Blake Farmer

News Director

Blake Farmer is Nashville Public Radio's news director. While he still makes time for some reporting, he's the primary editor of WPLN's on-air stories. When he's in the field, his reporting focuses on education and the military. But a good story is a good story, which is why he's also done pieces about frog gigging and churches holding gun raffles. 

Blake grew up in East Nashville, attending Lipscomb Academy. He went to college in Texas at Abilene Christian University, where he cut his teeth in radio at KACU-FM. Before joining WPLN full time in 2007, Blake also wrote for the Nashville City Paper. He's an active member and past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists Middle Tennessee Chapter. And he keeps his audio recorder with him, even on vacation, just in case there's a story to be told.

Ways to Connect

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

The first test for a new agreement between Metro Police and the District Attorney showed there's still some gray area in who leads investigations when a Nashville officer shoots someone. The topic is high on the agenda when DA Glenn Funk and police chief Steve Anderson meet for a mediation session with the mayor on Friday.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nurses and doctors who work for two Franklin-based hospital chains say the companies' financial uncertainty is becoming evident on the frontlines of patient care. Several nurses spoke at the annual shareholders meetings of Community Health Systems and its recent spinoff, Quorum. Both were held Tuesday morning at the Cool Springs Marriott.

courtesy Airbnb

The Metro Council plans to take more time on new regulations for Airbnbs and other short-term rentals. Sponsors say they don't want to pass a measure that is destined to be overturned by the state legislature.

Nashville police shooting
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s district attorney has cleared Metro Police Officer Joshua Lippert in the fatal shooting of a man in February.

TN Photo Services (file)

Randy Boyd says Tennessee should not necessarily be run like a business, despite being a businessman himself. He says he's realized that bureaucracy has some benefits.

Susan Urmy / courtesy VUMC via Flickr

Most of Tennessee's congressional delegation has been quiet about the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Sen. Bob Corker was the only Republican to release a statement, saying the removal "at this particular time will raise questions."

Tennessee SCORE (file)

An education nonprofit in Nashville has launched a statewide campaign aimed at convincing high-achieving students to consider the teaching profession. 

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Tennessee lawmakers are trying to finish up their business for the year, but the close vote over hiking the gas tax a few weeks ago seems to be getting in the way. Democrats and some rank-and-file Republicans felt steamrolled and forced to approve the governor’s infrastructure spending plan. So last week they took pot shots while trying to finalize the state’s $37 billion budget. State capitol reporter Chas Sisk joins WPLN’s Blake Farmer to explain what this says about the political mood at the legislature.

Tennessee gay marriage celebration
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (file)

Tennessee's governor has signed a bill that is seen as a way to chip away at gay marriage rights in the state. The legislation orders courts to use the "natural and ordinary" definitions of legal terms like husband, wife, father and mother. Governor Bill Haslam says he didn't see a problem with the bill because, he argued, it doesn't do much.

Prairie Home Productions

Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium is the backdrop for a story Garrison Keillor tells pretty frequently.

In 1974, the New Yorker magazine dispatched him to document the Grand Ole Opry. The show was moving out of the decaying "Mother Church of Country Music" and into new digs near Opryland. The experience changed his life. Within months, he was creating his own radio variety show. And 43 years later, Prairie Home Companion still airs every Saturday night, though now with a new host.

WPLN's Blake Farmer spoke to Garrison Keillor, who is performing at the Ryman this weekend  to celebrate the venue's 125th year.

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