Adieu, Robin!

Robin is cool

Robin is so cool [Katherine Bidwell]

We officially bid farewell this evening — with rooftop beers — to beloved Robin Amer (Amer like America). She’s headed to an exciting new gig in Chicago as a producer and host for Vocalo, WBEZ’s brand-spanking-new community station. So you’ll be able to hear her on the air or online very soon. She’s been eyeing this job since last autumn and marched right through a hugely competitive application process. We’re so proud of you, kid!

Robin’s been part of the crew since the infancy of Open Source and has poured her prodigious energy and curiosity into the show for two years. She was freshly 23 when she started and had real radio chops already, but in Mary’s Awesome School of Journalism she’s become a formidable reporter, able to wrestle just about anything into a compelling blogpost and hour of radio.

story meeting

In a story meeting, probably pitching one of your ideas! [Katherine Bidwell]

If you’ve met Robin, you know how ebullient she is, and how engaged with the world. This place just isn’t quite the same without her keen brain and her enthusiasms for urban communities, the artworld, and of course BIKES. Afternoons lag in the absence of her mandatory Cute Overload-and-grapefruit study breaks.

It’s also strangely quiet without her warm but resonant voice. So resonant, in fact, that it required a small adjustment period… Robin and I sat next to each other, at 90 degrees, and it took some experimenting to figure out how to preinterview guests by phone when she was talking, too. First we glued some soundproofing foam in Robin’s corner. Then I started wearing headphones, askew, to cover the ear that wasn’t on the phone. And finally, Robin kindly learned to interpret the occasional wild arm flap as an international signal for “I’m on the phone. I. Can’t. Hear.” The flipside? Her voice sounds fantastic on the radio.

We miss you, dear Robin, but this Vocalo adventure sounds like it will stretch you and your creativity in so many great ways. We’ll be listening. As Mary McGrath would say, don’t ever be a stranger. We expect visits and wild tales from the Windy City.


8 thoughts on “Adieu, Robin!

  1. bah. enjoy those wide flat rideable roads in Chicago Robin. onward and upward and goodluck and whatnot.

  2. Congratulations, Robin. I have no doubt you’ll be missed but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I’m streaming Vocalo – it’s fascinating.

    If you’ve met Robin, you know how ebullient she is, and how engaged with the world.

    Only once, and that by phone. But Robin was great: enthusiastic and clearly comfortable talking about topics she’d never thought much about before.

    Chicago has an active SF fan community and several excellent Cons. I wonder if there could be any synergy between Vocalo and the Fen ..

  3. Robin- best wishes in your new job. I envy that you will be close to the Art Institute- they have a wonderful collection of ancient Chinese ceramics. Years ago we went just for a Gauguin blockbuster- the biggest evvah! -a two day treat- stayed at the Ambassador and had a memorable breakfast of pecan waffles. At the time they were displaying in a glass case Phil Collins’ black leather jacket ( funny!- of all things)

    Look at this recent menu. Another reason to envy you.

  4. Robin,

    The day Chris announced you were leaving, I had been thinking about you off and on all day, remembering all the occasions when I spent a little time with you, and how warm and down-to-earth you always were. And I thought — and she always hugs me — which meant a lot to me. So, when I heard that you were leaving, I thought — oh, that’s why she’s been on my mind today, we must have some kind of psychic connection!! Robin, when I say that I’ll miss you, I’m not just saying it to be polite. How many people are there who make a deep impression on you every time you see them? I know you’re meant for great things. You have a GREAT SPIRIT!! Be well, and I hope I run into you again.



  5. Ah, another bright light leaving ROS. I’ve really dug all the shows you’ve produced. Plus, if it isn’t too much for me to say (it probably is, but I’ll say it anyway), you look pretty darn adorable in the above pics.

    Anyhoo, best of luck and all of that. Say hello to Abe Froeman for me.

  6. Oh, I’m so flattered and touched by Katherines sweet words and all of your comments. And now I’m blushing, mynocturama. I’m actually reading this in a stop-over in Rochester, NY en route to Chicago (where I’ll send a more complete audio postcard later) so I can’t do justice to all of my fantastic coworkers and all the people I met through the site at this moment. But I will miss everyone in the Green Room tremendously and I’ll miss engaging with all of you in the way that I did before. But don’t be surprised if you see my name in the comment threads in the future…

    more soon. promise.

    many hugs,


  7. Best of luck to you, Robin. Our one meeting was lovely, and I wish you everything you’re looking for. Don’t forget us!

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