Soon-to-be former Kingston Radio civics commentator Hillary Harvey has taken a position with Planet Waves FM. Her new program will be called "Women’s Affairs," and will occupy her Friday afternoon time slot from 1 pm to 3 pm.
She begins her new program on Friday, Jan. 3. The topic will be the intimate affairs of women from both a personal and political standpoint.
Harvey will broadcast her new program live from Planet Waves FM’s Kingston studios, and has been assigned a corner office and a reporting staff. Her program will be carried internationally by the Pacifica Network. Her face will appear on the sides of city busses and in the little ads on shopping carts at Shop Rite.
“We’ve been working hard to secure new talent, and Hillary will be a great asset to our station and to our listeners,” said Eric Francis, executive producer of Planet Waves FM. “We’re all very excited about this. We’ve had our eye on her for a while.”
The new program will give Harvey an opportunity to expand her horizons and take on more challenging subject matter than she was allowed to do on her current show, which wraps up next week. She will reach a vastly larger, worldwide audience.
She has also been assigned an electric guitar, which is a Planet Waves tradition -- a red Fender Stratocaster.
"Hillary’s coverage of Kingston has been excellent, though we agreed that it’s time for her to rise to greater challenges. The world needs her as a national reporter on women’s issues,” Francis added, while sipping green tea at his private table at the back of SushiMakio in the Town of Ulster, where he typically conducts interviews. A small crowd of reporters and a local camera crew were camped outside the front door in the chilly afternoon.
“This is gonna be fantastic,” said Jason Stern, publisher of Chronogram, the local arts and entertainment rag. “These two are going to be unstoppable.”
As part of her Welcome Package, she will be sponsored for feminist icon Betty Dodson’s “Bodysex” workshop in New York City next month. Dodson has a long association with Planet Waves.
“I’ve gotten to know Eric Francis quite well over the past 18 months,” Harvey said.
“I’m impressed with his integrity and his attention to detail. I’m looking forward to learning everything I can from him. He’s always been supportive of my career, going back to when we were colleagues at Kingston Radio,” she added. “Eric Francis is a true feminist.”
Harvey seemed exuberant about her new role. “I spent the day in the office last week, and his staff is amazing. I finally got to meet all the women on Eric’s team who have invested so much energy into recording my every word since they heard of me,” she added. “Wow, I have a thick file.”
“I thought that woman from Brooklyn was very nice. She was so polite and knowledgeable,” Harvey said. “The Ukranian guy seemed a little hostile, and the bald accountant dude could not wipe the smirk off of his face.”
Harvey said that Francis would make occasional guest appearances on her program doing live tarot card readings for callers.
The readings will be carried by satellite relay from the top of the waterfall at the former Smitty’s Dude Ranch in High Falls. This is a secluded location where he has brought his mother, his father, all of his out of town guests, and every girlfriend of the past 28 years, sources said. He will work beside a campfire and burn Egyptian incense, according to newspaper reports.
“I had no idea where he was taking me,” said Joe Coppolino, Francis’s father, commenting on his visit there in 1996. “Did I even want to come here? Well, I’m not sure, but it’s a nice waterfall. And at least he brought a picnic.”
James Bluff, director of Kingston Radio, said that Francis would be an excellent mentor to Harvey. “I did my best,” he said.