Janae Pierre

Janae Pierre

Host/Reporter



Janae Pierre is an award winning journalist from New Orleans, La. She is the station’s general assignment reporter and local host of NPR’s All Things Considered.

Pierre has worked and volunteered with several different media organizations, notably NPR affiliate WWNO, the New Orleans Tribune and WBOK. In her spare time, Pierre enjoys listening to old vinyl records (she loves that scratchy sound). Some of her favorite artists include Al Green, Gil Scott Heron and Dinah Washington.

Pierre earned an Edward Murrow award for "Hard News" in 2020. In 2019, she was recognized as “Best Large Market Radio Reporter” by the Alabama Broadcasters Association. Pierre was also listed on Radio Ink's 2017 “Future African American Leaders in Radio."

Report Reveals Voter Access Difficult In Alabama

Super Tuesday is nearly a week away and hundreds-of-thousands of Alabama voters are expected to turn out. But according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Alabama remains one of the most difficult states for an eligible voter to register and cast a ballot.

StoryCorps Founder Brings One Small Step Event to Birmingham

StoryCorps has provided people across the U.S. the opportunity to record and preserve the stories of their lives. Now, the organization is taking that idea to another level with One Small Step. StoryCorps’ founder, Dave Isay, shares more.

Smithsonian Educator Explores Ways to Teach Evolution in Alabama Schools

Briana Pobiner is a paleoanthropologist and educator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. She’s using a federal grant to explore the best ways to teach evolution in Alabama high schools; although some textbooks still contain warning stickers saying evolution is just a theory.

Small Fraction of Students Qualify for Birmingham Promise Scholarship

When it was announced recently that the Birmingham Promise would offer a full tuition scholarship to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, many praised the partnership as a way to give eligible Birmingham graduates a much-needed financial boost. But as it stands, most students wouldn’t make the cut.

Severe Weather Threatens Most of Alabama on Saturday

Forecasters in central Alabama say the storm system threatens to spin off tornadoes. Officials say residents should have multiple ways to receive weather warnings and should not depend solely on outdoor warning sirens.

Amid Slow Sales, Charlemagne Records Closes its Doors

Charlemagne Records has been open for more than four decades. But at the end of the year, the store is set to close. Like many brick-and-mortar music retailers, Charlemagne has struggled with sales in the digital age.

“Just Mercy” Sheds Light on Lack of Change in AL Justice System

The film “Just Mercy” premieres Friday in Montgomery. It’s based on civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson’s efforts to free a man who was wrongfully sentenced on death row. That was in 1989. But not a lot has changed since then.

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. Talks Alabama Bicentennial and the State’s Reputation

The grand finale of Alabama’s Bicentennial commemoration is this weekend in the state’s capital. There will be concerts and parades throughout the weekend and appearances from the state’s more notable residents. Alabama native and comedian Roy Wood Jr. is one of them.

Alabama Young Dems Focus: Re-Elect Doug Jones

The Young Democrats of America wrapped up their national conference in Birmingham Sunday. More than 200 Democrats participated in training sessions to learn to organize in red states like Alabama.

Remembering Slain Alabama Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams

Funeral services were held today for “Big John” Williams. He was a popular sheriff allegedly killed by the son of a deputy from a neighboring county. His death has resonated nationwide.

Birmingham Water Works Board Approves Rate Increase

Birmingham Water Works customers will have slightly higher monthly water bills starting in January 2020.

Questions Loom One Year After Hoover Mall Shooting

The police killing of 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. happened a year ago at the Riverchase Galleria Mall after officers wrongly thought he was the shooter. Alabama’s Attorney General cleared the Hoover police officer of any criminal wrongdoing and so did the Department of Justice. But a lot of questions remain unanswered.

Alabama Democrats Under New Leadership As Legal Battles Loom

This past weekend, members of the state Democratic Executive Committee removed party chair Nancy Worley and elected state Rep. Chris England chair instead. Worley sued to stop the meeting from happening, but ultimately the Alabama Supreme Court allowed it to go on. An attorney for the faction that pushed for new leadership says looming legal battles are not a cause for concern.

Report Ranks Alabama Worst in the U.S. for Higher Education Cuts

Alabama has cut per student funding at state colleges and universities more than any state in the U.S. According to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Alabama cut higher education funding by nearly 36% between 2008 and 2018.

Birmingham Ultra Runner Competes in World Championship 24-Hour Race

Dozens of ultra runners will compete at the World Championship 24 hour race in Albi, France. One of those is Birmingham runner Micah Morgan.

Tax Bills Increase for Many in Jefferson County

The former AT&T City Center, a vacant skyscraper in downtown Birmingham, will have a property tax bill about half a million dollars more than last year’s. It’s one of many properties, including homes, that can expect to pay more in taxes this year.

Bluesman Henry “Gip” Gipson Dies at 99

Alabama native and blues musician Henry “Gip” Gipson has died. He was 99.

Birmingham Gets Back to Distilling Liquor

The number of distilleries across the U.S. is on the rise. There are more than 1,500 active distillers nationwide, according to the American Craft Spirits Association. WBHM’s Janae Pierre reports, when it comes to spirits, a couple distillers in Birmingham are already on board.

Transit Authority Chief Seeks Compromise to Pass Budget

The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority recently rejected a proposed budget that would have increased bus fares to $1.50 and cut bus service. Executive Director Frank Martin says riders aren’t paying enough into the system, and neither is the city of Birmingham.

Bessemer Residents Eager for Lincoln Theatre Restoration

Acclaimed actor Andre Holland is best known for his role in the Oscar winning film Moonlight and playing Andrew Young in the movie Selma. Holland purchased the Lincoln Theatre in his hometown of Bessemer, Alabama and plans to re-open it as a single-screen cinema and performing arts space.

Some Million Miles: A Search for Redemption

This short documentary film takes a hard look at a rural community atop Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama ravaged by drugs and poverty. Jared Ragland co-directed the film with Adam Forrester. It screens this weekend at the Sidewalk Film Festival.

Annexit: The Push to Deannex Parts of Anniston into Oxford

Anniston City Councilwoman Millie Harris says some residents want out of the city because of poor schools, high crime rates, and declining property values.

Prison Re-Entry Program to Expand with $6 Million Grant

When prisoners are released, they often face lots of hurdles. They can’t find work or housing or health care. Often, they end up back in prison. The Dannon Project recently received a large federal grant that will allow the nonprofit to help more former inmates get on their feet.

Birmingham Sees Conflict Resolution as Key to Breaking Cycle of Violence

Violent crime remains high in Birmingham, particularly among young black men. Now, the city is partnering with several nonprofits to teach skills they hope will prevent conflicts from escalating.

The Risky Business of Music Festivals

Later this month, Freedom Fest makes its debut in downtown Birmingham. But music festivals around here seem to come and go. We sent WBHM’s Janae Pierre to find out why it’s so hard to keep a music festival going here in the Magic City.

Merrill Announces Run for Alabama U.S. Senate Seat

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is adding his name to the long list of Republicans who hope to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones. Merrill says Alabama needs a “proven conservative” in the Senate who will support President Donald Trump on issues like immigration and judicial appointments.

Juneteenth: A Celebration of the End of Slavery

June 19th 1865 — or Juneteenth – marked the official end of slavery in the U.S. Barry McNealy, an educator with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, says even though President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it didn’t free all slaves.

UA Returns $21.5 Million to Donor & Strips Name From Law School

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees voted Friday to return a multi-million dollar donation from Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and strip his name from the school of law.

Birmingham’s Food Desert Plan: More Grocers, Fewer Dollar Stores

Nearly 70 percent of Birmingham residents live in food deserts, neighborhoods that have no grocery store or healthy food options. Now, Birmingham city officials are working to bring more grocers to the city.

Several Hundred Gather in Birmingham for Bernie Sanders Rally

A large crowd of people gathered in Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park Sunday for a rally supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders.

New Podcast Reveals “White Lies” in Selma

In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was beaten to death by white segregationists in Selma. Reeb himself was white. In an NPR podcast called “White Lies” co-hosts Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley try to uncover the truth about Reeb’s death.

Sidewalk Cinema Debuts in Birmingham Soon

One weekend a year, Birmingham becomes a destination for filmmakers and movie buffs during the Sidewalk Film Festival. For almost 20 years, the organization has showcased the work of hundreds of filmmakers during its annual festival while educating the indie industry. Now, Sidewalk is taking that concept to the next level with a new cinema and film center.