When Karen Turner had an opportunity in 1992 to teach at Temple, she couldn’t pass it up—she was very familiar and impressed with the Temple Broadcast Journalism program. While working as a City Hall reporter for Philadelphia’s WPEN-AM, Turner had worked side-by-side with WRTI-FM (Temple University public radio) student reporters. They were covering the same stories as professionals in the fourth largest media market. She thought any program that gives students that kind of practical experience had to be good.
Before joining Temple, Turner had a diverse career. She graduated from Dartmouth College in the first class of women to matriculate as freshmen and decided to attend law school. Following her graduation from Northwestern University School of Law, she worked for the American Bar Association in Chicago. There she began to meet many journalists.
As a youngster, Turner wanted to be a sportscaster, but there were no female role models at that time. While living in Chicago, she became a news junkie, (and still loves to follow all sports). Chicago was a great news and sports town, and Turner decided to change careers after seeing very biased election news coverage of the Chicago mayor’s race in 1983. When she tried to get a job in broadcast news, she was told she had great academic credentials but no practical experience.
Turner went back to school, this time to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, thanks to a NBC fellowship. She was then able to land a job with Greater Media Inc. in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Eventually she was hired as a reporter at the company’s New Brunswick radio station, WCTC-AM and was there nearly a year when she was hired away to be news and public affairs director for the morning team of a startup, urban-formatted station (WIZF-FM—the WIZ) in Cincinnati. In addition to doing the news, Turner hosted and produced a two-hour live Sunday morning talk show. After two years she left the Queen City and returned to the East Coast, accepting a radio reporting and anchoring job at WPEN-AM in Philadelphia. Following three years at WPEN, Turner went to work for then Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell as his first press secretary. Turner realized that she loved being a journalist. She’s passionate about intelligent talk radio, journalism and her three rescued golden retrievers.