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

flickr/Josue Goge

Get ready for some recommendations of books to put on your 'to read' list this summer. 

Guests:  Joshua Bodwell, Executive Director, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance

Sarah Braunstein,  author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children.  She is on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bowdoin College.

flickr/Global Panorama

What is life like inside Russia?  How is Putin's grip on power? And what might the West be missing when trying to interpret Russian intentions?

Guests:  Laura Henry, Acting Chair of the Russian Department at Bowdoin College.
Suzanne Massie, Russia Scholar, author of several books on Russia.
Kyle Parker, top foreign policy aide in the U.S. Congress where he is responsible for overseeing the Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.


We discuss the state of public radio and public television - both here in Maine, and in the nation.


Mark Vogelzang, President and CEO, MPBN

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, Founder of the Pubic Media Caucus

Great ideas for getting outdoors in Maine.


John Christie, Writer, Outdoorsman, Co-author, "Maine Outdoor Adventure Guide"

Dierdre Fleming, Outdoors Writer, Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram

Kathleen Fleury, Editor-In-Chief, DownEast Magazine

Listen here:

We learn about some of the many service organizations currently active in Maine, their missions, and how they stay relevant in a changing world.

In-studio guests:

Cliff Roderick, District Governor for Maine, Lions Club

Ellen Berg, Portland Junior League President

Lawrence Furbish, District Governor of Southern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire Rotary

Call-in guests:

Mark Rustin, Grand Secretary of Maine Masons