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 News, Matt Shafer Powell

During the first week of October 2012, WUOT's Matt Shafer Powell introduced listeners to three women whose lives illustrate the profound ways in which East Tennessee's prescription drug abuse epidemic is affecting the bond between mothers and their children.  

Carla Saunders is a Nurse Practitioner at East Tennessee Children's Hospital where she sees an alarming number of babies each day who are born dependent upon the same painkillers as their mothers.

    

Katie Baker looks back on her turbulent childhood, in which she lived alone with her drug-addicted mother.

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