Rachel Iacovone is the Morning Edition host for WPLN. Get a more personal look at the voice you’re getting to know every weekday morning.
Q. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. I told people up until the fifth grade that I wanted to be an algebra professor. My dad was a math teacher when I was growing up, and I always loved numbers.
But, I wrote my first novella in late elementary school and haven’t been able to stop writing since — so much so that I was put in a journalism class in high school as “punishment” for writing in non-writing classes. Though I was disappointed that it wasn’t Creative Writing 101, I ended up falling in love with journalism in that class. Fast forward and I now live for data reporting, so you can find a way to incorporate what you love and are good at if you just try hard enough!
Q. What made you decide to consider a move to Nashville and to work for Nashville Public Radio?
A. I met one of my best friends in college, and she introduced me to all things Nashville. She’s from Murfreesboro. So, I had an insider’s love by association by the time someone at NPR headquarters told me that Nashville Public Radio was looking for a host — something I was already doing in Southwest Florida. I thought it might be my only chance to come to a city I’d only ever heard good or great things about, and so, I talked to News Director Emily Siner about the newsroom culture here and its goals. I got off that phone call, without a formal interview even scheduled yet, and thought to myself, “I’m going to be devastated if I don’t get to work with this team.”
Q. What can listeners expect you to do/cover at WPLN in the next year?
A. Like I said, I love data reporting, which tends to be about politics (as all things are). But, I also love feature reporting — showing Nashvillians a community they may not realize is in their backyard or giving them a whole new way to look at the people and places they do know about. I’ve cheated and looked ahead at the next question, so I’ll refrain from jumping the gun in this answer.
Q. a) Do you consider yourself to be a foodie? b) Any favorite Nashville restaurants so far? c) Any places on your “must try” list?
a) Yes. YES. I live for cooking and eating out. Talking to me is at least 50% food related at all times. b) I love Big Al’s Deli in Salemtown. The amazing food is outdone by even better service. Peg Leg Porker is my favorite barbecue so far, and there’s Graze for my plant-based peeps. I’m also a fan of Meet Noodle in the Vanderbilt area and faster options like Hattie B’s and Hugh Baby’s of course. I could eat Jeni’s ice cream every day of my life. Coffee wise, I have not found anything as good as CREMA yet, but you can find me most days at close-second Steadfast Coffee in Germantown. c) Biscuit Love! Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Cafe Fuzion. Steam Boys. Baked on 8th.
Q. What do you like to do for fun outside of the office?
A. The hobby that takes up most of my time (and money) is clearly cooking and eating. But, I’ve also really loved exploring outdoors here: walking Centennial Park or hiking Radnor Lake. If I’m indoors, I can be found reading (lately, a lot of historical Latin American memoirs) or watching true crime or superhero shows. It’s Bachelor spin-off season right now, though, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit my reality TV guilty pleasure for that series and that series only.