Kate Ryan’s experience in journalism goes back to the first time she interviewed a clown.
No, that’s not an editorial comment—Ringling Bros. Circus had come to NYC and her father, Bill Ryan, a former NBC correspondent, put a mic in his 5th grade daughter’s hand and set her to work. He used to say of broadcasting, “It sure beats working!” Kate’s come to agree, though she’s still coming to terms with her coulrophobia (that fear of clowns thing.)
As a member of the award-winning WTOP News Team, Kate’s focused on state and local government from Rockville to Richmond. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She’s also covered breaking news ranging from the arrest of then-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry to the deadliest crash in Metro’s history to the 2010 hostage-taking at Discovery Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Kate’s also chased hurricanes, tracked tornadoes, waded through the snow drifts of “Snowmageddon” and covered the many protracted power outages that have followed those storms.
Kate also worked as News Director and morning anchor at WTOP’s then-sister station, WASH-FM. She produced a weekly public affairs show and interviewed authors, politicians and Pulitzer prize-winners. Interviewees include David Simon, creator of HBO’s “The Wire,” two-time Pulitzer prize winner David McCullogh, and one of the central figures of the Iran Contra Affair, Lt. Colonel Oliver North.
Kate’s been recognized for her series and features: from the aggravation of trying to find a parking space in a crowded downtown “Can I Park Here?” to whether letter writing has become a lost art “Don’t Forget to Write.” Working with her colleague Darci Marchese, she won a regional Murrow Award for an examination of mental illness, “The Loneliest Disease.” Most recently, she produced a series on bullying “No Bully Left Behind.”
Kate’s also enjoyed the chance to produce features on people whose stories capture the imagination; a teenage violin virtuoso whose work was played at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the street vendors known as the Arabbers of Baltimore, and veterans who take part in physical therapy using the horses of “The Old Guard”, the US Army’s Caisson platoon.
Kate has an MA in teaching from Johns Hopkins University. She’s taught U.S. History and AP Government to high school students in Montgomery County Maryland, one of the nation’s consistently top-rated school systems. She’s attended Street Law’s Supreme Court Summer Institute,which allowed her to sit in on oral arguments before the Supreme Court.
Thanks in part to WTOP’s support for creating a staff with depth and breadth, she was chosen as the 1000th fellow in the RTDNA/RIAS fellowship program in which journalists from the U.S. get a chance to explore issues of common interest in Berlin, Germany. While there she examined an issue of global and local importance: traffic.
Kate speaks Spanish, makes a good effort in French, and struggles in Dutch. Kate lives in Washington, D.C. and blogs about getting around by bike on her website: Lane Change, Kate Ryan Reports. Kate is honored to work in a newsroom with colleagues whose commitment to news is second to none.