Meet the Radio Staff
Director of Radio Bill Thomas came to North Dakota after working in Lincoln at Nebraska’s Public Radio Network. He’s worked in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; Los Angeles; Washington, DC; and St. Louis. He started small community stations, managed national program distribution, has been a program director, a station manager and a network manager. In his spare time he gardens, cooks, plays music, reads, and gets outdoors.
News Director Dave Thompson has been saying good morning to public radio listeners in North Dakota since 1981, and under his watch, Prairie Public’s radio service has won more than 150 awards for news reporting. Dave is a native of Bismarck, and his hobbies are karaoke, bowling, karaoke, music collecting, karaoke—and by the way, did we say karaoke?
Erik Deatherage is Prairie Public’s radio operations manager. He came to Prairie Public from a public radio station in Maryland—where he was assistant program director, host, and production manager. Erik’s not new to the Prairie Public family: he worked with our own Mike Olson in the early ‘90s as a news reporter, on-air host, and music programmer.
Doug Hamilton, host of “Main Street,” joined Prairie Public in 2012. His broadcast career started in 1975 and includes experience as a news director, executive producer, anchor, editor, reporter, and director/writer. Doug is also a stage performer and a member of Actors’ Equity. He has done voice work for many years, including the narration for several Prairie Public documentaries. Before joining Prairie Public, he served as the executive director for university advancement at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Todd McDonald came to Prairie Public after spending 13 years doing news in the realm of commercial radio, and he has spent a lot of his time in newsrooms in northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. When Todd’s not out with his microphone gathering information, he’s spending time with his wife and son, camping, doing backyard astronomy, and continuing his search for obscure music.
Mike Olson, host of “Into the Music” is adored by listeners for his ability to put together fascinating and stimulating sets of music that draw on his very wide and very deep knowledge of rock, jazz, blues, folk, country, bluegrass…the list could go on. A Williston High grad, he did a stint in the oil fields (not this boom, the previous one) before going to UND. In 1984 he started as an announcer at UND’s KFJM and stayed there as it grew into Northern Lights Public Radio. As UND transitioned to having its stations operated by Prairie Public, Mike did, too. He can be heard in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Williston on the regular FM channels — if you have an HD radio you can get him anywhere in the state — and, of course, anywhere in the world with our online stream.
Scott Prebys has enjoyed a highly successful career as a performer, educator, conductor, and clinician. He is a 2009 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (North Dakota) and recently concluded a 37-year career in higher education. Scott hosts “Prebys on Classics” and “Prebys on Jazz.”
Ashley Thornberg is a producer and host for the “Main Street” radio show. Ashley will interview anyone with a passion. She’s been strapped into a jet-powered U-haul, co-piloted a stunt plane, and had a tarantula make a nest in her hair, all in the name of a good story. She started her career teaching and writing outside of Paris. Though she’s no longer in France, a piece of her soul will always be. Ashley enjoys traveling, experimenting with food, refinishing wood, and pretending to be good at sewing.
Danielle Webster joined the staff of Prairie Public as a radio news reporter in 2006. She delivers news from the Fargo area to Prairie Public’s statewide radio audience. Danielle is a University of North Dakota graduate who worked as a feature reporter, news reporter, and production assistant for the university’s “Studio One” news program. Her work on “Studio One” was nominated for a regional Emmy.
Skip Wood, producer for “Main Street,” was the news producer at Channel 4 in Fargo/Grand Forks for 22 years. He left to finish a novel and to pursue various independent projects, including “The Next Governor,” a television documentary for Prairie Public. Skip agreed to help out when his current position became vacant, and found the work so interesting, he decided to stick around. Skip and his wife live in Moorhead.