny Hamel, who was a former education reporter at Ideastream. She also filled in for a few weeks in the fall while Rick was on medical leave. As we like to say, this summer, it’s “Hamel time.” Any MC Hammer fans out there?

We hope to post the open “Sound of Ideas” host/producer position in the coming weeks. We’re looking for someone who is curious and has a passion for issues that impact Northeast Ohioans.

We see the host position as an extension of our listeners — whether it’s asking important questions to civic leaders and experts and holding them accountable, or sharing stories of community members who don’t always have their voice heard.

We see the show as a gathering place for stakeholders and the community to discuss issues, and as a public service to disseminate important information to those who need it.

We’re excited to start the search. If you know of a great candidate, let us know by sending an email to soi@ideastream.org.

"The Cut" is featured in Ideastream Public Media's weekly newsletter, The Frequency Week in Review. To get The Frequency Week in Review, The Daily Frequency or any of our newsletters, sign up on Ideastream's newsletter subscription page.

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”