Sam Hudzik

Radio News Director

Sam has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Radio since 2013.

Before joining NEPR, he held a few positions at WBEZ Chicago – political reporter, newscast editor and newscast producer. Prior to that, he covered local angles on the federal government from Washington, D.C. for public radio stations in Illinois and Indiana.

Sam is proud to have edited his colleagues’ stories, including those recognized by the Third Coast International Audio Festival, the AP Broadcast Association of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) and the Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Award. Sam’s reporting has been recognized by the Illinois AP Broadcasters Association and the Murrow Awards.

He graduated from George Washington University and grew up in Park Forest, Illinois, and is grateful for his time in 2012-13 as a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan.

Before realizing he ought to be a reporter, Sam worked at a political research firm and as an aide to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.

Ways to Connect

Nurses talk to a patient at the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

New numbers from the state show Hampden County now trails all other Massachusetts counties in the percentage of residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A 2019 protest in Springfield, Massachusetts, against the Palmer wood-burning plant.
Courtesy of Rene Theberge / WBUR

Updated at 6:15 p.m. 

A Massachusetts state agency has revoked an air permit for a biomass plant long planned for Springfield.

In September 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden greeted Pope Francis when he arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

There’s a rift in the Catholic Church about how a leading church official welcomed President Biden to power.

Asked about the controversy, the new bishop in western Massachusetts appears to be choosing his words on the matter carefully.

Mount Holyoke College students listen during a rally held to address historical allegations of sexual misconduct by a Mount Holyoke College professor, in December of 2018, at the college in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hamphire Gazette / gazettenet.com

College students in Massachusetts would be anonymously surveyed about their experiences with sexual misconduct on campus and would have access to new, confidential resources in the event of sexual assault, under a bill that's now on Gov. Charlie Baker's desk after a last-minute flurry of activity in the legislature this week.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, center top, presided over the House chamber when it recessed during the lockdown. On the left, staff members motion for lawmakers to stay seated.
Screen shot / C-SPAN

Updated at 9:25 p.m. 

As pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts was presiding over the House.

The Springfield City Council has voted to authorize a lawsuit seeking to force Mayor Domenic Sarno to appoint a police board of commissioners. It's the latest turn in a years-long disagreement between the council and mayor over control of the police department amid reports of officer brutality and corruption.

Alex Morse (center), the mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, before a debate in August 2020 against his opponent in the Democratic primary, U.S. Rep Richard Neal.
Don Treeger / The Republican/ Masslive.com / photos

Three weeks after signing on to a letter that shook up a congressional race in perhaps unexpected ways, leaders of the College Democrats at UMass Amherst are apologizing to Alex Morse.

MGM Springfield reopened in July 2020 after a four-month closure due to COVID-19.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

MGM Springfield is laying off more than half its staff as of Monday. 

A UMass Amherst staffer works inside the closed Berkshire Dining Commons in the Southwest Residential Area on August 27, 2020.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

UMass Amherst will place about 780 staff on "indefinite furlough” as it deals with a budget deficit caused by COVID-19 and efforts to stop its spread.

Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, Massachusetts, speaks to reporters during the launch of his congressional campaign on July 22, 2019.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Alex Morse says he is staying in the race for Congress. In a statement posted to social media Sunday night, the mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, defended himself against allegations he engaged in inappropriate behavior involving college students, while again apologizing for "making some students feel uncomfortable."

Teachers outside the Boland Elementary School in Springfield, Massachusetts, prepare to hand out laptops on April 6, 2020.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

The public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, will keep classes remote-only through at least the first few months of the year. 

 A Black Lives Matter rally in front of Nathan Bill's Bar and Restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / Masslive.com/photos

Springfield's police commissioner, Cheryl Clapprood, has acknowledged no changes have been made to the department's use-of-force policy. This comes two months after the department said Clapprood accepted suggestions offered by the City Council.

Downtown Northampton, Massachusetts.
Carol Lollis / The Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

The characters in Holyoke, Massachusetts, writer Sara Rauch's short stories largely live and work around western Massachusetts. But also in Vermont and California, and New York City after 9/11.

In her new collection, "What Shines from It," some characters make art. Some grapple with pregnancy. Others cheat on their partners — or get cheated on. They drink too much, get hurt and try to figure out life.

Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Chelsie Field / WBUR

As many as 11 residents of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home have died in recent days — potentially all from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

That’s led to an abrupt change of leadership at the residential, nursing and outpatient facility for veterans run by the state of Massachusetts. 

A traffic camera in California.
Theron Trowbridge / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/8404411@N05

When you're driving in your car this week to vote early in the Massachusetts presidential primary, make sure you aren't talking on your cellphone.

A PVTA bus in April 2019.
MTA3306 / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/87549811@N03

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority says Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's budget proposal came up several million dollars short in funding for transit agencies outside the Boston area.

A Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus.
David Wilson / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/davidwilson1949

With Governor Charlie Baker's State of the Commonwealth speech delivered and his budget unveiled, Massachusetts lawmakers, lobbyists, activists and reporters now have their chance to scrutinize it all.

Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (left) attended Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno's inauguration gala on January 11, 2020. Sarno (right) is shown here with his wife, Carla.
Frederick Gore / MassLive / masslive.com/photos

Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is declining to say if he agrees with Mayor Domenic Sarno's attempt to block refugee resettlement in Springfield. 

Ajinomoto is a food company based in Japan that makes MSG.
jun560 / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/47741487@N06

Updated at 8:08 p.m. 

A company that makes the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) is aiming a social media campaign at Springfield, Massachusetts-based dictionary Merriam-Webster. 

Inside MGM Springfield.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Encore Boston Harbor, the newest casino in Massachusetts, in December had its best month since opening. But the state's two other casinos saw gambling revenues drop to their lowest levels yet.

The Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk is the largest medium security level facility in Massachusetts.
Michael P. Norton / State House News Service

State auditors say Massachusetts prison officials failed to properly prepare some inmates before they were released. 

Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks with reporters outside her home in Cambridge after announcing that she is setting up an exploratory committee for a run for the presidency.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont's Bernie Sanders have been campaigning across the country ahead of the presidential primaries. That time on the trail means the senators missed hundreds of roll call votes in 2019.

A personal check.
Scott J. Waldron photographybanzai.com / Creative Commons

The minimum wage goes up in half of New England on January 1, with a widening gap between the states. 

A stack of newspapers.
Jeff Eaton / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/jeffeaton

The Daily News in Athol, Massachusetts, will no longer have an office in the North Quabbin town. The cost-cutting move for parent company Newspapers of New England means seven positions have been eliminated, according to the publisher.

Menthol cigarettes sold at a convenience store in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

There are just a handful of days left for the Massachusetts legislature to get things done before essentially breaking until January. There's a lot on the to-do list, but one item that appears headed for passage is a ban on all flavored cigarettes and tobacco products.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic Sarno, at podium, speaks at a press conference on the MGM construction site on March 29, 2017.
Henry Epp / NEPR

Updated at 8:38 p.m. 

After little in the way of campaigning, Mayor Domenic Sarno is seeking a fifth term in Tuesday's mayoral election in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A polling place sign in Westfield, Mass., during the preliminary election on Sept. 24, 2019.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Updated at 10:04 p.m. on September 24, 2019

Preliminary election season in western Massachusetts is over. Voters in five western Massachusetts cities cast ballots in mayoral races. Those non-partisan contests narrowed each field to two candidates heading into the November 5 general elections.

Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks from the stage during her open house at Springfield Technical Community College on March 9, 2018.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican / MassLive.com/photos

After a summer recess, Congress returns this week. Senators and representatives running for president — including those from New England — are splitting their time between Capitol Hill and the campaign trail, and it shows in their voting records.

Author and illustrator Mike Curato created the "Little Elliot" book series.
Sam Hudzik / NEPR

A new "Sesame Street" book out this fall celebrates the show's theme song — and includes author and illustrator Mike Curato's collage inspired by the "Sunny Days" lyrics.

A gambler plays a slot machine at MGM Springfield.
Don Treeger / The Republican / Masslive.com/photos

As MGM executives celebrated the first anniversary of their casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, this month, they touted visitor numbers, jobs for city residents and the big investment downtown. But it’s been hard to brag about gambling revenue.

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