Dan Yorke

Dan Yorke, a household name in local radio and TV and a 20-year resident of Cumberland, is joining The Valley Breeze as a regular columnist, replacing retiring Publisher Tom Ward.

Yorke, a professional broadcaster for more than 40 years, the last 20 in Rhode Island, was named to the Talkers Magazine National Heavy Hundred List for 15 straight years.

He hosts the p.m. drive slot on 99.7 FM and AM 630 WPRO, as well as Dan Yorke State of Mind on MYRITV and Fox Providence. In addition, he operates DYCOMM LLC, a communications and consulting firm, and for the past seven years has been the public address announcer for the University of Rhode Island Men’s Basketball and a freelance radio play-by-play announcer.

“The Valley Breeze is an American success story and Tom Ward is the author,” said Yorke. “His column has been a staple voice for Rhode Islanders since it began. To follow in this space is a high honor.”

Yorke, who has long described The Breeze as “the Bible of northern Rhode Island,” said readers can expect “a wide range of thought on our quality of life … which has now been turned upside down. And the same review of performance by our leadership, elected and beyond.”

Breeze Editor Ethan Shorey said Yorke was an easy choice to replace Ward, noting the credibility he has built up over a long career.

“If there are two things I’ve learned about Dan Yorke over the years, it’s that he seeks out the truth and he does his homework,” said Shorey. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to build on what Tom has done and hopefully expand our reach on important topics.”

Newspapers should play a unique role in holding government accountable, said Shorey, “and in addition to what we’re already doing to shed light on the actions of our local elected officials, Dan brings that needed perspective on the state level.”

Yorke was also Ward’s top choice to continue the column. Ward’s last column is this week.

Yorke’s wife, Debbie, is a local travel consultant, and his daughter, Katie, is a licensed speech pathologist.

Yorke joins longtime columnist Arlene Violet as the paper’s regular opinion columnists.

Local educator and Cumberland resident Erika Sanzi is also joining The Breeze on a monthly basis. Others will also occasionally contribute columns.

“Local papers are an increasingly essential part of the media ecosystem and I consider it a blessing and a privilege to have the opportunity to connect with my community through my writing,” said Sanzi.

She is the founder and chief editor of Project Forever Free. She also writes the blog Good School Hunting and is a senior visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Prior to her current roles, Sanzi spent a decade as an educator and served on the Cumberland School Committee. She is the mother of three school-aged sons.

Yorke’s first column is scheduled for the first week of June.

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