WBUR Staff

Jessica Alpert

Managing Producer, Program Development, WBUR

Jessica Alpert is the Managing Producer for Program Development at WBUR. In this position, Jessica develops new podcasts and programs while also launching and nurturing WBUR’s newest projects. In addition, she oversees the role of WBUR’s iLab, an experimental unit that works to break new ground in the area of audio storytelling.

Jessica learned the most about program development from making radio, producing for five years on WBUR’s daily local program, Radio Boston. She then joined the team that launched WBUR and NPR’s new iteration of Here & Now, a daily two-hour news magazine. After this experience, there’s no deadline that will ever scare her!

Following seven great years in public media, Jessica took a break to explore content production in the start-up scene.  At Wizeo, an early-stage angel-funded interactive video company, Jessica was VP of Content.  After Wizeo, she honed her marketing skills as a consultant for various companies including Women Online, a boutique digital agency that helps non-profits and brands move women to action.

But she couldn’t stay away from radio for too long.

Jessica’s freelance work and projects can be found on NPR, PRI, the BBC, The Atlantic, MIT Tech Review, Bust Magazine and The Washington Post. As a Fulbright Scholar, Jessica spent one year collecting the oral histories of the 60-family Jewish community of El Salvador (online library forthcoming).

Originally from Texas, Jessica received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University’s Barnard College and her masters in Latin American and Jewish history from Indiana University-Bloomington. She launched her audio education at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine. Today, she lives with her husband, twin son and daughter, and two cats in Somerville.

Website: www.jessicaalpert.com.

Recent stories

‘The Plunge’ | Modern Love 5

February 10, 2016
(Brian Rea for The New York Times)

Dakota Fanning narrates an essay about a falling in love and falling off a cliff — literally.

‘An Interlude Of Clarity’ | Modern Love 4

February 04, 2016
(Brian Rea for the New York Times)

Judd Apatow reads a story about a man whose perfect date ends up in the emergency room.

‘Not So Simple Math’ | Modern Love 3

January 28, 2016
(Christopher Silas Neal for The New York Times)

Sarah Paulson narrates this week’s episode — a story about a woman’s decision to put up her child for an open adoption.

Launching ‘Modern Love: The Podcast’

January 21, 2016

WBUR’s Managing Producer of Program Development Jessica Alpert talks about how “Modern Love: The Podcast,” WBUR’s new collaboration with The New York Times, came to bring you the trials and tribulations of love, through sound.

'One Last Swirl' | Modern Love 2

January 20, 2016
(Brian Rea for The New York Times)

Jason Alexander narrates this story about a man projecting his deepest thoughts of mortality onto his pet fish.

'Missed Connection' | Modern Love 1

January 20, 2016
(Brian Rea for The New York Times)

Welcome to our first episode. Lauren Molina narrates a story about a romance that begins on an unlikely website — Craigslist.

Introducing ‘Modern Love: The Podcast’

December 07, 2015
modern love

Explore the trials and tribulations of love in these deeply personal essays. A collaboration of The New York Times and WBUR in Boston, Modern Love: The Podcast features the popular New York Times column, with readings by notable personalities and updates from the essayists themselves. Join host Meghna Chakrabarti (WBUR) and Modern Love editor Daniel Jones (NYT) — and fall in love at first listen.

Hey, Guys: Post-Holiday Belly Fat? Better Start Lifting

January 06, 2015
(Mr.TGT/Compfight)

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) reports that for men over 40, aerobic exercise alone may not be enough to rid you of your middle.

Pets As ‘Social Lubricant,’ Helping Kids With Autism Develop Assertiveness

January 06, 2015
(Onesharp/Compfight)

A new study finds that pets of any kind in the home may help kids with autism develop social skills.

Out, Proud And Old: LGBT Seniors More Likely To Age Alone

January 02, 2015
(W.E. Jackson/Compfight)

Recent analyses suggest that there are at least 1.5 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans over the age of 60. How is the senior health care industry preparing to support them?

Researchers Find First Ebola Case May Be Linked To Bat Play

December 30, 2014
A healthcare worker dons in protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone.  (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

Emile Ouamouno, the two-year-old Ebola victim believed to be the first case in the current outbreak, may have contracted the disease from bats.

When Texting May Save Your Child’s Life

December 29, 2014
(Photo: Scott Abelman/Compfight)

Researchers believe that a little information goes a long way–resulting in significantly better follow-up on the part of parents.

Stick To That Book. Your Tablet-Reading May Hurt More Than You Think

December 29, 2014
Photo Credit: eef llc via Compfight cc

Participants who read from iPads took nearly 10 minutes longer to fall asleep and their sleep had less rapid eye movement compared to those who read from an actual printed book.

Armpit Fat? There’s A YouTube Video For That

December 19, 2014
Screen shot 2014-12-19 at 10.43.30 AM

Arm pit fat? Double chin? Flabby arms? There’s a YouTube fitness video for that. The site allowing people to exercise anything and everything–from their living rooms.

Vermont Gov. Won’t Pursue Single Payer Health Care This Year

December 17, 2014
Governor Peter Shumlin earlier this year.  (Wilson Ring/AP)

Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont announced on Wednesday that Vermont would not pursue single payer healthcare in this coming legislative session.

The Art Of Surgery: Painting The Operating Room On Canvas

December 17, 2014
Coronary Bypass Operation at Brigham and Women's, Boston 2010 oil 40 x 70. A painting by Joel Babb. (Courtesy of Joel Babb)

I remember photographing a mastectomy, a breast reduction, a complicated breast reconstruction, removal of a formerly transplanted kidney, and a lung cancer operation. But what I really wanted was to observe a heart operation.

The Psychological Aftermath Of The Sydney Siege

December 15, 2014
A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place.  (Rob Griffith/AP)

The Sydney hostages survived a terrifying 16-hour siege. Now they will begin an entirely different psychological experience — that of healing.

Conductor Benjamin Zander Fired For Employing Sex Offender

January 13, 2012
Conductor Benjamin Zander leads the Boston Philharmonic in 2004 at New York's Carnegie Hall. (AP)

World-renowned conductor Benjamin Zander and the New England Conservatory abruptly ended an almost half-century long working relationship Thursday, when school officials discovered Zander had knowingly hired a registered sex-offender to videotape NEC’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra over the past decade.

Cambridge Native Mindy Kaling Comes Home

December 05, 2011
1205_mindy-kaling4

Actress and writer Mindy Kaling from NBC’s Emmy-award winning comedy series, “The Office,” joins Radio Boston in the studio.

Food Pyramid’s Successor, ‘My Plate,’ Dishes Up Debate

November 30, 2011
From left: The USDA's new "My Plate"; the food pyramid; and Harvard's "Healthy Eating Plate."

The USDA has replaced the government’s so-called food pyramid with a new easy-to-follow guide to healthy eating that it says is convenient, and could actually save lives. But is the food pyramid’s replacement too simplistic?

Julia Easterlin: One Woman Chorus

November 25, 2011
Julia Easterlin compares her performing style as "musical sudoku." (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

For loop artist Julia Easterlin, it doesn’t take an entire band to put together great music. All it takes is her voice and a little black box.

The Hospital Roommate Is Almost Extinct

September 20, 2011
The Lunder Building at Massachusetts General Hospital features 150 private rooms. (Courtesy MGH)

Private rooms for all patients is the new trend in hospital care, especially among many of the top-tier hospitals in Massachusetts.

Spacing Out Vaccines: What Happens When You Do It Your Way

September 13, 2011
Some parents delay recommended vaccinations. (sabianmaggy/Flickr)

Some parents are asking physicians to administer vaccines one at a time — even if it takes extra visits. But that may not be such a good idea.

02139 — ‘Smedley’s Secret Guide To World Literature’

August 15, 2011
Patrons wait for the T in Cambridge's Central Square. (b a r t/Flickr)

Cambridge ZIP code 02139 is the setting for author Askold Melnyczuk’s fourth novel, “Smedley’s Secret Guide to World Literature.”

Freshlyground: Banned In Zimbabwe, Booked In Brighton

June 27, 2011
South African band Freshlyground (Courtesy photo)

South African band Freshlyground has some infectiously upbeat music, but they don’t shy away from political themes.

The Horror In Haiti Up Close

November 19, 2010
A young woman suffering cholera symptoms is carried by a relative to St. Catherine hospital, run by Doctors Without Borders, in the Cite Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday Nov. 19, 2010. (AP)

A group of doctors and nurses from Children’s Hospital in Boston recently spent a week in Haiti assisting a pediatric unit at a hospital in Port au Prince. Two of them join us to talk about the scene in Haiti, the cholera epidemic, and what’s being done to keep children safe.

Literary Magazine Goes Online And Into Your Headphones

November 15, 2010
1115_drum-screenshot

A new online literary magazine hopes to tap into growing demand for audio books and short-form content, perfect for commuting.

MFA Prepares For Grand Opening

November 11, 2010
The MFA's new Art of the Americas wing (Courtesy of the MFA)

The MFA opens its new Art of the Americas wing to the press this week. Nearly 50,000 square feet and ten years in the making, the wing cost the museum around half a billion dollars.

Book Excerpt: ‘Running The Books’

October 20, 2010
"Running the Books" by Avi Steinberg. (Courtesy Random House)

After graduating from Harvard, Avi Steinberg got what is surely one of the most interesting jobs one could imagine: prison librarian. Steinberg details his experience in “Running the Books.”

Are Typewriters The New Black?

September 06, 2010

Tom Furrier’s Arlington typewriter shop resembles a trip back in time. But now more than ever, his typewriters are being snapped up by new devotees and people who want to “punch” rather than “surf” into the future.

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