WKSU announces the retirement of award-winning reporter/producer Vivian Goodman on Oct. 31. During her two decades with the station, Vivian has been a classical music host, a news anchor and a reporter focusing on the arts and, more recently, Northeast Ohio’s expanding food culture with the weekly “Quick Bites” feature. Other stand-out work has been Goodman’s multiple trips covering the Cleveland Orchestra on international tours, the “Mean Kids” series on bullying and several pieces on race relations in Northeast Ohio.
Goodman’s work as a reporter and anchor has been recognized throughout her WKSU tenure with 115 individual state and national awards, including two Regional Murrow Awards from RTDNA (2008 and 2013), two national Gabriel Awards (2013 and 2014), becoming one of three finalists for a James Beard Award (2015) and being named Best Reporter in Ohio by both Ohio SPJ (2011) and Ohio AP (2006 and 2010). Vivian was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 2012.
Vivian started working in commercial radio in Akron at WHLO. She has worked mostly in radio news since then in Cleveland and Washington. Since joining the WKSU staff in 1996, Vivian has contributed numerous news features to NPR newsmagazines and produced hundreds of reports for WKSU, with stand-out coverage of the arts, Cleveland and bullying. In 2012, Vivian launched “Quick Bites” - her award-winning news series on food, farming, drinking and eating - and its companion Facebook page.
“Vivian has been an amazing part of the WKSU community for twenty years,” says WKSU Program Director Ele Ellis. “Her arts coverage is incomparable and our listeners are really drawn to her food series ‘Quick Bites.’ She’s done such amazing work here and we’ve been lucky to have her at WKSU and in public radio in general. I will miss her terribly but am so excited for her as she moves on to the next phase of her life.”
WKSU News Director Andrew Meyer says, “I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Viv. She brings such a passion to her coverage of arts, culture and food in Northeast Ohio. As a foodie myself, I particularly appreciate the sense of discovery she brings every week to her ‘Quick Bites’ stories. She is a valued member of the news team. She will be missed.”
A native Clevelander who grew up mostly in Beachwood, Vivian graduated from Beachwood High School in 1966. She later became one of the first inductees to its Gallery of Success. Vivian studied French at L’Alliance Francaise in Paris and studied German at the Goethe Institute in Munich. She graduated with a BA in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1970, where she first went on the air at the campus station, WHPK.
After college, she traveled in Europe and worked in a dress shop in Amsterdam and for the U.S. Army in Munich. She also briefly operated her own cafe in Brussels, Belgium. Along with her radio work, Vivian had two stints as a Congressional Press Secretary – for Congressman Louis Stokes in 1974 and for Eric Fingerhut in 1994. She currently lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband, Ed, and in her spare time, plays klezmer flute in several community bands.
“When my colleagues proposed to throw a party to celebrate my retirement I was delighted, of course, because I think parties are fun,” Vivian says of her big event. “But then again, I’ve had fun for 20 years at WKSU anchoring the news and covering the stories of Northeast Ohio. Fun, plus very meaningful work, for which I’m truly grateful.”