Esther Ciammachilli


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.

Alabama Joins Fight Against Obama’s Immigration Order

Alabama is joining 26 other states in filing a merits brief before the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the Obama administration’s order granting amnesty to roughly four million undocumented immigrants.

New Precedent Overrules Antiquated Method for Valuing Currency in Theft of Property Offenses

Attorney General Luther Strange says the Alabama Supreme Court recently issued a precedent-setting decision regarding theft of property offenses.

Mother Angelica, EWTN Founder, Passed Away Easter Sunday

A note: The audio profile above was produced in January of this year, before Mother Angelica passed away.  The founding matriarch of a monastery turned global religious television network died on Easter Sunday at the age of 92. Mother Mary Angelica, or Mother Angelica as she’s known, built the Eternal Word Television Network in Birmingham, […]

Fairfield Considers Cutting Police Department to Save Money

The Fairfield City Council recently made an unconventional move: they voted to get rid of their police department in an effort to save money. But some city leaders say it’s a shortsighted response to a big budget problem.

Scandal Erupts Between Alabama’s Governor and Former Top Cop

Alabama’s top law enforcement officer, Spencer Collier, is fired following statements he made about an alleged affair between Governor Robert Bentley and a top adviser, Rebekah Mason. For more, we turn to’s Kyle Whitmire. Following Spencer Colliers press conference, Governor Robert Bentley held his own saying he did not have a physical relationship with Rebekah Mason. […]

New Bill Would Make Birmingham Civil Rights District a National Park

Federal and state leaders from Alabama announced a bill that would designate Birmingham’s Historic Civil Rights District as a National Park.

A Day in the Life of a Birmingham Walking Beat Cop

Homicide rates are on the rise across the country. In Birmingham, the city finished 2015 with a dramatic 55 percent increase. In response, law enforcement is stepping up efforts to combat violent crime. One key element is to add more face-to-face engagement between police and the community through old fashioned walking beats.

UAB Minimum Wage Increase Goes Into Effect This Weekend

Alabama’s largest employer is increasing its minimum wage to $11 an hour, officials say. The decision was made before a contentious minimum wage fight between city and state lawmakers.

The Rising Cost of Helping the Homeless in Alabama

Life is difficult without identification. For homeless people, not having it can make life even more challenging. There are organizations that help homeless people get state-issued IDs, but cost increases are hurting their efforts. Hundreds pack into Boutwell Auditorium for Project Homeless Connect, an event that brings together several community organizations that provide free services […]

Payday Loan Bill Alive, But For How Long?

A public meeting was held in Montgomery Wednesday, March 9, to discuss legislation that would affect payday loans, a U.S. lawmaker from Alabama is chosen to advise Republican front-runner Donald Trump on national security issues and we say goodbye to a beloved, satirical social media entity. All that in this week’s conversation with Kyle Whitmire, […]

Man Charged With Stealing Nearly $200,000 in Quarters

A Harpersville man is being charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in quarters while he worked for an armored truck company.

Barons Adding to Protective Netting Behind Home Plate

The protective netting behind home plate at Regions Field will be extended before the start of the 2016 Southern League Season. The netting will now stretch to the edge of the dugouts. Barons’ officials say space near the bottom of the protective screen has been designed to ensure fans and players will still be able […]

Looking Forward to the General Election

Super Tuesday has come and gone in Alabama. What was surprising and what to expect come November? Analysis of the primary elections. And House Speaker Mike Hubbard is back in court tomorrow - Thursday, March 3. A look at what's happening in that trial taking place in Lee County.

Storms Couldn’t Keep Alabamians Away From Polls

Alabamians hit the polls yesterday for what’s been dubbed the "SEC Primary" and voter turnout was high despite severe weather.

Alabama Democrats Trying to Get Their Groove Back

Being a Democrat in Alabama wasn’t always taboo. They held a majority in state government for more than a century. But that changed in 2010 when they lost those seats to Republicans. In one of the state’s most conservative counties, Democrats are working on getting their groove back. “We have to get Democrats to come […]

Shelby County Residents to Vote on Sunday Alcohol Sales

During Tuesday’s primaries residents of Shelby County will vote on whether to allow alcohol to be sold on Sundays.

Multi-Million Dollar Contract Awarded for Phase Two of I-20/59 Project

In a deal totaling more than $208 million, the Alabama Department of Transportation has entered a contract with a California construction company that will begin Phase Two of the I-20/59 Bridge Project. Phase Two involves redesigning and constructing the new interchange ramps at I-65. Granite Construction Incorporated will build new ramps to 17th Street and […]

A Look Ahead to the “SEC Primary”

The SEC Primary, also known as Super Tuesday is next week. A look ahead at what we can expect to see when Alabamians go to the polls, and an update on the ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard. State Legislators are now getting involved. Hear the latest from Kyle Whitmire the state political columnist for The Birmingham News and AL dot com.

Birmingham City Council Strikes Back Over Minimum Wage Bill

The Birmingham City Council is once again trying move up the effective date of its minimum wage increase. This is in response to the fast tracked steps the State Legislature is taking to block this action. The council could vote to move up the effective date from March 1 to Wednesday, February 24. Republican Representative […]

Reveals in Case of Speaker Mike Hubbard Could Mean Trouble for Prosecutors

There’s been a big reveal in the ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard that carries potential danger for prosecutors, and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby has quickly progressed from inspirational campaign commercials to attack ads spearing his Republican opponents. Kyle Whitmire has more on this.

2015 Saw Rise in Hate Groups and Extremists in U.S.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released today its annual count of hate groups and extremists in the U.S.

Infamous West End Property Set for Demolition

A blighted property in West End that city officials say has been a scar on that area for too long is being demolished. Birmingham city leaders announced today that demolition of Larkway Gardens begins tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 17, at 9 a.m. following asbestos removal. In an interview with WBHM last year, Councilwoman Sheila Tyson […]

Alabama in Need of Road Repairs to Spur Economic Development

A report out this week from a Washington think tank outlines the top transportation maintenance projects it says are needed to improve economic growth in Alabama.

100 Year-Old Mural in Bessemer Gets a Makeover

When the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was restored in the 1980s and 90s, people were awe struck by the transformation. Vibrant colors and details that had been hidden for centuries could be seen once again. At the Bright Star in Bessemer, which bills itself as the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Alabama, the staff is experiencing similar feelings as the eatery’s more than 100 year-old mural slowly gets a makeover.

Alabama IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Taxpayers Identities

An Alabama woman has pleaded guilty to identity theft and fraud in a tax scheme.

Alabama Actress Keeps Fannie Lou Hamer’s “Little Light” Shining

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~Fannie Lou Hamer~ Actress and Alabama native Billie Jean Young has has done something not many have; she’s performed the same show more than 800 times on four continents. Her one-woman tribute tells the story of a Mississippi sharecropper turned civil rights activist, whose courage […]

Bentley’s “Great State” Plan Lacks Funding Details

The Alabama Legislature is back to work and Governor Robert Bentley announced his Great State 2019 Plan at his State of the State address last night.’s Kyle Whitmire discusses where funding for this plan is going to come from.

Alabama Ranks High in Nation for Number of Home Fire Deaths

Officials from an emergency response agency say Alabama ranks high among states for the number of home fires and deaths. The American Red Cross of Alabama reported that, just in January, 2016, they responded to 181 home fires from which 18 people have died. A total of 21 people have died from home fires so […]

Streamlining Emergency Response in Area Schools

Most Alabamians remember “snowmageddon.” Two years ago today, January 28, this winter anomaly crippled much of the state, stranding hundreds of students in schools and even on buses overnight. That got children’s advocates thinking about better ways to respond to emergencies including those with the Children's Policy Council of Jefferson County.

Alabama Eligible for Federal Disaster Relief Following Storms

Alabama is eligible for federal aid to assist in repairing damages caused by severe storms that moved through the state late last year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid is available to Alabama as a supplement to state recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding […]

UAB Athletics Hits Another Fundraising Milestone

UAB Athletics announced yesterday that they exceeded a second crucial fundraising mark in the Finish the Drive campaign.

Mother Angelica and the Eternal Word Television Network

Roman Catholics around the globe know the name Mother Angelica. She’s the founding matriarch of a small monastery in Irondale that grew into one of the largest religious media networks in the world, spanning 145 countries.