Mr. Heffner has slipped comfortably into the role of the host of “The Open Mind,” a program that made its debut during the Eisenhower administration with a format that has endured — a simple black backdrop, a guest and a host at a table and a discussion of topics like “Why Liberal Education Matters” and “Race and the Fourth Estate.”
But mostly he conveys the happy impression of someone who still has a close relationship with a person he once deeply loved and admired — and still does. It’s that emotional bond, which is obvious on the air, that has made this transition unique.
Alexander Heffner was a special correspondent for PBS’s Need to Know chronicling the Millennial vote in 2012. He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration, and taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms.