Radio’s Lora Black Retires from Nebraska Public Media

Lora Black in Nebraska Public Media radio studio.jpg
Lora Black in the Nebraska Public Media radio studio.

After 30 years as a public radio announcer, Nebraska Public Media’s Lora Black made a big, public announcement.

She’s retiring and will mark the occasion from 1-4 p.m. CT, Friday, Oct. 15, with a special, pre-recorded broadcast of Classics by Request, the Friday afternoon series she’s hosted for 23 years.

“Whenever I spoke to groups I always said, ‘I have the dream job,’” she said. Black has worked every radio shift, seen countless changes in radio technology and made a lot of memories, too.

Some of her favorite highlights include dancing with her favorite Mouseketeer, hearing violinist Pinchas Zuckerman with her daughter, reveling in stories from Dick Cavett in Red Cloud and reading the words of Willa Cather at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“She has been a trusted companion for radio listeners in their homes, cars, offices and tractors and we’ll miss her strong, steady and calming presence on our air,” said Nebraska Public Media Chief Content Officer Nancy Finken, who worked with Black when they were two of only a handful of women at the station.

Black will host her final show with colleagues Genevieve Randall and Bill Anderson, and Ed Polochick, music director of the Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. Black will reveal the top 10 requests made on Classics by Request and share the story of how she used cross country skis to rescue the station during a treacherous Nebraska snowstorm.

Polochick will make a special dedication to Black and her loyal listeners. They will also celebrate public radio’s legacy, its partnership with listeners and the way radio connects people over-the-air and via apps, streaming and smart speakers.

The Oct. 15 broadcast falls near the end of Nebraska Public Media’s fall membership drive. It’s the last one for Black, who has participated in nearly one-hundred drives. “Lora has built relationships with thousands of listeners on the air, through email, at events and other ways. She has taken a genuine interest in her fans and truly cares about each and every one,” said Bill Anderson, Radio Network Manager.

Both Classics by Request and Afternoon Concert will continue with a new host who has yet to be named.