Kevin Boucher is the Community Engagement Producer, on-air reporter, and director of the SIRIS reading program. In the broadcast field since 1982, Kevin has experience on both the television and radio side of production at WSIU. He served as Traffic Manager for 14 years before transitioning to his current role.
As the son of a military family, Kevin moved around frequently growing up, but he always felt a special connection to radio no matter where he was. He specifically remembers being around ten years old, sitting in his bed in Washington, D.C., enthralled by the tales coming from his AM transistor radio. To him, the radio was “like a magic tome” that delivered a one-on-one connection between the broadcaster and himself. He recalls the inspiration that moment brought: “I wanted to be on the other end.”
Always a lover of nature, Kevin originally wanted to be a zoologist as a child. He spent hours on Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River, marveling at all the plant and animal life right in the middle of the metropolitan D.C. area. He’d also spend many evenings watching zoologist Marlin Perkins and co-host Jim Fowler explore wildlife all over the world on Wild Kingdom. However, when Kevin realized chemistry wasn’t his strong suit, he decided to meld together his two passions for a future career. He pursued a degree in Radio-Television at SIU so he could use his love of broadcast to tell stories about the wonders of nature.
While working in television operations, Kevin heard an NPR story about climate change affecting Monterey Canyon off the coast of California. Having lived in Monterey for a time as a child, the story caught Kevin’s attention. A journalist boarded a submarine and explored the bottom of the canyon, reporting on the effects of rising global temperatures and pollution. This story served as a powerful reminder of the effectiveness of storytelling on radio, and Kevin felt like he should push his own storytelling to the next level. He finished his Master’s Degree in Professional Media and Media Management in 2011. Through his role on radio, he’s able to tap into that personal connection between broadcaster and listener. When he’s reading on air, he likes to imagine he’s having a conversation with one person on the other end, hoping to replicate that comforting connection he felt with the radio growing up.
As part of the mission of public media, WSIU provides programming and news coverage that is free from the burdens of corporate influence and commercials, which Kevin deeply appreciates and values. He’s also proud to be a part of a station that provides measured, unbiased news coverage to the public, believing “there is more to telling the public about news than an outrageous headline.” As host of the daily public service announcement program WSIU Almanac, Kevin gets to tell listeners about many of the fantastic local events happening in the Carbondale area. He’s especially grateful to be able to provide free advertising opportunities for smaller groups, like non-profits, who typically don’t have the funds to purchase traditional ad space.
In his role at SIRIS, Kevin values the community aspect of the program most of all. Not only do the volunteer readers provide a service for those in need, they also have formed a supportive community among themselves. He hopes the sound of a friendly voice reading the news via the SIRIS broadcast can be a comfort to listeners, who are living in a rather anxious time when it comes to the news.
In his free time, Kevin escapes into nature as often as possible. He enjoys talking walks a few times a week in the state park near his home, taking photographs, and gardening. When he isn’t listening to WSIU programming on the radio, you can find him chilling out to some acoustic rock or jazz.
Catch Kevin on WSIU Almanac every week day morning on WSIU radio, or stream recent announcements online here. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer reader for the SIRIS program, you can get in touch with Kevin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the office at (618) 453-2808.