Brian Cook


Brian Cook is an award-winning multimedia journalist.  

A broadcast reporter, freelance photojournalist and videographer, he is a Pittsburgh native who has covered news, sports, politics, technology, community and entertainment among other subjects.

In addition to producing work for 90.5 WESA, Cook is a journalist with WQED, The New Pittsburgh Courier, Pittsburgh Magazine, and He spent 14 years as a national correspondent and web content manager at Sheridan Broadcasting Network and the American Urban Radio Networks.

He grew up watching CBS’ “60 Minutes,” when highly respected journalist Ed Bradley was a correspondent for the show. Bradley became the inspiration for Cook’s broadcast career. 

Cook received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

The media veteran is the president of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, which is an award-winning chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, he is also member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

In 2018, he was honored in Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40, a program presented by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project) to recognize professionals younger than 40 for career accomplishments and volunteerism.


Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

The main goal of The Advanced Leadership Initiative, informally known as TALI, is to build a pipeline of African-American executive leadership within the region.


Sky Williams / Serve the Burgh


Cleaning litter, planting gardens, property landscaping—very little is off limits when it comes to “Serve the Burgh.”

PGH Project Sign
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



At the end of every school day, students are transported to The Pittsburgh Project in the Perry Hilltop section of the city’s North Side, where they take part in educational programs. Executive Director Wayne Younger says the Project partners with local schools to offer enrichment activities and academic help as well as investing in their social well-being.

Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA


Ruthie Walker walks the halls of the Student Achievement Center in Homewood, greeting students. She makes sure each has their eye on the ball, the ultimate goal—graduation.

Eric A. Smith / Hill Dance Academy Theatre


A number of well-known cultural icons have emerged from the Hill District—August Wilson, George Benson and Mary Lou Williams, to name a few. But when it comes to the art of dance in recent years, one company comes to mind.

Rudiak SSCC
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



Whether it's the middle of the day—or the middle of the night—Pittsburgh’s South Side is bustling with activity in and around its coffee shops, bars, shops and restaurants. The South Side Community Council is a volunteer group that acts as the glue that holds together the neighborhood’s homeowners and businesses and advocates on behalf of its residents.

Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



Imagine you are out and about around Pittsburgh, and you stumble upon a hand-knitted heart along with a message that brightens your day.


Spreading kindness through creativity is the mission of the PGH Handmade Hearts initiative. According to Barbara Grossman, the ingredients that go into it are a combination of creative expression and love.

Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



Even on a wet February day, the gray skies and constant rain does not stop Allegheny CleanWays from doing what it does best. Volunteers are removing piles of trash from empty lots, alleyways and residences in Homewood.

JaQuay Carter
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



Like many areas in Pittsburgh, renovations and major structural changes are taking place in the city’s Hazelwood neighborhood. It is with that in mind that JaQuay Edward Carter says he started the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society in 2018 with an eye toward “restoring neighborhood pride and preserving the pillars of our community’s past.”


Courtesy Photo / SETpoint



SETpoint is a Pittsburgh-based group offering specialized self-defense training for those who experience the threat of gender-based violence, serving groups both nationwide and here at home.


Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



Nosakhere Griffin-EL, founder of the Young Dreamers Book Club, is an advocate of literacy, especially among urban youth. His organization challenges young people to strive for greatness while learning, and brings families together for fellowship over books.


Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



Since its creation two years ago, CAPTURED::PITTSBURGH has become a driving force behind an emerging community of aspiring photographers.

Marien Lien
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

Marian Lien says Squirrel Hill’s strength is its people.

LFG Owners
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



From "Madden NFL Football" to “Fortnite” and “Forza Motorsport," to “World of Warcraft” and "Call of Duty,” the virtual worlds of online gaming have ballooned in recent years.




As gaming culture has moved online, though, the face-to-face social atmosphere of the arcade heyday has become a thing of the past. John Lange finds that unfortunate. 


German in Rainey's
Ricco JL Martello / Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company

Vanessa German's passion is rooted in her imagination, which has led her to build elaborate sculptures and write and perform stage plays. It has also been the vehicle she has used to help ensure the tools of creativity are accessible to the residents in her community.

After growing up in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, German came to Pittsburgh to live with her parents nearly two decades ago. She says she began creating art by using materials she found during her travels.

Morris and Duffey
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA


Removed from the bustle of the city’s busier neighborhoods, Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill neighborhood is a bit off the beaten path. Looking out from the hillside is a breathtaking view of the Downtown skyline. Its streets are dotted by family businesses and mid-sized dwellings. 

Courtesy Devin Arrington / Musicians with a Mission


For Pittsburgher Devin Arrington, the theory behind his organization Musicians with a Mission has been that. Whether it’s classical, bluegrass, country or jazz, music is a universal language that contributes to the growth and maturation of the mind.

Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA


Sarah Danforth begins her daily routine, stacking boxes of clean syringes and unpacking the tools she needs to help those in search of a clean start.

“I feel as though I am a conduit,” she said. “I help other people save lives.”


Charles Bonner
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

Flanked by children as he walks the perimeter of the Ammons Community Recreation Center in the Hill District, Charles Bonner makes his way to the Olympic-size swimming pool. He unlocks security gates, checks chlorine levels and proceeds to greet enthusiastic attendees of his summer swimming program.

The 28-year-old Bonner serves as head lifeguard at Ammons, a job he said he’s been preparing for since he was a teenager.

“Starting back in 2005, I was a program counselor,” Bonner said. “One of the positions I had to have was lifeguarding. It was actually my first job."