Making waves

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Amy Juravich joined the staff of WOSU 820 AM in 2007. Since then, public-radio listeners have heard her voice punctuating many of the station's popular daytime shows. The host and producer shared more from behind the mic.

Name: Amy Juravich

Age: 26

Job: Midday host and producer, WOSU 820 AM

Neighborhood: Clintonville

Alma mater: Duquesne University

Hometown: Pittsburgh


When you're born and raised in Pittsburgh, you just have this connection to the city. I didn't really feel that connection until I went to college, because I actually lived downtown. I used to love just walking around the downtown.

During my freshman year at Duquesne, I worked at the college radio station, the NPR affiliate WDUQ. It was a very lucky thing. I went to find a work-study job. They happened to have a reporting position open, and the news director there who interviewed me liked my voice.

When I started, I knew what public radio was, but I didn't know any of the ins and outs of it. I always thought I would end up being a print reporter or a TV reporter.

My first live broadcast was on an election night in Pittsburgh in 2002. My assistant news director, I will never forget what he told me. He could tell I was nervous, and he was like, "You'll do fine. Don't worry. Just don't screw up."

My first job out of college was in Tallahassee for Florida Public Radio. I was a statehouse reporter. That was in 2005, so it was in Jeb Bush's last year as governor. It was really exciting. You could hear my reports anywhere in Florida.

In public radio, the goal is to make the listener feel like they're sitting right next to you. The intonation of your voice can't be taught; you either have the voice or you don't. But the way you use your voice is something that you can work on.

I used to practice my radio voice, but now I've been doing it for so many years that I think I got it. We try to do regular air-check sessions with my boss, the program director, at least once every six weeks or so. When I was a sophomore in college, I definitely got a lot of coaching.

At WOSU, my job is making sure in the mid-days that we're on the air and it's of high quality. I use all the dials on the board. I put everyone on the air, make sure everyone sounds OK. I do a lot of editing work and behind-the-scenes stuff.

You can hear me on the air doing station promotions, promotions of other shows, weather. I really try to let people hear the smile in my voice. I like to make things sound pleasant, even if it's raining.

I like that Columbus is a small big city. National news happens here, and people care what's happening in Columbus. But, at the same point, it has little communities like Clintonville and the Short North.

Outside the office, I'm active in my church. I love just walking around the Short North and walking around Clintonville. I like to go to the movies with friends, and I go to the gym a lot. I also like to travel; I just need more money.

My dream destination is Australia. My favorite vacation spot is the beach.

The best advice I've ever gotten is something that I keep beside my bed on a little card. It's from 1 Thessalonians: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances."