People | Live Wire Radio

Read more about them. Study their history. Then approach them after a live show and pretend you know them. This will freak them out and make them uncomfortable. They love that.

Luke Burbank


Luke Burbank grew up one of seven kids, learning early on how to vie for attention. Those profound childhood issues have propelled him to various media projects including This American Life, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, CBS Sunday Morning, and the daily podcast Too Beautiful To Live. He lives in Seattle with his wife Carey and daughter Addie. Luke is thrilled to be hosting Live Wire and keeps telling himself you're chanting Luuuuuuuuuke and not saying Booooooooo because you're not doing that right? Wait, seriously, you were booing? At a public radio show? This would never happen to Ira Glass. He's on Twitter @lukeburbank.

Elena Passarello


Elena Passarello grew up in Snellville, a smallish town in Georgia with the motto "Where Everybody's Somebody." Even after moving several thousand miles from Snellville's city limits, she thinks this motto still applies. A professor of Creative Writing at Oregon State University, Elena is the author of two books, one about humankind's most amazing voices called Let Me Clear My Throat and one about famous critters called Animals Strike Curious Poses. Her dream in life is to one day jump out of a cake.

Laura Hadden

Executive Producer

Laura Hadden​ spent three years producing media for The Moth in New York City, including the Peabody Award-winning radio show, before returning to her beloved Pacific Northwest in 2014. As a filmmaker, her work has been featured at Frameline Film Festival and Hot Docs as well as on The Documentary Channel and BBC News. Her ongoing creative projects include co-­producing Wage/Working (a jukebox­-based oral history project ) and co-­hosting United Noshes (a one­-meal­-per­-country dinner party series). When she was a kid, she wanted to be a country singer and/or dog. She now spends her free time hanging out with her dogs, Emmylou & Reba, which is close enough. Email Laura here.

Lauren Masterson

Development & Marketing Director

After earning a degree in economics from Northwestern University, Lauren crunched numbers in the corporate world before lapsing into a quarter-life crisis (are those even real?!) and moving west out of snowy Minneapolis. Outside of Live Wire, you can find Lauren with a film camera in her hand. She is a darkroom teacher and co-founder of The Portland Darkroom. Lauren is the proud favorite of "Lunch Cat," a (potentially stray) animal who she claims is Live Wire's unofficial mascot. Email Lauren here

Tim Harkins

Production Director

Tim Harkins was raised on cheese, brats, and ice hockey in Wisconsin. Professionally speaking, he grew up in Chicago as the Concert Production Manager for the Old Town School of Folk Music and went on to produce a year-round conversation series, a Children’s Theater Festival, and a multidisciplinary festival of arts and ideas for Chicago Humanities. Over the past 12 years, he's also worked in production and operations for a range of festivals including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, and Bumbershoot. His career is somewhat of a variety show in itself, so he’s right at home at Live Wire. Email him here.

Molly Pettit

Technical Director

Melanie Sevcenko


Melanie Sevcenko moved to Portland by way of Berlin, Germany, where she lived for seven years and turned her film career into a journalistic one. When she’s not editing Live Wire, she’s reporting on as many beats as she can juggle. Her print, online and radio stories have appeared in The Guardian and on Marketplace, BBC, Monocle, CBC and others. She’s also an Irish & Canadian citizen, a distant relative of Ukrainian author Taras Shevchenko, and a published poet. She is quite proud of her chapbook’s title (“We Slept in Body Bags, Just in Case”). You can see Melanie’s work at

A Walker Spring


Plays: drums and sings  Bands: Sallie Ford, Bitch'n, Point Juncture, WA  Writes: songs, musicals, to-do lists Enjoys: sci-fi, comedy, personhood  Philosophies: abolitionist veganism  Pet peeves: split ends, mortality 

Jonathan Newsome

House band

Jonathan Newsome grew up on a farm in North Carolina where he spent his evenings playing bluegrass and gospel music with his family. He moved to Portland in the early 2000's with his art-rock band, and with the exception of a few years-long breaks he has been tangentially involved in the city's music and theater scenes ever since. He spends his days as a television and radio engineer at KOPB; he fills his free time with home improvement projects, rearranging his electronic music studio, and exploring various urban waterways in a beat-up canoe with his undeniably above-average and adorable daughter. He overuses semicolons; he is vaguely aware of this but still thinks they make him look smart.

Robyn Tenenbaum


Robyn hung up her acting career at the age of 12 after she brought down the house with her role as Fruma Sara’s understudy in Fiddler on the Roof. As a grownup she moved behind the scenes, working backstage for Bill Graham Presents on big festivals and ticketing for groups ranging from The Rolling Stones to HH Dalai Lama. Longing for the riches of Public Radio, she became the producer of West Coast Live, a national weekly live radio show. After four years, she lost all concept of reality, fell in love, got swept away to Portland, and gave birth to a boy, a girl and a radio variety show. 

The Board

Tobey Fitch | CEO, Fitch Associates
Shona Koester | COO, PRX
Adam Lane | CFO / COO, Ecotrust
Cory Zanin | Chief Operating Officer, PRI

Resource Council

April Baer | Journalist, Oregon Public Broadcasting
Molly Cliff Hilts | Founder, Brooklyn/PDX Project, visual artist
Chris Coleman | Artistic Director, Portland Center Stage
Andrea Durbin | Exec. Director, Oregon Environmental Council
Tim DuRoche | Director of Programs, World Affairs Council of Oregon
Kohel Haver | Partner, Swider | Haver
Kathleen Holt | Marketing Director, Oregon Humanities Council
Kelly Meltzer | Owner, Garvey, Schubert, Barer Law
Greg Netzer | Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility, AHA!
George Thorn | Director, Arts Action Research
Brian Wannamaker | Developer, CEO, Falcon Art Community
Jeff Wright | Founding member, Live Wire BoD, Development Officer, Reed College
Peter Platt | Founder, Andina Restaurant