Heffner ’08 Anchors NH WPAA Primary Coverage

As votes were counted in the New Hampshire Democratic and Republican primaries on Tuesday night, Phillips Academy’s WPAA radio station reported live coverage of the races. General Manager of WPAA Alexander Heffner ’08 interviewed an extensive roster of political pundits, journalists and politicians from 7 p.m. to midnight. “It went very well,” said Heffner. “There were no voids. All of these guests came through.”? According to Heffner, the Online Political Editor for the Associated Press Ron Fournier predicted McCain’s victory in the Republican New Hampshire primary live over the airwaves, long before the winner had officially been determined. Other guests included journalists such as Mike Allen, the Chief Political Correspondent for the publication Politico; Gail Collins, an Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times; Ed Henry, a White House Correspondent for CNN; and George Packer, a Staff Writer for The New Yorker. ? Heffner also spoke with Bob Kerrey, former U.S. Senator from Nebraska, and Sean Wilentz, a professor of history at Princeton University. Mike Murphy, Senior GOP Strategist, and Jake Tapper, Senior Political Correspondent for ABC News, contributed political analysis during the night. ? Heffner held live Internet broadcasts in election year 2006 and in January 2007 for the State of the Union. ? “For the past two years, we’ve had several hundred listeners,” Heffner said of the broadcasts. ? On such a busy night, Heffner called his producers Max Meyer ’08 and Will Koven ’08 “invaluable.” “There were seamless transitions for our listeners,” he said. Heffner said that he strove for objectivity in his five-hour commentary. “I don’t classify my politics as liberal or conservative. I think most people realize that. I keep my politics out of it. I think all honest journalists who want to report with integrity would do the same,” he said. Heffner will also cover the 2008 State of the Union address on Monday, January 28 and Super Tuesday’s decisive primary contests in over 20 states on February 5. ? Heffner plans to meet with his board to evaluate ways to make his future broadcasts more interactive. “We’re in deliberation about how we can effectively increase the interactivity so that people really feel like they are part of the process,” he said.