Joel McCord

News Director

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.

He began his reporting career while still a music major at what then was West Chester State College in West Chester, Pa., filing reports for WCSC, the campus radio station. He transferred to the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he managed to earn a degree in journalism in 1973, despite having spent an inordinate amount of time playing pinochle in the student union.

He worked as a reporter and editor at The Maryland Gazette, America's oldest continuously publishing newspaper, and the Annapolis Capital, where he covered education and county government.  He also spent 23 years as a metro staff reporter and occasional editor at the Baltimore Sun, covering local governments, land use issues, transportation and environment before he became one of the old farts who Tribune Company, the paper’s owners, offered a semi-reasonable amount of money to leave.

McCord worked as a freelance writer and editor until joining WYPR as a reporter, where he has covered the Maryland General Assembly and two governors.  Joel also reprised his role as an environmental reporter, only this time, he used the sounds one hears on God's green earth to help tell the stories of commercial watermen, farmers, hunters and people who are laboring to save the planet.

He became WYPR’s news director in October 2012.

And he still plays the trumpet with your occasional big band or small jazz group, just not as often or as well as he would like.

John Lee

The day after former Mayor Sheila Dixon announced she wouldn’t seek a recount in Baltimore’s Democratic mayoral primary, the state Board of Elections de-certified those results and began a review. 


News Director Joel McCord and WYPR's Karen Hosler talk about the Donna Edwards--Chris Van Hollen race to be the Democratic nominee to replace retiring Barbara Mikulski; what a recent poll suggests and the prospects for the General Election in November.

Wikimedia Commons

The end of the General Assembly’s 2016 session is looming, and legislation is flying at a rapid clip. WYPR’s Rachel Baye joined News Director Joel McCord to discuss veto overrides, taxes and redistricting.

House overrides vetoes

Apr 8, 2016
Rachel Baye / WYPR


The House of Delegates voted Thursday to override two of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes; one a key transportation bill, the other a change in the make-up of Anne Arundel County’s school board nominating commission. WYPR’s Rachel Baye joined news director Joel McCord to talk about that and other action as lawmakers close in on the end of this year’s General Assembly session.

Annapolis Wrap: Rushing to pass veto bait

Apr 1, 2016
Joel McCord / WYPR


Democrats in the General Assembly rushed to pass some of this session's more controversial bills this week to get them to the governor's desk by the end of the day Friday, leaving just enough time to override any vetoes before the session ends April 11. WYPR's Rachel Baye joins news director Joel McCord to review this week in Annapolis.

Christopher Connelly

The state senate approved a measure Friday requiring employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same jobs.

Colleges, guns and money for schools

Mar 11, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

In a busy week, Maryland's General Assembly took on everything from guns to a significant change in the state university system. WYPR's Rachel Baye joins news director Joel McCord to wrap up this week in Annapolis.

Annapolis Wrap: 45 Days Down, 45 To Go

Feb 28, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Friday marked the halfway point in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly session; ending a week when legislators took up some particularly contentious issues; from police reform to physician-assisted suicide.

WYPR's Rachel Baye joins News Director Joel McCord to wrap up the week in Annapolis.

A Contentious Week In Annapolis

Feb 19, 2016
Rachel Baye

A little more than a month into the General Assembly session, relations between Republican gov. Larry Hogan and the Democratic leadership are quickly fraying. WYPR's Rachel Baye joins news Director Joel McCord to wrap up this week in Annapolis.

Feed The Children

Jan 28, 2016
Joel McCord

When schools close because of storms like the one Maryland is still digging out from under, many of us think of kids sledding, building snowmen, tossing snowballs at each other. But in Baltimore, where 85 percent of the students qualify for free and reduced price meals, some of those kids may go hungry. 

Melissa Moore, of the Family League, says that’s the first thing she and her partners in the city schools and at Elev8 Baltimore think of.