Fox Radio Announces Show Focusing on Local Issues

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Gene Marrano
Gene Marrano

by Cheryl Hodges

A familiar voice is back. Gene Marrano welcomed listeners to the inaugural edition of his latest radio show by saying he was “glad to be back on the air waves after a brief hiatus … I’m just grateful to be here.”

Beginning Saturday Sept. 3, Fox Radio 910 debuted “Roanoke This Week with Gene Marrano,” a half-hour weekly program that “will keep listeners informed on the issues and personalities shaping the Roanoke Valley.”

Marrano, a longtime area media and news personality, has 15 years of experience in Roanoke as a journalist, in radio (commercial and public radio), print (News Editor at the Roanoke Star-Sentinel and contributor to the Roanoke Times, CITY Magazine, The Roanoker Magazine, Valley Business Front, Play By Play, Associated Press) and on Cox Channel 9 as the longtime and current host of “The Interview with Gene Marrano.”

“Roanoke This Week with Gene Marrano” will feature in-studio interviews with local newsmakers including local government officials, civic  and arts & culture leaders, journalists, sports personalities, non-profit leaders and more. There will also be news segments from the field, interviews recorded at local events and press conferences.

One-minute segments will run during the week, tie-ins to the weekly show which will also add some local news content to the station.

Marrano hosted “Studio Virginia,” an arts & culture show on WVTF Public Radio for 8-plus years, a weekly sports program on WFIR 960AM for one year and was the occasional host of other public affairs programs on both stations. He also wrote and voiced news stories in both commercial and public radio for 14 years.  For the past five years Marrano hosted “The Interview with Gene Marrano,” a one-on-one Cox Cable TV interview show featuring local newsmakers.

The first “Roanoke This Week” featured guests Roanoke City School Board Chairman David Carson for the first segment and wrapped up with local author Gina Holmes, who recently released her second novel. Marrano and Carson discussed the fact that city schools were finally able to start the year before Labor Day, something Carson said “they tried every year to do,” but ran into a roadblock mostly manned by the tourism lobby. Carson said he is “delighted we were able to do that” after years of effort.

The second week featured Star-Sentinel reporter and city watchdog Valerie Garner. Marrano said the discussion with Garner “covered the gamut—local elections, city council issues, etc.” Marrano keeps the dialog moving with ease—often bantering with guests as if they are an old friend, which many are. The show is informative and entertaining; guests have the opportunity to add a little more to their story.

When asked how he manages to be a presence in so many media venues, Marrano says “It’s really a matter of time management … I guess print comes easiest, I’ve always like to write. But I always enjoyed AM/talk radio and sports on the radio, even as a kid. I really like to interview people and pride myself on asking good questions, getting people to open up.  Politics, current events and the arts have become favorites, although I cover a lot of sports too – and business for Valley Business Front. I like having a lot of varied subjects.”

“It’s good to be back on radio with a newsmagazine format program,” said Marrano, “this is what I like to do. I think people will enjoy hearing more from newsmakers they may only encounter in a brief sound bite or newspaper quote elsewhere.”

Roanoke This Week with Gene Marrano airs every Saturday & Sunday mornings at 11:30am. It can also be heard on foxradioroanoke.com on the “local talk” page. Contact him at [email protected] or [email protected]