Liz Reid


Liz Reid began working at WESA in 2013 as a General Assignment Reporter and Weekend Host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition Producer, Health & Science Reporter and currently as an Editor. Liz came to Pittsburgh from KRPS public radio in Southeast Kansas, where she was a Feature Producer and the local host of All Things Considered. Previously, Liz interned and freelanced at KQED public radio in San Francisco. She has an MA in Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University, where she also taught audio production classes. She’s done stints working in academia and the music industry, but she’s happiest in a public radio setting. When Liz is not reporting and hosting at 90.5 WESA, she likes to play baseball, cook, read and go camping.

Ways to Connect

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

Two different locals of the second-largest union in the U.S. are putting their weight behind two different Pittsburgh mayoral candidates. Government and accountability editor Chris Potter looks into why the Service Employees International Union 32BJ backed Mayor Bill Peduto, while SEIU Healthcare PA is supporting his primary challenger, state Rep. Ed Gainey.

Steven Senne / AP

On this week's Explainer:

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

On this week's Explainer:

This week the Allegheny County Health Department announced that the first case of B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus was identified in the county. The strain is sometimes referred to as the UK variant. It’s more contagious than the strain of the coronavirus currently dominant in the U.S. Health and science reporter Sarah Boden joins Explainer to discuss what this means for Allegheny County.

Jay Manning / Public Source

On this week's Explainer:

Karolina Kabat / Flickr

Scammers have reportedly gained access to an Allegheny County hotline set up to provide information to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from the county Thursday afternoon.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that people over age 65 are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as are other adults and older teens with certain health conditions. Health and science reporter Sarah Boden looks into the local data on inoculation.


When a UPMC service coordinator received notification this month that it was her turn to get the COVID vaccine, she was surprised. 

Jose Luis Magana / AP

On this week's Explainer:

Far-right extremists who support President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. It was an effort to disrupt the congressional process of certifying Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President-elect and Vice President-elect.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Explainer is taking a break from the news this week. Instead, we're bringing you four winter scenes from WESA journalists.

First, take a walk with host Liz Reid and her dog, Roscoe; get your yoga mat and work out with The Confluence producer Laura Tsutsui and her partner (and hear why it's okay to sleep in a little); bake pistachio pinwheel cookies with The Confluence editor Marylee Williams; and hear from government and accountability reporter Ariel Worthy about what it's like to be pregnant for the first time during a pandemic.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Nine hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds of sunlight will shine in Pittsburgh's sky on Christmas day. That's 37 seconds more than appeared on Monday, the winter solstice, and the shortest day of the year. 


This week explained: 

Cheers erupted as UPMC nurse practitioner Charmaine Pykosh became the first person in Allegheny County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Monday.



Matt Slocum / AP

On this week’s Explainer:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine mandated new restrictions on Thursday, aimed at reining in the coronavirus as it continues to spread rapidly across the state.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

The coronavirus pandemic has many families who rely on food stamps struggling to put food on the table. Kate Giammarise reports on efforts by the Trump administration to prevent the distribution of additional benefits to certain recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Explainer is taking a break this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead, we’re bringing you the first episode of 90.5 WESA’s new series, Land & Power.

Archives & Special Collections / University of Pittsburgh Library System

This week on Explainer we have something a little different -- the introduction to a new podcast called Land & Power.

In 2015, residents of the Penn Plaza apartment buildings in Pittsburgh learned that they’d have to leave their homes to make way for a new development. The news arrived like a pronouncement: this neighborhood, East Liberty, isn’t for you anymore.

John Minchillo / AP


All eyes are on Pennsylvania as ballots continue to be counted. If Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden takes the commonwealth, he’ll win the presidency. WESA’s government and accountability editor Chris Potter and reporter Lucy Perkins break down what’s at stake and what’s to come.

From 90.5 WESA, this is Land & Power: who has it, what they do with it, and how that shapes the cities around us.


Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

This week on the Explainer:

COVID-19 cases are rising in Pennsylvania, with more than 40,000 people testing positive this month. Health and science reporter Sarah Boden breaks down the numbers, noting health officials say there isn’t a particular source of new infections.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week’s Explainer:

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Supporters of President Donald Trump caravanned through the city of Pittsburgh midday on Saturday. 

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

WESA’s Lucy Perkins outlines what happened that caused nearly 29,000 misprinted ballots to go out to Allegheny County residents. County elections officials are blaming the error on a third-party vendor.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

Keystone Crossroads' Avi Wolfman-Arent reports that more than a half a million kids in Pennsylvania are learning to read right now. It's a demanding task in normal times, and considered by many to be the most significant event of a child's academic career. Remote learning could exacerbate existing gaps in literacy skills, which can impact a student's grasp of other subject areas.

Andrew Harnik / AP

On this week's Explainer:

Government and accountability reporter Lucy Perkins was there when former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was in town this week, riding an Amtrak train through parts of Ohio and western Pennsylvania. 

Matt Rourke / AP

The coronavirus pandemic caused more than one million Pennsylvanians to vote by mail in the June primary, and state officials expect that number to roughly triple in November. With a little over a month until the election, the rules around voting by mail are still in flux, as several lawsuits make their way through the courts.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

An extra $500 per month will soon arrive for 200 Pittsburgh households. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the city will start to make the payments later this year as part of a universal income pilot program. The initiative is funded by philanthropic donors and will go to very low-income families with an emphasis on homes run by Black women.

Marina Riker / AP

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were in Southwestern Pennsylvania this week.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Public Art Commission will soon hold a public hearing on whether to remove the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park. More than 14,000 people have signed a petition asking for the statue’s removal.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA


Anti-racist activists faced off with Pittsburgh police in Point Breeze Wednesday night, after talks with Mayor Bill Peduto broke down. Police used chemical agents and other less-lethal crowd control methods, and one person was arrested.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

This week, Duquesne University held its first press conference in response to the demands of Dannielle Brown, whose son Marquis Jaylen Brown died on campus in 2018.

Dannielle Brown hasn’t eaten in more than a month. But she says she hasn’t breathed in nearly two years.