Time Rewind Reporter’s Journal

With more than 50 years of reporting experience between them, veteran broadcast journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs reveal the stories behind the stories. They have shared what was involved in covering major breaking news, including the downing of TWA Flight 800, the first Persian Gulf War, the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, a Ku Klux Klan rally, a city hall hostage standoff and other headline-making events. But they also cut through the clutter to help make sense of today’s news, ranging from the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. Capitol insurrection to a nation grappling with police brutality, racism, voting rights and other hot-button issues. Along the way, David and Mike welcome special guests that are making a difference in the world in their own unique ways.

Listen to the podcast below and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeart Radio and Libsyn.

Veteran broadcast journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs

Recent Podcasts

September 11, 2021

As Americans mark 20 years since the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we get a unique perspective on the tragic day from a reporter struggling to make his way to the burning World Trade Center. It’s our very own podcast co-host Mike Xirinachs, who describes the chaos and frustration and, days later, how an encounter with a nine-year-old girl forever changed his life.

August 21, 2021

Last year, our podcast drew its biggest audience ever when we ventured to the steamy side, as host David Mendel interviewed boudoir photographer Alicia Swingle. Alicia celebrates the human form with each shutter snap of her camera. She emphasizes body positivity, empowerment and self-esteem. And it turns out that Alicia is just as gifted in front of the camera as behind it. Don’t miss this special encore presentation.

August 9, 2021

Baylor University journalism major Rachel Royster is shaking things up again. First it was her article that challenged the school for suspending a vital service for disabled students. Now it’s an opinion piece about religious alienation that sparked angry reaction. Rachel returns to the podcast to discuss her promotion to editor on the student newspaper and explain why she is critical of almost everything she reads.

July 17, 2021

It was the most logistically and emotionally challenging assignment of his broadcast news career. Co-host Mike Xirinachs explains what it was like to cover the July 1996 downing of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island, New York that claimed 230 lives. On this 25th anniversary of one of the worst aviation disasters in history, we bring you a special encore presentation.

July 4, 2021

Co-hosts David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs recall on-air gaffes and listener weirdness from their days in the newsroom and they discuss the risks and rewards of media fame.

June 20, 2021

They covered the news in markets from Boston to Houston. Now, in this landmark 40th podcast episode, veteran journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs hold nothing back as they take a critical look at the state of the news business today and reveal their biggest pet peeves.

June 6, 2021

Co-hosts David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs return after a podcast break that enabled them to hang out in person for the first time since COVID-19 upended the planet. Venturing out into the post-pandemic world, David and Mike discover some unexpected destinations that are helping to restore the sense of normal we all crave. You definitely don’t want to miss this ride!

May 2, 2021

High school senior Sawyer Pennington returns to the podcast as an aspiring entertainment industry executive. Overcoming the challenges and roadblocks thrown in her path by COVID-19, Sawyer has finally committed to a college! She talks about how she did it and shares insights to help others navigate the college application process. Sawyer is keeping all her options open as she aims for career opportunities in Nashville and beyond.

Apr 24, 2021

People the world over were riveted to live coverage as a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts in connection with last year’s murder of George Floyd. Is the verdict a breakthrough for police reform in America or just a one-off, with police continuing to kill Black suspects even as the trial played out? Host David Mendel turns the mic on veteran journalist Mike Xirinachs, himself a victim of racial profiling, for perspective and analysis. One cop convicted of murder. Now what?

Apr 17, 2021

Find out how an actress/playwright is using her theatrical skills to help mold the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. Host David Mendel welcomes Nancie Xirinachs, who talks about the dramatic work she’s doing at three different medical schools in the Northeast. Nancie also shares advice for anyone that may be interested in getting involved with medical improv and the Standardized Patient program.

Apr 10, 2021

Co-hosts David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs discuss their impressive vintage radio collections and offer advice on how to start a collection of your own. Did you know that an antique radio doesn’t have to work to be valuable? David also describes some Cold War-era memorabilia he owns as well as collectibles from the glory days of American rail travel. Don’t miss this lively stroll down Memory Lane with a couple of self-proclaimed radio and pop culture geeks.

Apr 3, 2021

The CDC has begun relaxing domestic travel restrictions for folks who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But not everyone is ready or able to hop on a plane. Co-hosts David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs let listeners in on their own personal and affordable COVID escapes. One on land. The other on the water. These getaways have opened up amazing new worlds to them while helping preserve their physical and mental health during the pandemic.

Mar 27, 2021

After introducing a huge inflatable heart and other larger-than-life organs that people walk through to learn about their health, Lauren Hill is taking a giant COVID-19 cell out on the road to spread knowledge about coronavirus and the benefits of vaccination. Lauren, founder and CEO of Medical Inflatables, is targeting underserved communities where vaccine access remains a challenge. The cell has been on display in Houston and will appear on The Dr. Oz Show’s April 5 broadcast. Find out how these eye-popping exhibits are making a difference in promoting public health.

Mar 21, 2021

He built a respected broadcast communications training program, launched two radio stations, has taught more than 2,200 students and is the manager and beloved morning host of top-rated 88.7 FM The Pulse in Phoenix, Arizona. And last week, Steve Grosz dropped a bombshell, announcing that he was leaving all that after 24 years. Steve shares how he powered through a stroke to get back into the classroom and on the air, how his late mother inspired him and what lies ahead for himself and radio.

Mar 13, 2021

One year after the coronavirus pandemic turned life as we knew it upside down, veteran journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs share its personal impact. What new routines are here to stay? Which old ones will return? Is the vaccine a miracle or a celebration of science? What about our kids? There are lots of light-hearted moments, too, as the two discuss toilet paper, hand-shaking, distorted selfies and more.

Mar 6, 2021

Ever dream of loading up an RV and setting out to explore America? How about in the midst of a pandemic? Meet Shari and Ken Sloan, who sold their home after retiring in June of 2020 and are crisscrossing the country in an RV with their four beloved pets. From blowouts to boondocking, find out what life on the road is like in the era of COVID. Host David Mendel catches up with these determined warriors as they pass through Texas.

Feb 20, 2021

Millions of Texas homes were plunged into darkness by an Arctic blast that exposed an unreliable power grid. As Texans desperately sought relief, Senator Ted Cruz grabbed his family and jetted to Cancun. David and Mike welcome back broadcast journalist Jerry Barmash to discuss possible repercussions of the Texas tragedy as well as the legacy of conservative talk show titan Rush Limbaugh, who died this week at age 70. Jerry also introduces us to his “Here Now the News” podcast.

Feb 14, 2021

We all need an escape to the past every now and then. In this Valentine’s Day edition, David and radio/podcast host Howard Caplan discuss how their respective broadcast audiences are craving retro content. College radio brought David and Howard together. Today, technology takes their programming to audiences around the world. Howard entertains listeners with the Great American Songbook and other musical favorites. David is introducing a new generation to history and pop culture with his fun and engaging Time Rewind feature. Don’t miss the laughter and love!

Feb 6, 2021

It’s hard enough as adults to make sense of the pandemic, police brutality, the attack on the U.S. Capitol and other tumultuous events. Try explaining it to your kids. As we observe Black History Month, host David Mendel welcomes diversity and inclusion expert and parent Kenya Burrell-VanWormer to the podcast to help us chart a harmonious path forward with the inspiration of civil rights crusaders of the past.

Jan 30, 2021

Meet freshman journalism major Rachel Royster. Her very first story for the Baylor University student newspaper was about the latest Trump impeachment. Her second helped resolve a campus controversy. And more exciting assignments are in the pipeline. Rachel is undaunted by those who cry “fake news” and stoke the fires on social media as she pursues her dream of being a print reporter.

Follow Rachel’s reporting for the Baylor Lariat newspaper HERE.

Jan 23, 2021

The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris gives veteran journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs an excuse to travel back to the first presidential ceremonies they ever covered together. But they don’t stay there long, as present-day events demand immediate attention beginning with a tale of two Capitols.

Jan 16, 2021

Intentional or not, we have all in some way contributed to America’s racial and ethnic divide. Veteran journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs relate personal accounts of bigotry and racism and reveal their own prejudices as they shed light on ways the nation can embrace diversity and begin to heal.

Jan 9, 2021

Is the deadly January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol an indicator of darker days ahead or could it mark the turning point for a nation badly fractured along political, ethnic, social and economic lines? Veteran journalists David Mendel and Mike Xirinachs discuss how the violent rampage by supporters of President Donald Trump played out and present their theories about where we collectively go from here.

Jan 2, 2021

David kicks off 2021 by introducing us to high school senior Sawyer Pennington, who refuses to let COVID-19 stand in her way as she sets a course for college. Despite the pandemic’s massively disruptive effects on education, Sawyer has charged full steam ahead, engaging in promising interviews with college volleyball coaches and admissions representatives. It has been challenging, and financial assistance will be critical, but she perseveres and has advice on how fellow students can also succeed.

Dec 18, 2020

David and Mike look back at a tumultuous year that appears to be ending on a hopeful note, particularly on the coronavirus front, as Americans begin rolling up their sleeves for a much-anticipated vaccine. But does this mean that 2021 will be a year of good tidings? How long before the pandemic is under control? And what about race relations, political divisions and other high-profile issues that exploded in 2020 but remain unresolved? Don’t miss this year’s final episode of Time Rewind Reporter’s Journal!

Dec 11, 2020

David welcomes social media expert Cristina Schaefer to the podcast for valuable insights into maximizing the use of social media to promote your business, build an audience or establish yourself as an influencer. You’ll learn surprising things about TikTok and other apps and platforms as Cristina covers what you need to know about those ever-changing algorithms that can have you earning dozens of likes and follows one day, and leave you hearing crickets the next. Plus, she discusses how to protect our kids from social media dangers.

Dec 4, 2020

After being a poster child for COVID-19 prevention all year long – wearing a mask, social distancing, washing his hands and taking additional precautions – David suddenly tests positive for the virus. The ultimate nightmare. Mike develops symptoms that he thinks might be related to coronavirus, but finds it virtually impossible to access testing. It’s COVID Confessions in this edition of Time Rewind Reporter’s Journal.

Nov 20, 2020

After months of marveling at her evolving work online, David welcomes Pittsburgh-based photographer Alicia Swingle to the podcast to talk about how she came to specialize in the boudoir genre. Alicia is not only gifted behind the camera, celebrating the human form in all her subjects, but in front of it as well, with self-portraits that are sultry and seductive. Alicia emphasizes body positivity, empowerment and self-esteem in all her work, and invites men to be as much a part of this genre as women.

Nov 13, 2020

The past meets the future each day at Ball High School (BHS) in Galveston, Texas. Find out how the Time Rewind day-in-history radio feature that inspired this podcast became an education sensation there, with students learning about the past while developing research, editing and communication skills converting it for use in the daily announcements. This successful collaboration continues to spread to other classrooms across the country. David welcomes BHS Media Coach Mike Dudas and student anchor Mia Cardenas.

Nov 6, 2020

David welcomes fellow Boston University (BU) alum Nick Mills, who worked with David in the busy WEEI newsroom in Boston. Nick discusses his lifetime commitment to journalism, beginning with his service in the Peace Corps and as a U.S. Army combat photographer in Vietnam before becoming a recognizable voice on Boston radio and ABC Radio. Nick returned to BU as an associate professor in the College of Communication for more than 25 years, and he has traveled the world to establish news-gathering operations and train aspiring journalists and broadcasters. Nick is also an author and blogger.

Oct 30, 2020

Danger lurks behind many assignments as reporters are dispatched to cover breaking news. In this episode, Mike shares his experience amid exploding trees, a pair of would-be robbers, exposure to asbestos, a ravaging case of poison ivy and what appears to be an angry mob. His wife, Nancie Xirinachs, joins us to describe what it’s like to be married to a big-city reporter.

Oct 23, 2020

David welcomes longtime friend and colleague George Kovacik to reminisce high-pressure newsroom conditions that eventually convinced them to reevaluate news careers and move into public relations. They explain how, after once being the ones gathering and reporting the news, they each now provide information and experts to the media.

Oct 16, 2020

We welcome Michael Mendel, the creative force behind three decades of record album art for musicians like Gladys Knight & the Pips, Tony Bennett, Tammy Wynette, Curtis Mayfield, Donovan, David Cassidy, The Stylistics, The New York Philharmonic and many more. Michael reveals what went into designing album covers in the pre-digital era, including photo shoots and logistics you probably couldn’t get away with today. Plus, you’ll never guess who posed for some of his later covers. Check out a sampling of Michael’s more than 2,000 album covers on Discogs.

Oct 9, 2020

In the wee hours of every morning, story ideas are born in newsrooms across the country and around the world. These often require reporters to interview people that are out and about before most businesses are even open. David and Mike discuss crossing paths with a prostitute, bully and others while conducting the traditional ‘Man-on-the-Street’ (MOS) assignment.

Oct 2, 2020

Mike reveals his knack for entering restaurants for a meal and leaving with juicy news stories, including a cheating scandal that rocked the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an active swingers scene on Long Island, New York. David shares his experience making tough and sometimes unpopular decisions about assignments as a news manager.