Marge Pitrof

News Director

Marge has been with WUWM since it changed formats from music to news and information in the late 1980’s. Searching for a place where she could produce in-depth journalism, Marge was hired by WUWM as a reporter. For several years, Marge also hosted Morning Edition.

While a reporter, Marge was a frequent contributor to NPR and won numerous awards for her work.

Since fall of 2000, Marge has been managing the news department but still has the occasional opportunity to produce stories.

Prior to joining WUWM, Marge worked in commercial radio both as an afternoon news anchor and a field reporter. She also worked for short periods at a few TV stations.

» Contact WUWM News

Challenges to Civility

Dec 15, 2011

There are plenty of adjectives you could use to describe Wisconsin’s political climate in 2011. Perhaps passionate or volatile.

The state is known for being evenly-split politically – purple - with independents often determining elections. But partisans have been zealous, even among family and friends, according to Jeri Bonavia, executive director of WAVE - the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort.

“These days, bring up the wrong topic whether it’s unions or whether it’s carrying guns in public, and suddenly the conversation becomes heated in a way that we haven’t seen in the past,” Bonavia says.

In today’s installment of Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, WUWM’s Marge Pitrof reports on challenges to civility.

Panelists represented interests ranging from politics to business to the environment.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik insists the future economy of southeast Wisconsin needs roads, rail and bus to move workers to jobs.

A key ingredient to economic development is transportation. So as we continue our series, Project Milwaukee – Southern Connections, we explore transportation in southeast Wisconsin.

We spent time chatting with Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik, a long time proponent of extending roadways and transit systems south to the state line. Here are a few opinions she shared.

In Project Milwaukee: Southern Connections, we look at why Chicago might need Milwaukee more than we would think. Bill Testa is Senior Economist, Vice President and Director of Regional Programs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He spoke with WUWM's Marge Pitrof.

There’s more of the interview in the supplemental audio section below.

Economic development planners insist regions, not just cities, are becoming the leaders of the global marketplace, so southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois would be wise to capitalize on their proximity and combined strengths.

All week, WUWM has been exploring the strength of Wisconsin’s food industry, including its economic impact here in the southeast.

The state’s lion’s share is its commodities such as grains and dairy products, as well as processed foods. They’re sold across the country, and Wisconsin continues to develop markets overseas, because that’s where 96 percent of the world’s eaters live.

But the state is also begun promoting the local food movement; it encourages residents to buy foods produced close to home. The goal is to put fresher, more nutritious items on tables, while generating more business for Wisconsin producers.

Here’s more from WUWM's Marge Pitrof, on this, our our final day of Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate?

English as a Barrier

Jun 2, 2010

We’ve presented several stories this morning as part of our Project Milwaukee series, about students in the Milwaukee Public Schools system who have difficulties in class. They can range from physical disabilities to behavioral problems. We were able to meet for a few minutes this week with the busy principal of South Division High School, to talk about students who are not proficient in English, at least not right away. Maurice Turner says as many as 45 percent of the students in his school are not primarily English speakers.

Educational historian Diane Ravitch does a 180 on her attitude towards the promise of school choice and vouchers. Ravitch is a professor of education at New York University – her new book is called The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. She spoke with WUWM’s Marge Pitrof as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

According to a Milwaukee Public Schools summary, the district's students in all grades, collectively, are performing below state standards in reading and math.

In this installment of Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Success in MPS, WUWM’s Marge Pitrof explores where the city stands among its contemporaries.

This segment of Project Milwaukee: Black and White focuses on what has been a flash point at times: the relationship between the police department and the community. While many officers have devoted their careers and even sacrificed their lives to keep residents safe and uphold the law, there have been instances of police abusing citizens, particularly African Americans. Beginning in the 1960s, activists increasingly brought such cases to light, demanding justice and change. WUWM’s Marge Pitrof reports.

A semi-retired Milwaukee businesswoman claims young African American professionals are leaving Milwaukee and Wisconsin, because their advancement opportunities here are limited. Shelia Payton still runs her own marketing firm here; she used to work in public relations for Miller Brewing and run a business development program at UWM. Payton says race relations in Milwaukee have improved, but she warns that the community needs to hustle things along, if it hopes to remain viable.

There’s been talk of a post-racial America developing, as the presidency of Barack Obama unfolds. Yet it appears great strides are needed, including in southeastern Wisconsin. The Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council has been fighting housing discrimination for 30 years, and yet staff members say people here are still denied housing because of their race.

Thinking Ahead

Nov 14, 2008

Next week, WUWM will present a series on aging and wellness. We’ll explore how people can best position themselves to live long, healthy lives. As a kick-off, we asked our colleagues if they’re on the right track. We sampled our co-workers at WUWM, asking if they're think ahead and planning for life in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.

If they are any indication of the general population, people are thinking ahead and paying keen attention to the older crowd. We start with two voices you hear frequently on WUWM, Susan Bence and Mitch Teich.

Today we conclude our series on youth violence, although our coverage of the problem and its solutions will continue indefinitely. Earlier this week, we held a public forum, asking major players in the field to share their thoughts on the causes of youth violence and what might prevent it. Here is a snapshot of solutions mentioned.

It’s illegal for children to purchase a handgun or even possess one, unless they’re involved in a supervised activity. Yet in Milwaukee, as in other cities, some young people have easy access to guns and actually carry and use them. In this installment of Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence, WUWM's Marge Pitrof explores how young people get their hands on firearms and why some children want them.

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