George Olsen

Host of ATC; Producer of The Sound

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas,  and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.

Ways to Connect

Top 40 CDs as hard on The Sound (through 10/21/16)

INTRO – Among the cities facing the greatest difficulties from flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is Kinston. George Olsen spoke with the city’s mayor B.J. Murphy who says the city is almost an island in eastern North Carolina.

OUTRO – George Olsen speaking with Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy. The mayor adds anyone looking for more information on the effects of flooding can visit either Lenoir County Emergency Services and BJMurphy360 on Facebook or on Twitter go to LenoirCountyES and BJMurphy360.

We expect to be able to restore the News & Ideas 88.1 frequency in Greenville this week. It has been off air for since just Hurricane Matthew as we evacuated equipment from the broadcast facility because of the expected inundation from Tar River flood waters. We hope to return 88.1 to the air as early as late Tuesday afternoon. 

News & Ideas programming is still available via webstream here at

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Free download of Killing Time from the CD American Fork by Tim Easton, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

Free download of Most of that Left from the CD Empty Glasses by Reagan Boggs, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

Gov. Pat McCrory was in Goldsboro yesterday to celebrate the opening of the new Cherry Hospital. George Olsen has more.

Gov. Pat McCrory has declared the month of September North Carolina Preparedness Month. George Olsen has more.

Professional baseball returns to Kinston next year. George Olsen has more.

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The State Underwater Archeology Team will be on the Neuse River in Kinston Friday (August 19) searching for remnants of the CSS Neuse. George Olsen has more.

John F. Blair Publisher

INTRO – A Durham couple has a unique problem in their publishing efforts… and if they choose to commiserate about their problem with a malted beverage in hand, that’s o-k. It’s just more research for their next published effort which, given exponential growth in their chosen topical field, could be sooner rather than later. George Olsen has more.

Erik Lars Myers and Sarah H. Ficke have what would typically be a devastating problem for authors… they no sooner publish a book and its out-of-date.

INTRO – North Carolinians are enjoying the lowest July gas prices in 12 years. George Olsen has more.

Good news for gardeners in the Pitt County area. George Olsen has more.

Sing - Jennifer Licko

Jun 30, 2016

INTRO – A new CD by ENC native Jennifer Licko took a long, circuitous and electronic path toward final production. George Olsen has more.

“It was a really nice collaboration of an Irish producer in Minnesota, an English producer in Florida and a Brazilian producer here in Brazil and I think it made for an interesting outcome.”   

You could soon pay a late fee if you’re tardy in renewing your vehicle registration. George Olsen has more.

State archaeologists now have more detailed sonar images to study of the Civil War blockade runner Agnes E. Fry. George Olsen has more.

In the ever constant tug of war between development and environmental concerns on North Carolina’s Outer Banks both sides could almost certainly agree that no matter the state of things now they’re certainly better than one vision for the area around 1950.

   (Reads from NC 12: Gateway to the Outer Banks)

Free download of It's Political from the CD War & Peace by Shannon Labrie, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

INTRO – The names of those involved in a Highway Patrol trooper involved shooting Sunday morning in Kinston have been released.

A new book by a UNC-Wilmington Creative Writing professor weaves a mystery inside past and present conflicts as viewed by the state’s Outer Banks. George Olsen has more.

Call it the “spoonful of sugar” approach to writing… buy it for the mystery, love it for the history.


A Civil War-era shipwreck has been discovered off the North Carolina coast. George Olsen has more.

The state’s public schools experienced the first increase in the dropout rate in nearly 10 years. George Olsen has more.

In the wake of events that sadden or frighten us, the option is to move forward or fall back. Raleigh’s Jeanne Jolly chose the former.

I was searching, and I think that, when I went through a tough transition in my life, losing my mom, and came back home to NC to do that and be around her and be with my family and focus on that, I think that was the probably the moment in my life that I decided to do what… do everything I wanted to do musically even if I was afraid of it, and I think writing songs is scary and really vulnerable.”

Free download of Got a Lot from the CD Method to my Madness by Tommy Castro, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

Attendance at North Carolina’s state parks set a new record in 2015. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – A Tarboro bakery operation has announced expansion plans, bringing 98 new jobs to the region. George Olsen has more.

Nine new members of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame have been announced. George Olsen has more.

The New Year means new school bus safety policies are in effect across the state. George Olsen has more.

The Onslow County Health Department is offering free testing kits so residents can check radon levels in their home. George Olsen has more.

Forty illegal gaming machines and nearly $300,000 in cash were discovered Tuesday when a search warrant was served on a Trenton residence. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – The goal of any author would be to get someone to read his-or-her book, and once they’re finished with that one, pick up another. For one Chapel Hill author, the goal of his latest book is for you to read it and then NOT pick up another, at least for a while. George Olsen has more.

Bland Simpson is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill. Spend much time reading his latest book and you could believe his real goal is to become North Carolina’s unofficial “tourism director” in charge of state waterways.