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Lucy May is WVXU's new 'Cincinnati Edition' host

Lucy May debuts as "Cincinnati Edition" host Monday, Jan. 24.
Emily Maxwell
Lucy May debuts as 'Cincinnati Edition' host Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

Northern Kentucky native Lucy May has worked 25 years in journalism for WCPO-TV, Cincinnati Business Courier and Cincinnati Enquirer.

Lucy May, a frequent guest on WVXU's Cincinnati Edition, takes over hosting the show Jan. 24.

The Covington resident and Northern Kentucky native has covered Cincinnati City Hall, development issues, Hamilton County government, poverty, women- and minority-owned businesses, non-profit organizations and social justice stories for WCPO-TV, the Cincinnati Business Courier and the Cincinnati Enquirer.

She replaces Michael Monks, who left the one-hour weekday talk show Dec. 17 after three years to devote full time to his Northern Kentucky news website.

"When I heard that Michael Monks was leaving, I thought it sounded like a dream job," says May, a 1990 graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

After 32 years as "a front line reporter," May had been thinking about a career change. She was intrigued about bringing her reporting and interviewing skills to the radio airwaves, where listeners could hear the news directly from newsmakers in a very transparent manner.

May saw it as "a way to take all the experience I've had from covering many different issues in Cincinnati and bring really thoughtful conversations to the people of Cincinnati."

Although she has no radio experience – except for frequent appearances on Monks' Friday Cincinnati Edition news roundup shows – she applied for the job. "Never in a million years did I think I'd get the job," she says.

But she did. Why?

"Lucy and her reporting are well known and respected throughout Greater Cincinnati," says Maryanne Zeleznik, vice president of news for Cincinnati Public Radio. "We’ve come to know Lucy from her many appearances on the show. She has a wonderful presence on the radio and the knowledge and curiosity to ask questions our listeners would."

Like Monks, May is a graduate of Scott High School in Taylor Mill. After college, she worked at the Greenville News in South Carolina; the Dayton Daily News' Columbus bureau; and the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., before coming home to the Enquirer in 1996. For the Enquirer she covered the Hamilton County commissioners' efforts to build Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park, and sometimes Cincinnati city government and county government.

She left for the Business Courier in 2000, and joined WCPO's ambitious digital reporting team in 2013. In recent years, the online staff has transitioned into on-air TV reporters, too. She did a Channel 9 news story Monday night about Roger Bacon High School graduate Kaelynn Speed donating stem cells to a sick baby boy.

May and her husband, Christopher Schwarz, have two adult daughters. Schwarz and John Hoffman own and operate Lost Art Press LLC,which has published and distributed woodworking books since 2007.

In her WCPO bio, May says she's most proud of "the connections I have built in the community that allow me to cover important people, places and issues that sometimes go unnoticed … I love living where I grew up and trying to help make the Tri-State a better place for my children by telling stories that make a difference."

A longtime public radio supporter, May starts at WVXU-FM on Jan. 18, 2022. Her first Cincinnati Edition broadcast is Jan. 24.

"I'm very excited. I've been a fan of WVXU for many, many, many, many years," May told me Monday night. "I'm pretty geeked up."

John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. Cincinnati Public Radio only edits his stories for style and grammar.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.