Esther Ciammachilli

Esther Ciammachilli

Host/Reporter



If you’re reading this then you now know how to spell Esther’s last name. That's the most asked question she’s received since she joined WBHM in 2015. (It's Italian​, if you're wondering.)

Esther came to Birmingham from Reno Public Radio in Reno, Nevada, where she was the host of All Things Considered and a reporter, but wore many other hats. She spent a decade as a singer/actress in Las Vegas before returning to school to get her degree. As she tells it, she got tired of singing for her supper. She’s a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, with no position on Alabama football.

You can hear Esther in the afternoons on WBHM as the host of All Things Considered, as well as in her stories about the people and places around Birmingham and North Central Alabama. Her background in the arts fuels her passion for arts and culture stories, but she doesn't shy away from hard news issues.

When she’s not on the airwaves at WBHM, Esther enjoys spending time with her family, eating at Alabama’s delicious restaurants, and hiking or going to the gym to work it all off.

Gas Flowing Through Pipeline Again, Environmental Groups Following Cleanup

Gasoline is flowing once again through a pipeline that carries fuel to several southeastern states. But, it could still be several days until fuel delivery is back to normal. Crews worked day and night for nearly two weeks constructing a 500-foot bypass off a broken gas pipeline. Officials with Colonial Pipeline – the company that […]

Gas Leak Cleanup Going Well, Bentley Says

Colonial Pipeline, the company that owns and operates the gas pipeline, has deployed roughly 700 people to clean up about 300,000 gallons of gas. It spilled into a pond near Helena.

Paralympic Athlete Josh Roberts Going for Gold in Rio

Most of us expect to sweat when we get hot, but imagine if you couldn’t? This condition affects many people with spinal cord injuries – like Roberts.

What it’s Like Being “Out in Alabama”

Alabama native and 31-year-old Joshua Glenn talks about his role in the film and its significance to the LGBT people in Birmingham and the South.

How to Avoid Being the Victim of Violent Crime

Recent studies show that violent crime is on the rise in America, and 2016 homicide numbers in Birmingham are on pace with last year, the highest number of homicides the city has seen since 2008. But does this mean you have a higher chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime?

Birmingham’s Comprehensive Plan: Four Years After the Launch

Some feel Birmingham residents are worse off now than they were before the Comprehensive Plan was implemented.

UAB Launching New Solar Energy System

The $122,000 project atop the Campus Recreation Center is part of a larger plan at UAB to use buildings as incubators for new sustainable technology.

What’s Ailing Birmingham’s Public Transportation Industry?

There are several transformative projects many feel have lost momentum. We start this week’s Magic City Marketplace asking, “Where do we go from here?

Hate-Filled Heckling in the Name of Religion

The hearing Monday for suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore sparked disturbing heckles directed at members of the LGBT community. Moore supporters chanted anti-gay slurs and mocked a speaker attempting to give an emotional testimony. For more on this and other news, we turn to John Archibald, columnist for the Alabama Media Group.

Medicaid Cuts Sending Shock Waves Through Alabama Medical Community

The first round of cuts to the state’s Medicaid program went into effect on August 1. Officials did away with the “primary care bump,” a payment incentive given to primary care providers in an effort to encourage them to accept Medicaid patients. The cuts are already sending shock waves through Alabama’s medical community, especially in […]

Gay Rights Group Calling for Moore’s Ouster Through Public Advertisement

The Human Rights Campaign, a group that advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community put the sign up in downtown Montgomery. The sign went up just days before Moore’s hearing on judicial ethics charges. In January, he sent an order to probate judges saying the state’s gay marriage ban was still in effect even after a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalized same-sex marriage.

Iron Giant Percussion Takes Drumming to New Heights

Four guys plus a table full of random stuff that makes noise equals Iron Giant Percussion. The Birmingham natives take drumming to new heights, pounding out rhythms on everything from bongos to porcelain floor tiles.

Reducing Recidivism in Alabama, U.S.

People who have spent time in prison for non-violent felony offenses have a difficult time finding – and in some cases – keeping a job. This lack of opportunity can often force people into situations where the only option is to break the law and risk being sent back to prison. It’s called recidivism.

How Alabama Ethics Laws Allow for Questionable Campaign Spending

A loophole in Alabama’s campaign finance law allows for questionable contributions.

Why is Commercial Real Estate such a Hot Commodity in Birmingham?

Birmingham is attracting a lot of commercial investment. Since 2011, out-of-state investors have spent more than $3.8 billion on commercial property in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. This trend is said to have peaked in 2014, but experts say investor money is still flowing into the city. In this week’s Magic City Marketplace, Ty West, editor […]

Major Interstate Closure Through Downtown Birmingham this Weekend

Beginning tonight at 7 o’clock, the junction from I-65 southbound to I-20/59 eastbound will be closed as well as the eastbound exit to 17th street.

Finding a Way to Talk About Racial Inequality in Alabama, U.S.

It’s time to speak of reparations. That’s the headline of the latest column by AL.com’s John Archibald. The piece comes following the turbulent and deadly events involving black men and law enforcement in Louisiana, Texas and Minnesota. A discussion about this controversial column.

Birmingham Job Market Near Peak Employment

There’s good news regarding the Birmingham job market. Since 2011, the city has added more than 30,000 jobs, just shy of the 45,000 needed for peak employment.

AG Puts Foot Down on Alabama’s Open Carry Law

Attorney General Luther Strange orders removal of all “No Firearms Allowed” signs around Alabama.

Advocates Searching for Ways State can Improve Child Wellbeing

According to the report, Alabama ranks 46th in the country for overall child wellbeing, an area the state continues to fall in year over year. The state ranked in the bottom ten states in every category and VOICES analyzed what it would take to improve these numbers.

Birmingham City Leaders Discuss Race, Community After Dallas Shootings

The American flag that hangs outside Birmingham City Hall was already flying at half-mast to honor the 49 victims in the Orlando nightclub shooting that happened almost month ago. City officials say the flag will probably stay that way.

The flag at City Hall was already flying at half-mast honoring the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting that happened almost a month ago.

Corruption in Alabama: The Role of the State Ethics Commission

We continue our examination of corruption that appears to plague Alabama politics

What Makes Birmingham a “Food Town?”

People in Birmingham love their city’s food so much they write songs about it.  We found Ja-Neen Gandy hanging out with her kids at Railroad Park eager to share her ode to Gus’ Hot Dogs. Musical tributes are just one way residents of the Magic City express their appreciation for Birmingham’s food culture. Others write […]

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Corruption in Alabama?

Alabama has a corruption problem. Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard is currently awaiting sentencing for 12 felony ethics convictions, Chief Justice Roy Moore is scheduled to go to trial for allegedly violating judicial ethics and Governor Robert Bentley is being investigated for possible impeachment. So, is there a way to solve the state’s corruption problem?

Thousands in Alabama Eligible for Compensation from Volkswagen

Thousands of Alabama residents may be eligible for compensation from Volkswagen following a settlement over emissions fraud.

Alabama Families Living in Poverty Hit Hard by Welfare Reform

The number of families living in poverty in Alabama has risen, but the number of families currently receiving TANF funding has dropped.

Spencer Collier “Anxious” to Testify Against Gov. Bentley in Potential Impeachment Trial

An investigation is underway to determine whether Governor Robert Bentley should be impeached, and a discussion about Alabama real estate mogul Franklin Haney and his potential influence on state politics. The latest from AL.com’s Kyle Whitmire.

Former Birmingham CEO Convicted on 98 Counts of Fraud

A federal jury in Birmingham convicted the former CEO of two non-profit health clinics for the poor and homeless on 98 counts including conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.

Alabama AG Warns Colleagues About Abusing Subpoena Power in Climate Change Debate

In a letter to colleagues, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is warning against abusing subpoena power in the debate over climate change. Strange is the lead author on the letter that includes 12 other Attorneys General. The letter says several AGs are uniting to fight climate change by launching an investigation into whether fossil fuel […]

Orlando Shooting Shakes Birmingham LGBT Community

Sunday was Birmingham’s Pride celebration, in honor of National Pride month. It’s a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies come together to honor the LGBT community. That event was marred by what is now known as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Early Sunday morning a man entered a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and began shooting. At least 49 people are dead and dozens more injured. WBHM’s Esther Ciammachili spoke with Eva Walton Kendrick of the Human Rights Campaign of Alabama, an LGBTQ advocacy group. Kendrick says this tragedy has shaken the LGBT community in Birmingham.

Birmingham’s Perceived Growth: What’s Real and What’s Not

The University of Alabama at Birmingham wants to expand its role as a statewide player in healthcare through the passage of the University Authority Act approved this spring by the Alabama Legislature. It allows the school’s medical branch to join forces with other healthcare facilities around the state – especially in rural Alabama.

“Friendship” Playing Big Role in Hubbard Trial

The trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard has brought to light some curious aspects of Alabama ethics law, most notably a provision regarding friendship. Hubbard took the stand in his own defense this week and testified about how he emailed so-called “friends” for business opportunities and advice when he was laid off in 2011.