Jennifer Rooks

Public Affairs Host & Producer

As public affairs host at MPBN, Jennifer's been involved in numerous projects on both television and radio. She currently co-hosts and helps produce Maine Calling, MPBN's statewide daily (M-TH) radio call-in program. Previously, Jennifer was host and executive producer of Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks. She has moderated more than twenty broadcast debates between candidates for statewide office. And, at MPBN, she has produced three television documentaries. Broken Trust: Elder Abuse in Maine, Winds of Change - both Maine Watch Special Reports - and A Matter of Duty: The Continuing War Against PTSD. Co-produced with Charlie Stuart, A Matter of Duty was shown on PBS television stations throughout the U.S. and in multiple screenings, including at the National Sheriff's Association national conference.

Jennifer joined MPBN in June of 2007 after spending more than 13 years at WCSH-TV in Portland, where she worked as a general assignment reporter and weekend news anchor. Since 1994, Jennifer has covered a broad number of Maine issues in every corner of the state. She has twice won an Edward R. Murrow award: in 1998, for coverage of Maine National Guard and Reserve soldiers deployed in Bosnia and Hungary, and in 2003, for the documentary Citizen King, about then-Governor (and former Maine Watch host) Angus King.

Jennifer grew up outside Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia (where she started her broadcast career in college radio) and her Master’s in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked at television stations in San Francisco and Monterey, California, before coming to Maine. She and her husband Mike have two children.

Ways to Connect

Would you know what to do if you lost power for a week or more?  What if a natural disaster strikes - do you have a plan to keep your family safe? We'll learn what the experts recommend for you and your family - what supplies to stock up on, how to best communicate, how to make a plan... and why it's so important to emergency planners that individuals think about this ahead of time.

Maine is among the worst states in the nation for food insecurity, and nearly half the state’s school children are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. We learn about what's being done to address this issue.

Guests:  State Senator Justin Alfond (D)
  Rep. Russell Black (R)                                                                                                                                                                             Kristen Miale, President of the Good Shepard Food Bank

It's enrollment time for those using the ACA marketplace.  This is the program's third year, and some things have changed, including a bigger fine for those who don't enroll.  We'll answer questions about the plans available to people in Maine.

Guests:  Janice E. Daku, CCAP, NCRT, Western Maine Community Action, Inc., Elder Services/Health Navigator Program Manager
  Emily Brostek, Executive Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care

On this Veteran's Day, we celebrate the stories of Veterans and their families. And we'll learn about a new program in Maine to collect the stories of Vietnam Veterans.

Here are links mentioned on the program:

For information about the Maine Military Museum in South Portland, click here.

For information about the Maine Military Museum at Camp Keyes in Augusta, click here.

Home Heating Options

Nov 10, 2015

From heat pumps to solar power to geo-thermal, which home heating options make most sense for most Mainers? there are a dizzying array of options when it comes to home heating systems.  How does each work, what are the pros and cons of each, and how do you figure out whether it's a good idea to switch from your current system to one of the newer technologies?