New Year, New Job

So it’s a new year, another birthday, and vacation is sadly over — time to get back to a regular working schedule and real life.

But this year is different, given that five months from now, my wife and I will be moving to the birthplace of Ludwig von Beethoven and the former capital of West Germany: Bonn, Germany.

Late last month, I accepted a position as the new host and producer of Spectrum, a weekly 30 minute, international English-language radio show broadcast by Deutsche Welle English, the English language service of Deutsche Welle, the German public radio network. You can think of it like the German BBC — 100 percent publicly funded, and broadcasting in various languages over shortwave, FM re-broadcasts and Internet. I hope to use the skills that I’ve learned working with PRI’s The World, NPR, CBC’s Spark, TVO’s Search Engine, and BBC’s Digital Planet to take Spectrum to the next level. My focus will be especially on Germany and more largely, other science and technology innovations in Europe. (Tere, Eestlased!)

In case you saw some of my tweets a few weeks ago referencing Bonn, I was over there in December to meet the rest of the DW English crew (including the head of DW English, Kristin Zeier), do a little work, and generally see if I’d be a good fit. In the end, I decided to take the position because I think it will be a professionally engaging, and ultimately, a fun job.

In the meantime, Rebecca and I have been taking German lessons at the Gerlind Institute here in Oakland, which has been great so far. I hope to have at least an advanced beginner level by the time that we arrive in Bonn. (Ich hoffe!)

We’ll be in Bonn for at least two years (perhaps longer?), and hope to use our vacation exploring new regions in Germany, and the neighboring countries that we didn’t make it to when we were in Europe in 2008 and 2009, like Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and other countries especially in central and eastern Europe. I especially look forward to eating at Peshku in Pristina (Kosovo) with Balkanophile Nate Tabak in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011.

If anyone is interested in renting our 650 square foot, one-bedroom cottage here in Rockridge (North Oakland) starting in June 2010, please contact me directly.

Otherwise, I welcome any and all tips/suggestions for living in Bonn/western Germany, traveling in Europe, and learning German. Also, come visit us in Bonn!

Thanks again so far to Kristin Zeier, Felix Leder, Tillmann Werner, Steve Paine, Tim Wojcik, Kate Bowen, Holly Fox, Courtney Tenz, Mark Mattox, Stephanie Siek, Sean Sinico, Sam Edmonds, Barbara Gruber, Trinity Hartman, Andy Valvur and everyone else that I look forward to working with at DW who will help us make this transition just a little easier.


10 Replies to “New Year, New Job”

  1. Congratulations, Cyrus. This job sounds like a fantastic opportunity. Now that you’re going to be practically in my time zone, and on the same side of the pond, I do hope we’ll get to meet at last.

  2. All the best, Cyrus. I hope you will keep up your engagement with issues such as the use of social media in activism, particularly in Iran.

  3. Hey Cyrus – Congratulations – it has been so fun to watch/listen/read your work since the early MacWorld podcast days. I have been meaning to thank you for your recent work via twitter – great and informative about Iran. I was reminded about your giftedness when I happened to be in an airport last week and watched the cnn news feed – reminded me why we don’t own a tv nor consume info via that platform. Thanks for your work in keeping the developments in Iran in front of us via your quality work.
    On a personal note, while I have no familial ties to Iran, the country and culture has held a tremendous intrigued for me. My grandmother was able to visit in ’75 and she maintained until her dying day that Iran was the most beautiful and wonderful country she had ever visited – trumping anything in Europe or the far east. As a result I seem to have found Iranians locally over the years and love to hear their memories of life their.
    Anyway – great work and congratulations on your new job!

  4. This is great news and very exciting. Congratulations. That’s one more radio website to bookmark … looks like some great content there already, and it will be exciting to see what more you’re able to do for them.

  5. Bonn? Bonn? I have heard that town’s name before… (looks out of the window) ah, right! I live here! 😀

    Cyrus – Should you need help with something here I’d be happy to assist! I speak fluent English and German (duh).

    Bonn is quite the nice town to live in, imho, with the university in this relatively small town the average age of ppl on the streets is noticeably younger than the German average, and it’s place in the Rhine valley is pretty neat too, with the landscape and stuff. 🙂

    Anyways – let me say “welcome” to you in advance already! I really hope you like it here!

  6. Hi Cyrus, I was just wondering what happened with your trip in December and wandered over to check for news. Congratulations! I’m glad it worked out. Best of luck with the move over and settling in. Getting into language lessons now is certainly a great way to start preparing. (I wish I had done that myself, way back when…). If you or your wife have more questions, feel free to ask.

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