SD Public Radio's Dakota Midday host Guggenheimer takes new jobTalk-show host headed to Pittsburgh; final show will be Dec. 29.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
South Dakota Public Broadcasting host Guggenheimer going to Pittsburgh
PIERRE — Paul Guggenheimer is going home.
Guggenheimer, the longtime host of South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s “Dakota Midday,” said he will interview his last guest on Dec. 22 and his final show will air on Dec. 29.
“There has never been a day I haven’t enjoyed it,” said Guggenheimer of his four and half years in the noonday slot at SDPB.
He starts his new gig on “Essential Pittsburgh” in January on Essential Public Radio 90.5, a new National Public Radio affiliate in Pittsburgh.
Guggenheimer’s new EPR interview slot will be the local lead-in to National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation,” which was also the case in South Dakota. Fans will be able to catch Guggenheimer on the Web or via podcasts.
“I wasn’t looking to leave SDPB,” Guggenheimer said, “but Pittsburgh is my hometown and the opportunity to host a new show on a new station was pretty intriguing.”
EPR selected him after conducting a nationwide search, Guggenheimer said, “so I’ll be headed home in January.”
Guggenheimer arrived at SDPB in 2007 after hosting “Drivetime Siouxland” in Sioux City, Iowa.
“There was always an interview at the end of the show and that was my favorite part,” he recalled. That segment led to his job with SDPB.
In South Dakota, Guggenheimer got a chance to develop those interviewing skills in earnest, rubbing shoulders with some of the top personalities in news.
He counts his time with Mitchell resident George McGovern among his most memorable interviews.
“We did a show from Mitchell and he talked about various aspects of the race between him and Richard Nixon during the 1972 campaign, his speech at the convention and his campaigning to end our involvement in the Vietnam War,” Guggenheimer said.
McGovern also made it to SDPB when he switched his support from Hilary Clinton to Barack Obama during the 2008 election campaign, and to chat about the explosive 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.
Having an opportunity to interview such a vital personality of American history, not once, but several times, was extraordinary, Guggenheimer said.
“I never knew, until he revealed it on our show, that (McGovern’s) first choice for vice president in 1972 was Sargent Shriver, and not Thomas Eagleton,” he said. “The only reason they didn’t pick Shriver was that he was overseas and, since those were the days before cell phones, they couldn’t get hold of him.”
In a move that garnered criticism, McGovern later dumped Eagleton after the latter disclosed he had been treated for mental illness, and took on Shriver as his running mate. McGovern discussed the tangled VP process in a column he wrote after Shriver died earlier this year.
Other political personalities on Dakota Midday included Obama, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Chris Dodd, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and others.
Guggenheimer also interviewed entertainers, including actors Richard Benjamin and Kevin Costner and perennial Beach Boy Mike Love.
Another standout was Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst who released the controversial, top secret Pentagon Papers which contained revelations about the government’s decision making during the Vietnam War.
With the Pennsylvania presidential primary set for April, Pittsburgh will be in the midst of national news, Guggenheimer said.
The Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal and its effect on college sports will be another hot topic, he said.
He will remember his time at SDPB fondly, Guggenheimer said.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s been a great experience and a great honor to host this show for the people of South Dakota.”