But mostly Heffner 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.
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.”
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.