Alumni in the New York area who listen to public radio have become accustomed to hearing, “For WNYC, I’m Fred Mogul,” as part of their local newscasts. Fred has been reporting for the station for the past decade, focusing on healthcare and medicine.
Fred was a camper from 1978 to 1983, and returned as a counselor in photography from 1986 to 1988. Even as a camper, a talent for journalism was apparent in his 1983 Allagash trip report.
Fred has come back to the New York metropolitan area – he grew up in Chappaqua – after travels to distant parts of the country and the world. He graduated from Amherst in 1990, after spending his junior year in Moscow. That focus on Russia, at a time when Jews were going to Israel by the thousands, led Fred to what became more than two years in Israel.
His interest in journalism, born in a year as editor of his high-school paper, and encouraged while in college by a stint at a local radio station, blossomed during these years, where he did reporting for UPI and other media, including the New York Times.
After six months in Hong Kong – “I was taking the long way home.” – Fred was back in the U.S., but wanting to be out of the familiar Northeast, took a job writing for the Mercury, in Manhattan, Kansas, where the big stories focused on Fort Riley, the nearby Army base. From there, it was on to a paper in Nebraska, and a major change. He met his wife-to-be, Adrienne.
When Adrienne went to graduate school in Philadelphia, that brought Fred along, and to a job with WHYY, the local public TV and Radio stations, where he did reporting for both.
In 2002 they came to New York, where Fred landed a job at WNYC, New York’s premier public radio station, and the largest station in the National Public Radio market.
At Amherst Fred had done a minor in religion, and initially did some reports in that field at WNYC. But he soon found himself assigned more and more to the health and medicine field, where his focus has been for some years now. Coming from a family of physicians, Fred enjoys playing that role on the radio.
This beat takes Fred to veterans’ hospitals, midwife centers, AIDS clinics, research labs and more. Recent stories have covered flu vaccine, hospital mergers, a possible nurses’ strike and changes in Medicaid. With the current national focus on health care reform, his beat is front and center. Fred describes his overall focus as, “How the health care system can better serve patients.”
Fred fondly recalls his summers at Winnebago, especially his two Allagash trips. He took the trip again as a counselor in 1987. He credits Camp, and trips, with his lifelong love of the outdoors. Whenever he can, he gets out and takes walks on wilderness trails.
Cooking is another lifelong passion, and one which Fred began as a camper, honing his skills over fires on the St. Croix and Allagash trips, and earning kudos from fellow campers.
One of Fred’s most vivid memories of his camper years is one which is also in the annals of the most famous, or infamous camp pranks. It was the 1983 Lodge, including Steve Courtiss, son of the Vega director, who set up a roadblock and detour signs on Echo Lake Road on visiting day, causing some Vega parents to wind up in Livermore Falls.
Fred’s WNYC stories are often carried on NPR, and one of his great pleasures these days, in the internet age, is getting a “shout-out” from a Winnebagan who has heard Fred’s reporting in some other corner of the country. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to tune in WNYC where you are, you can, of course, listen on the web. Or if you’d like to hear some of Fred’s archived work, you can find it at wnyc.org/people/fred-mogul.