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.

Jonna McKone / WYPR


Joel McCord

    The House of Delegates voted Wednesday to override three of Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s vetoes from the last General Assembly session. Two of those votes came by wide margins, but one was a close call in the overwhelmingly Democratic chamber.

Hogan Strong

Jan 15, 2016

WYPR's news director Joel McCord, and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, talk about the respect Gov. Larry Hogan has gotten, from both sides of the aisle, for the way he's handled his non Hodgkin's Lymphoma fight.

Joel McCord

Just because the recent unseasonably warm temperatures might lure you to the water, the Maryland Natural Resources Police and the Coast Guard warn you better be careful. 

creative commons

The more it costs to get drunk, the less chance there is of spreading sexually transmitted diseases. At least that’s the conclusion you could draw from a report released Wednesday from a public health advocacy group.

Joel McCord

Five years ago, Maryland oysters most likely were caught wild by a commercial waterman dredging the Chesapeake Bay bottom. Now, it’s increasingly likely those oysters were farm raised as the state’s aquaculture program has grown exponentially. 

via flickr

Back in the 80s, the Environmental Protection Agency began requiring power companies to install "scrubbers" in the smokestacks of their coal fired plants to capture pollutants before they got into the air. And that did a reasonable job of cleaning up the air we breathe.

But it damaged the water we drink because all that lead and arsenic and selenium trapped in the smokestacks had to go somewhere. It went, unregulated, into thousands of miles of rivers and streams, making power plants the worst water polluters in the nation.


Joel McCord and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, discuss Baltimore's loss of statewide power since the glory days when Marvin Mandel was Governor and William Donald Schaefer was mayor.

Joel McCord

  It’s a summertime tradition, diving into the nearest creek to cool off on a muggy afternoon. Maybe you want to remain blissfully ignorant of what’s in that water. But the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, in league with three community colleges, has set out to let you know. Not to scare you, but to educate you.

All this summer, water testers are drawing samples once a week from popular swimming spots in Harford, Howard and Frederick counties and taking them back to their labs for testing. It’s part of the foundation’s first upstream water sampling program.

    Joel McCord and Karen Hosler discuss Maryland Congressman John Delaney's efforts to put federal highway funds on a more secure footing.