Katie Blackley


Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer of Pittsburgh Explainer and our Good Question! series and can usually be found exploring the city, answering inquiries from curious listeners. She also reports on Pittsburgh's LGBTQ+ community and is co-president of the local chapter of NLGJA.

She's the author of a book based on the Good Question! series.

After graduating from Duquesne University, Katie was an editor for KQV 1410 AM in downtown Pittsburgh and did freelance video work for the Civic Light Opera.

She’s passionate about all things Pittsburgh and believes someday she’ll solve the Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery. 

Keith Srokocic / AP


Recent controversial endorsements have led the Allegheny County Democratic Committee leadership to defend its purpose and decision-making process. A new report shows Pittsburgh's art scene is growing, but support is not always equitable and inclusive. And, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle faces a challenger for the 18th congressional district as some in the party push for a more progressive platform.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

The U.S. Department of Justice has tapped federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh to review material from President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. U.S. Steel faces $2.7 million in fines over air pollution violations at Clairton Coke Works and must make $200 million worth of improvements to the facility. And, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, the City of Pittsburgh prepares to retrofit the 140 buildings it owns.

Courtesy Evolve EA

Two massive stone arches tower over Washington Boulevard in Pittsburgh’s Homewood and Larimer neighborhoods. The intersecting structures over Silver Lake Drive appear out of place along this curving, concrete road.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

This week, musical chairs on the board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. Some city councilors unknowingly approved the mayor's move to swap out one of their colleagues for another. And, the latest on the trial for the man accused of killing five people, including a pregnant woman, at a 2016 barbecue in Wilkinsburg. Finally, city council discusses how to implement the recently approved parks tax.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

New research finds the violence prevention program Coaching Boys into Men is effective in mitigating harmful behavior among middle school students. The initiative trains coaches to speak to athletes about stopping violence against women and girls and has been a part of high school sports since its creation in the mid-2000s.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

It’s been one year since Body Euphoria Inclusive Massage Therapy opened in upper Lawrenceville. The business is owned and operated by Eli Shumaker, a massage therapist who says he wanted to create a positive experience for his clients, especially those who identify as LGBT.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Pops series is under new leadership. Musician and entertainer Byron Stripling will serve as the next principal conductor of the PSO Pops series. Stripling has performed at Carnegie Hall and with the jazz bands of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubek.

Glenn Melvin / University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

Jariatu Stallone remembers the impact the 2014 Ebola outbreak had on her home country of Sierra Leone.

“I witnessed a lot back there,” Stallone said. “The whole Ebola incident and how we sort of lack doctors back home.”

Keith Srakocic / AP

More than 400 reel-to-reel tapes and thousands of late-18th century photos and correspondences are among the items that will be preserved using funds from a state historic documents grant.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Brighton Heights residents may again have a direct connection to Riverview Park. A $200,000 state grant will go toward planning for a new pedestrian and bicycle-friendly span where the Davis Avenue Bridge once stood.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Carnegie-based meat processor Kip’s Processing was among the 15 projects recently funded to improve the supply of locally produced meat statewide. The family-owned business received $50,000 as part of a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Very Small Meat Processor grant program.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A student attending Arsenal Middle School in Lawrenceville has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Lawrenceville-based mental health services organization Persad Center will vote whether to unionize Thursday. The facility has served the local LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities for more than 40 years with locations in Pittsburgh and Washington, Pa.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Brunot Island sits quietly in the Ohio River. Overgrown grass carpets the banks of the island and driftwood thuds against remnants of old steel slabs and “No Trespassing” signs. Electrical towers loom over the tallest trees, connected by dozens of wires. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District recently finished a $6.6 million renovation of Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 2 near the Highland Park Bridge. The agency upgraded the concrete land wall inside the chamber, which required 400 cubic yards of concrete.

Vincent DeCarlo, deputy chief of operations for the Pittsburgh District, said pieces of concrete had been breaking off and falling into the chamber, which posed a hazard for commercial and recreational boats.


Update: The flush and boil advisory has been lifted as of Friday, November 29. Residents who have not run their water in recent days should flush their taps for at least one minute before using water for cooking or drinking.

In "an abundance of caution," the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has issued a flush and boil water advisory to streets in Pittsburgh's Upper Lawrenceville neighborhood. The affected area is between Stanton Avenue, Butler Street, parts of Duncan Street and the shopping center near 55th Street.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A youth baseball tournament, historical symposium and statues of Negro League players are among the local events that will commemorate the 2020 centennial anniversary of the Negro National League. The full celebration lineup was announced Tuesday at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District.

Kelly Strayhorn Theater


Queer and transgender artists of color will be featured at the My People: Festival of the Arts at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty this week.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

In Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood, visitors can purchase a shark skull, read a recipe book of potions and catch a concert next to a mystical goat. The once-blue-collar neighborhood has been transformed into a center for creative entrepreneurship.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Company turns 150 this year, and to celebrate, Heinz History Center curator Emily Ruby collected stories in a new book, “57 Servings from the Heinz Table.”

Courtesy of Dr. Sara Baumann / Pitt Public Health

A new documentary about a local transgender musician’s reproductive health will be shown Thursday night at the Frick Fine Arts building. The screening is an example of a new way to think about public health research: through the visual medium of film.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

John Werthman remembers the competitive spirit of high school basketball games that once played out on the court in the South Side Market House. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Former Pittsburgh Passion quarterback Lisa Horton will be inducted into the Women’s Football Hall of Fame later this year. Horton played for the local franchise for 15 seasons before retiring last year and currently serves as the team’s offensive coordinator. She joins 19 other women in the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Suicidal thoughts are a common occurrence among transgender teens, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh. About 85 percent of the 1,134 transgender adolescents surveyed said they’d experienced serious suicidal thoughts.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A weathered stone structure sits quietly on the corner of Fifth and Bellefield avenues in Oakland as students, cars and buses hurry past. Six sandstone steps guide visitors to a big red door framed by black wrought iron fasteners.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A group of southwestern Pennsylvania business owners say tariff-related price increases have directly affected their ability to do business. At a panel in the Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood on Thursday members of the nonprofit, chemicals, manufacturing, and agricultural industries addressed how the Trump administration’s trade tariffs directly are impacting them.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Three cases headed to the Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday will determine if LGBTQ people are protected under federal employment discrimination laws. The arguments are particularly significant in Pennsylvania, one of the 28 states that do not have workplace protections for LGBTQ employees.

Courtesy of Mitch Dakelman

The Pennsylvania Turnpike: the concrete connector of the commonwealth and America’s first superhighway. The roadway was once called the “World’s Greatest Highway” and helped lay the foundation for what would become the federal interstate highway system.

Bike PGH

Pittsburgh has hundreds of sets of steps — more than any other city in the United States. A new event series, “The Steps We Take” will highlight these staircases with music, art and parties.

Ben Carmichael / Concord Academy

Medical and mental health care for transgender people is improving, but still has a ways to go.