I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

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Donna Apidone Interview: Popular NPR Host Now Helps New Audience Find Purpose

Diana Landau | June 06, 2023

Donna Apidone Interview: Popular NPR Host Now Helps New Audience Find Purpose
This month Carl has a conversation with popular public radio host and talented interviewer Donna Apidone. After four decades in radio and most recently 21 years as host of CapRadio's Morning Edition, Donna is exploring her next stage of life on her own terms by writing and producing national content for "America's Heartland" and Next Avenue.org. Donna is also the author of two audio books, "Drive-Time Meditations" and "TransForMission", both on Amazon. She teaches classes and speaks to community groups on finding purpose. (We're still not sure when she sleeps.)


Donna grew up in Cleveland and by the time she was a teen, she knew she wanted a career in radio. At Ohio University, she worked at the student radio station, honing her skills and stoking her passion. After graduation she pursued her dream and eventually moved to California. She had a respected career in radio for 40 years and along the way interviewed Madeleine Albright, Linda Ronstadt, author Frank McCourt and more.


Her commitment to her work became a lifestyle, waking at 1:30am and getting to the studio by 3:00am. "You get used to it and once I stopped, trying to unload that schedule was just as hard as when I started doing it 21 years ago," Donna tells us. Now moving onto her new work path, she says, "I love interviewing people. It's my favorite thing to do."
Taking listeners around the country and the world with two hours of multi-faceted stories and commentaries every week can be all-consuming. Donna became drawn to meditation. "Meditation was not a way to escape but to keep me feeling grounded and I wanted to convey that to the listening audience." In addition to public television writing, teaching meditation and speaking engagements, Donna is also developing a new podcast around helping people find their core purpose. She says the best part of this new phase of life is "...living who you are in a way you've never been able to do before. I'm excited to see what's next!"
Donna Apidone's next stage life tips:
  • Retiring/transitioning: "Don't be afraid--there's so much out there that I hadn't even thought about doing and now I can explore it."
  • Timing: "Do it now, do not put it off for any reason. Life is short. We always say, some day I'll do that, in five years I'll do that."
  • Travel: "I love solo travel. Sometimes there are places and things that only I want to see and do. I put together my own trips and I always meet interesting people along the way. It's a great way to get to know yourself and what you are capable of doing."


Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” blog.


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