Matt Shafer Powell

Director of News Content/Executive Producer

Matt was born and raised in Western Michigan, near Grand Rapids. Like many of his generation who eventually worked in radio, Matt spent an inordinate amount of time as a boy with a tape recorder, a microphone and 45s stacked an inch high on the record player. His dreams of being on the radio became reality at the age of 17, when he convinced the news director at a Grand Rapids radio station to let him work for free. Later, while working toward a broadcasting degree at Central Michigan University, he discovered the thrill of the audio production process; in the years since, he's worked as a producer of radio commercials and as an audio engineer, creating soundtracks for videos and films.

In public radio, he's found the perfect confluence of his interests in storytelling, news, writing and audio production. He joined WUOT in November 2002 after heading up Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Bureau. A self-described "sports geek," he also enjoys writing fiction, playing guitar and laughing ‘til it hurts with his wife and three children. Among his guilty pleasures, he lists hockey fights, socks with sandals and the BeeGees' disco-era stuff.

Ways to Connect

  WUOT  is looking for an experienced, energetic, professional journalist to host Morning Edition and create innovative, compelling content for air and the web.  A two-time National Murrow winner, we place a premium on creativity, integrity and accountability in the way we cover East Tennessee.  We’re looking for someone who’s flexible, passionate and is energized by the challenges of working in public radio. 

Bachelor's Degree in related field required, along with at least one-to-two years' broadcasting experience.

WUOT-FM has been chosen as one of only 15 public radio stations nationwide to participate in the Localore: Finding America project.  A sister to our Tenn Words project, TruckBeat will allow us to go further into our community to talk to the people and uncover the stories that make East Tennessee so interesting and unique.   

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

This episode of Dialogue is devoted to WUOT's  Tenn Words project.  Host Matt Shafer Powell sits down with Ragan Schriver from the University of Tennessee College of Social Work.  They'll go through some of the 650+ responses we've received to our Tenn Words  question “What keeps you up at night?”  Some are funny, some are weird and some will break your heart.  And special guest Jess Mador has some exciting developments to tell you about. 

 Samuel Barber's musical interpretation of the James Agee prose poem Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is considered one of Barber's master works and is especially popular here in East Tennessee.  

Prepare for the sequel.

This Friday, the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra will debut Knoxville: Summer of 2015, composed by Oak Ridge native Ellen Reid. 

It’s the last day of WUOT’s fall fund drive, and we want to thank everyone who has supported the station thus far!

But if you haven’t pledged yet, the question is, “Why?”

Are you waiting to pledge during your favorite Saturday morning program? Is opera your favorite? Are you still trying to decide what you want to give?

GOP Presidential front-runner Donald Trump is firm in his conviction that he will win over Hispanics in America, even while his approval numbers among the country's largest minority tend to hover near  "you're kidding, right?"  Say what you want, but T

Since we began asking East Tennesseans the question "What keeps you up at night?", we've received a handful of responses that refer to the 24/7 challenges involved in taking care of others who are suffering.  

Ryan Jackson learned first-hand how difficult it can be when he dropped out of college to help take care of his ailing grandmother.   But he also learned it can be a rewarding, enriching experience.   

We're excited to launch our Spanish-language version of WUOT's Tenn Words project this Sunday September 27 at the Hola Festival in downtown Knoxville.  If you're in the area to enjoy the food and music, please stop by and say "hola" and fill out one of the Tenn Words forms (there will be English-language forms available too).

 WUOT's Tenn Words project asks East Tennesseans to answer the following question in ten words or less:  "What keeps you up at night?"

While some of our 500+ responses include the maximum allowable verbiage (ten words) and others go well beyond the limit (Express Lane Cheaters Unite!), the number of words on a handful of responses fall somewhere between zero and two.  

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

Nuclear science has been good to John Boyle.  

The retired chemist spent his entire career in Oak Ridge, learning about the effects of nuclear radiation and how it impacts the environment.  Now 97, he thinks of himself as lucky.  "I enjoyed my work, frankly," he says.  "A lot of people would probably find it boring, but I was always anxious to get back to work and find out how my results were turning out."