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

The Maine Calling Book Club discusses Monica Wood's collection of interconnected short stories about the fictional mill town of Abbott Falls, "Ernie's Ark."


Gibson Fay-Leblanc: writer, teacher and Portland Poet Laureate. His first book of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published in 2012.

Christine Marshall: artistic director of the Mad Horse Theater Company

A discussion of how best to navigate the internet to get good answers to your health care questions.

Guests:  Dr. Jacquelyn Cawley, Family physician who is Associate Chief Medical Officer at MaineHealth

Dr. Lisa Gualtieri  (PhD, ScM), Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

Dr. Brian J. McGrory, MD, Orthopedic surgeon with Maine Medical Center

The effects of digital culture and screen time on kids, both positive and negative.

Guests:   Emily Cooke, RDN, LD, Early Childhood Specialist and 5-2-1-0 Let's Go! Program Manager, MMC

  Joyce Nadeau, Social Worker, Cape Elizabeth High School

  Jon Ippolito Professor of New Media, UMaine

How the ADA changed life for Americans with disabilities.

Guests: Kristin Aiello, Managing Attorney, Disability Rights Maine
Amy Sneirson, Executive Director of the Maine Human Rights Commission
Dennis Fitzgibbons, Executive Director, Alpha One


Jul 22, 2015

We go back into the garden to get answers to your mid-season gardening, planting, pruning and picking questions.

Guests:  Barbara Murphy, gardening expert with over 20 years of experience teaching the master gardener course.
William Cullina - Executive Director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.