Tanya Ott

Tanya Ott is a part-time editor at WBHM and instructor for the University of Alabama's journalism department. She hosts a podcast on business strategy and emerging technologies and trains public radio newsrooms around the country. Over her 30+ year career, she has reported for Marketplace, NPR and other networks and worked at local stations in Florida, Colorado, Georgia and Alabama, including as WBHM's news director from 2002-2013.

July 26, 2012 Morning Edition News

The state seizes hundreds of electronic bingo machines, former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy is released, and a civil rights pioneer dies.

Cuts More Clear at Birmingham City Schools

Details are emerging in the massive budget cuts at Birmingham City Schools. On Tuesday, the school board deadlocked over approving the state's $12 million cost cutting plan, but the state stepping in and imposed the plan anyway, firing 61 employees and cutting the salaries of many high-level administrators.

July 25 Morning Newscast

Birmingham Schools deadlocks on cost-cutting plan, but state overrules; COO of Alabama Public Television warns of dire consequences; Annual Kids Count data book finds problems for Alabama's children.

Kids Count Data Mixed Bag for Alabama

The annual Kids Count data book is out and it carries mixed news for Alabama’s youngest residents. Overall, the state ranked 45th for child well-being, with nearly a third of kids living in poverty in 2010.

July 24 Morning Newscast

Scientist examine long-term health effects of Gulf oil spill; Alabama closes state mental hospital; Alleged Tuscaloosa shooter gets day in court....

July 23 Morning Newscast

How much are Super PACs spending on Birmingham television station political advertising; Why did an Episcopal Bishop in Alabama vote for blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples nationally, but not in Alabama; and what does an explosion of lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico mean for local species?

Two Remain Hospitalized in Tuscaloosa Shooting

Hospital officials say two of those injured in the shooting outside a Tuscaloosa bar remain hospitalized. One man remains in serious condition. Another is in fair condition.

Judge Reinstates Birmingham School Superintendent

The chicken fight between the Birmingham board of education and the state amped up several notches this week. The board was supposed to vote Tuesday night on a $12 million cost cutting proposal, but instead surprised everyone by voting to fire school superintendent. Now, the courts are involved.

New Details Emerge in Tuscaloosa Shooting

The roommate of a man who was allegedly shot by suspect Nathan Van Wilkins says race may have been a factor.

Former APTV Chief Sues Over Termination

Attorneys for former Alabama Public Television executive director Allan Pizzato have filed a civil suit against the Alabama Educational Television Commission. They allege the commission violated various state laws and statutes when it unexpectedly fired Pizzato and another top executive in June.

Tuscaloosa Police Look For Answers in Shooting

Tuscaloosa's police chief says yesterday’s shooting in a downtown bar may have involved a dispute between rival motorcycle gangs. Chief Steve Anderson says Nathan Van Wilkins turned himself in yesterday afternoon. Van Wilkin has been linked to other incidents.

Remembering The Queen of Country Music

The Queen of Country Music has died. Kitty Wells died at her home in Nashville yesterday of complications from a stroke. She was 92. Wells was the first female to score a Number One hit on the country charts and paved the way for other women at a time when the men who ran the industry didn't think a woman could be a headliner.

17 People Injured in Tuscaloosa Bar Shooting

Tuscaloosa Police continue the search for a gunman who shot 17 people at a downtown bar early this morning. Three University of Alabama students are among the injured.

Rising Star in Acoustic Music Plays Birmingham

One of the hottest young talents in the world of acoustic music makes her way to Birmingham tonight. The Austin Chronicle has called Sarah Jarosz "a songwriter of uncommon wisdom". A New York Times reviewer noted she's a "mandolin and banjo prodigy with the taste and poise to strike that rare balance of commercial and critical success." Jarosz garnered a lot of attention at Bonnaroo this year. WBHM's Greg Bass has a profile.

Trussville Moves to Terminate Schools Superintendent

The Trussville Board of Education is moving to cancel its contract with Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Freeman. After a multi-hour meeting yesterday, the board announced it had voted unanimously to ends its contract with Freeman, who has led the district since its beginning in 2004.

John Archibald on Airbus Facility in Alabama

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is in Europe this week trying to drum up business for Alabama. The move comes after Airbus announced it will build its first ever U.S. manufacturing facilities in Mobile. John says Alabama is attractive to foreign businesses for a number of reasons, all of which may not be good for Alabamians.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Food Film Series

Think about everything you eat and where it comes from. For most of us, our food probably comes from a grocery store or restaurant. But before that? Many of us don't really know, specifically. That's one of the things the Birmingham Botanical Gardens hopes to change as it launches a summer food documentary film series this weekend.

Alabama Public Television: The Meeting Minutes

WBHM has obtained copies of the minutes from the most recent meetings of the Alabama Education Television Commission (the meeting where commissioners fired Alabama Public Television executive director Allan Pizzato).

Alabama Reacts to New Obama Immigration Policy

When President Obama announced last week that hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children can now obtain work permits and be safe from deportation, immigrants across the country celebrated. In Alabama, home to the nation's toughest illegal immigration law, the new policy opens doors for many young people, but doesn't answer all the questions.

Nightmare Waterfall

Birmingham rock duo Nightmare Waterfall, blends their music in waves of noise. It's catchy droning guitar riffs, crashing drums and howling vocals. They put their music together in such a way that you actually experience what the name implies.

Layoffs at Birmingham News, al.com and Alabama Public Television

It's been a tumultuous week for journalism in Alabama. On Tuesday, Advance Publications fired 400 people at the Birmingham News, Huntsville Times, Mobile Press-Register and their affiliate website al.com. And yesterday, news broke that Alabama Public Television fired two top executives possibly because they refused to air controversial religious programs.

Birmingham News and Other Papers Fire Staff

Today, the Birmingham News, Huntsville Times, Mobile Press-Register and New Orleans Times-Picayune newspapers met with staffers, one-by-one, to tell them their roles in the newly redesigned digital-centric platform.

Birmingham Americana Musician Josh Brown Gets Personal

If there’s one thing singer-songwriter Josh Brown knows about music, it’s how to write a simple song with deep meaning. Brown’s originally from Georgia, but he moved to Birmingham and brought his music and his experience with him. In his EP titled “Long, Long Way From You”, Brown tackles some tough issues.

Communications Blogger on Changes to Birmingham News

For more than a decade, those who watch journalism have been warning about the death of newspapers. From paper to ink to distribution, they're expensive to produce. When Advance Publications announced last month that it was scaling back production of the Birmingham News to just three print editions a week, many people weren't surprised. It follows a trend that's playing out across the country.

Possible Birmingham School Takeover and Don Siegelman’s Future

This week, members of the Birmingham Board of Education voted against the nearly $12 million in cost-cutting measures suggested by state investigators. The board now faces a possible takeover by the state. In his latest column, the Birmingham News' John Arcibald argues Birmingham's school system doesn't have a "money problem", but rather, a "problem with money."

Former NY Times Bureau Chief on Changes at Birmingham News

There are still a lot of questions about how the reorganization of the Birmingham News and its digital partner al.com will play out. We know that come fall the print paper will only be published on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We don’t know how many staffers will lose their jobs and how that will effect what we read in the paper and online. But Micheline Maynard may have crystal ball.

AL.com’s Cindy Martin on Changes to Birmingham News

Starting this fall Birmingham will not have a daily print newspaper. The Birmingham News (and Huntsville Times and Mobile Press Register) will only be published three days a week. Supporters say the move was inevitable. Critics say it's regrettable.

Folk Musician Doc Watson Dies

Folk musician Doc Watson has died at the age of 89. Watson was considered one of America's greatest musicians, as good a singer as he was a guitarist.

Tom Scarritt To Leave Birmingham News

The longtime editor of the Birmingham News is leaving the paper under new reorganization.

Let’s Manufacture Static

Normally, static is a bad thing on the radio. But not when you’re talking about the Birmingham band called Let’s Manufacture Static. They offer up soulful sounds on their newly-released self-titled EP.

What Makes a Good Teacher?

Good teaching is central to effective education, but it's not easy to pin down what actually constitutes good teaching. WBHM and the Southern Education Desk want your opinion. Join us for Issues & Ales to have your say.

Good Teaching Series Overview

For the past year, the Southern Education Desk has been digging into the challenges facing education in the south. One core question that has surfaced over and over again is: What is good teaching? The answer is complicated. There are no easy answers. Real understanding takes time, context and perspective. This week, Southern Education Desk journalists from five states begin a series of reports that will seek to provide some answers.