Rivard Report Editor in Chief Beth Frerking and San Antonio columnist Rick Casey have partnered for 'Just This.' a Rivard Report weekly podcast.
Rivard Report Editor in Chief Beth Frerking and San Antonio columnist Rick Casey have partnered for 'Just This.' a Rivard Report weekly podcast. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Dear Readers and (soon-to-be) Listeners:

Starting Friday, Feb. 23, longtime area newsman and columnist Rick Casey will join me on a weekly podcast to talk about San Antonio civic affairs, politics, and history through the lens of the week’s most pressing stories.

In Just This, we’ll deconstruct a major story (or two) covered by our reporters that week, highlighting issues that have long played out in San Antonio’s civic, political and social life, and history. We’ll analyze current events most likely to determine whether San Antonio thrives or merely settles.

Just This is a conversation San Antonio has been waiting to hear since the day Rick Casey signed off as host of This Week at KLRN-TV five months ago, only now he will be available online, on demand,” said Rivard Report Publisher Robert Rivard. “And this time he is joined by another seasoned journalist, Beth Frerking, who has come home after 30 years and is seeing the city with very fresh eyes.

“Rick and Beth will serve up the story behind the story, the nuances and inferences that readers and listeners crave,” Rivard said. “It will be serious on occasion, irreverent other times, but always insightful and informative.”

We’ll train our sights on issues that define the Rivard Report’s mission and focus: city and county politics and management; education; the environment; public health; economic development, with a special lens on downtown and tech growth; the city’s neighborhoods; and arts and culture.

“Dynamic cities are constantly at crossroads, and San Antonio is in a particularly dynamic phase,” Casey said.

The city’s Tricentennial affords us an apt opportunity to explore, as Casey described it, “how the city grows, how we address economic segregation, and, crucially, how we best educate our more challenged youth, and how we maintain the focus on history while moving into an age of rapidly developing technology.”

Casey brings a rich perspective to his analysis of area news and history earned from four decades of award-winning reporting on the city. Casey previously worked as a metro columnist for the former San Antonio Light and, later, the San Antonio Express-News.

More recently, he hosted Texas Week With Rick Casey from 2011-2017 on KLRN-TV, the local PBS affiliate. The show was canceled in September. (Earlier last year, Casey made national news when a commentary he wrote was pulled by station management until public outcry led to its eventual broadcast.)

I bring more than 30 years of experience reporting on and editing stories about national politics, elections, congressional policy-making and the feds’ implementation of those hard-fought rules. My own experience covering Congress; national children, family, and education issues; and seven years as an editor at Politico from its very beginnings give me an understanding and appreciation of politics, power, and development that’s neatly transferrable to a city as vibrant and diverse as San Antonio.

Not to mention that from my Texas-born viewpoint, it’s good to be home.

We’ll also have fun. “San Antonio not only parties with the best, but it has always – for better and worse – been one of America’s most entertaining cities,” Casey said.

Join us every Friday for Just This. Listen in, and send your hurrahs and harangues. We’re not thin-skinned. Send us your feedback. We will listen.

Just This will be available here at the Rivard Report along with iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Beth Frerking

Beth Frerking is the former editor-in-chief of the Rivard Report.

Rick Casey

Rick Casey's career spans four decades of award-winning reporting on San Antonio. He previously worked as a metro columnist for the former San Antonio Light and, later, the San Antonio Express-News.