Radio host a ‘bright light’ |

Radio host a ‘bright light’

Nevada County teens and young adults are invited to tune in to KVMR (89.5 FM) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to tell radio host Cathrin Jacob what it’s like to be young in Nevada County.

“I’m interested in the kids who hang out around Safeway,” Jacob said. “What are they talking about?”

Jacob is curious on several fronts. At 28, she’s traveled halfway around the world from her home in Berlin, Germany, to intern at the community radio station. She loves radio and music, and when she found out her father’s cousin lived in Nevada City and was married to a KVMR broadcaster, she set out to turn this tenuous connection into a radio internship.

Peter Fischer, her father’s cousin, left Germany 30 years ago and settled in Nevada County. His wife, Dawn, hosted a show on KVMR. But Jacob had never met the Fischers.

Jacob’s campaign to come to Nevada County started about two years ago with a letter to the Fischers. They talked and e-mailed, and Dawn talked to KVMR News Director Mike Thornton to see if Jacob could work with him. Finally, the plan came together.

“When she came here (in January), we had never met her,” Dawn Fischer said. “From the minute I met her, I was in love with her. She’s a very bright light.”

At KVMR, Jacob has been doing some of the news, playing music and learning community radio from veteran Thornton. Her show on Sunday will be the first she has hosted. Mat Riley from After the Gold Rush Records will be in the studio with her.

This is not Jacob’s first trip to America. She was a foreign exchange student in Kentucky when she was 16 years old. Later, she traveled around the East Coast. But Nevada County turned out to be a very different experience.

“Having traveled a bit in the U.S., I realize this is a very special place,” Jacob said. “The image of America in Europe is that Americans don’t care about things like the environment,” she added, noting a very different attitude in Nevada County.

Other impressions?

“There are a lot more cars here, but there are no people on the streets,” Jacob said. “Americans are very easy to talk to, but they don’t ask your name. In Germany, the first thing people say is their name.”

KVMR Program Director Steve Baker had nothing put praise for the intern.

“It’s been an utter treat to have Cathrin at KVMR. She’s got a contagious personality that makes her a pure delight. Given her age and background, she brings a younger, inquiring and very enterprising perspective to our listeners.

“One of my favorite stories she produced found her interviewing a Sikh merchant in a series on foreign-born residents. He mentioned he’d gone to school in Berlin, and they both started talking in German for a precious moment. A small thing, but a nice touch,” Baker said.

To contact Readership Editor Dixie Redfearn, e-mail or call 477-4238.

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