Lisa Tobin is the managing producer of program development. In that role, she is developing new programs at the station and experimenting with audio and its delivery on digital platforms. She oversees the iLab, the space for incubating new ideas at WBUR, and its fellowship program.
Her background is in both radio and digital – having started her public radio career working as a news writer at WBUR before becoming the station’s first dedicated web producer. She helped in the station’s transition to a digital news operation before returning to radio as a field producer for Morning Edition. She is also the founder of Audiofiles, a site that curates the best of public radio storytelling.
She graduated from Tufts University. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she lives in Cambridge.
In this episode, the Sugars take questions exclusively from teenagers. They answer two letters that get at the universal themes of adolescence — the sense of being alone, the fear of being left out, the desire to please others — and one letter from a teenager for whom outside forces have marked her teenage experience as different from her peers. The Sugars are joined by Tavi Gevinson, the 19-year-old founder and editor of Rookie, a digital magazine for teenage girls.
The Sugars take a question from a young man whose mother has metastatic breast cancer. He is spending a month back home in Kentucky over the summer, then returning to graduate school in the fall. He is wracked with guilt about not being with her, but also at the thought of her dying without knowing who he really is — a gay man in a family where homosexuality has always been condemned.
The Sugars take a question from a young woman whose best friend since childhood is about to get married to a man she’s known for only six months. The two friends are very different, and the letter writer worries that her impulsive, drama-prone friend is rushing into another bad situation. She wonders whether to confront her. The Sugars are joined by the author Ann Patchett
The Sugars take on a letter from a young woman who is a habitual liar — telling her friends about imagined experiences of rape and loss. The lying always seems to happen at a moment of emotional connectedness, when the letter writer wishes to share her feelings of sadness and depression, but struggles to find the right language to do so.
We all know the narrative of the good father. That’s the father we all want, but it’s not the father we all got. The Sugars take two questions on fatherhood — from a new father who fears that his depression will be felt by his baby daughter, and from a young woman who yearns for a deeper connection with her distant father.
Money makes us crazy. In this episode, the Sugars take questions from two letter writers struggling with complicated relationships to money. The first, an aspiring playwright, feels guilty about all the advantages that her parents’ wealth has provided to her. The second, a divorced mother, is unable to control her spending and on the verge of bankruptcy.
Are we ever able to fully let go of our past? The Sugars address a letter writer grappling with that essential question. At 68 years old, she is troubled to recognize that her life is still being influenced by her early experience with an alcoholic father. The Sugars are joined by a Freudian psychoanalyst, who also happens to be Steve’s father.
Friendships are different from any other type of relationship in our lives. They are purely voluntary, and so can feel more tenuous. Do you tell a friend if you are unhappy with the relationship, or do you just leave? And if you do leave, how do you break up with a friend? In this episode, the Sugars field questions from two letter writers who both feel exhausted by a friendship, and want out.
The Sugars field questions from two letter writers in polyamorous relationships, facing two very different challenges. One woman is feeling guilty that she is taking more advantage of the arrangement than her husband; the other has fallen in love with her polyamorous boyfriend and now longs for monogamy.
The Sugars explore the deal killer — the thing that turns out to be the limit, that is too much for a relationship to withstand. They field questions from a woman tiring of her boyfriend’s severe anxiety, a grieving young woman whose boyfriend is jealous of her dead ex, and a man deeply ashamed of his obsessive desire to make a woman pregnant.
Some days the frozen river looks like an abstract work of art, some nights it looks like the surface of the moon.
Baratunde Thurston says comedy and technology make for a powerful combination — and he’s bringing the two together for a Comedy Hack Day this weekend at the MIT Media Lab.