Farewell, Mitchie-Bear
Kate Moos, managing producer

Yesterday we said goodbye to Speaking of Faith's brilliant senior producer, Mitch Hanley, who has been with the show since just before our national launch in 2003. Mitch has been a core contributor to this project — long before we had any idea whether it would succeed, and long before we could say with any confidence we knew what we were doing.

Mitch is the person who created, out of thin air, the aural environment in which Krista’s conversations live: the music, the pacing, the archival audio, the sound. He has created an intimate space: welcoming, rich, and full of meaning. Mitch has also been one of the people who helped create what SOF has become. He has been a tireless co-worker, a lively editorial mind and thinker, a key architect. And, he has been a wonderful friend. I can’t say how much we will miss him.

The nickname Mitchie-Bear has haunted our esteemed colleague since a production trip to L.A. a couple of years ago for our program on the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street revival, which marked the birth of the Pentecostal movement.

Mitch had a suite at the hotel because, as a practical matter, his sitting room doubled as the production studio for the interviews we were to conduct. As he toiled into the night setting up a remote recording studio for early the next morning, he asked Trent to provide a voice for an impromptu sound-check. Trent, father of a young son at the time, gamely sang “Kukka-bear sits in the old gum tree,” into the microphone, and, gaining steam, changed the lyric to “Mitchie-bear…” A permanent moniker was born.

Mitch and his wife Christine are headed to Costa Rica for five months, where she’s finishing graduate school. Mitch says he intends to take some time to reflect, enjoy some down-time in a beautiful place, and think about what he wants to do with his life in the next stage.

We know he will do wonders, whatever he chooses.

update: Signals got crossed and wrong photo was posted. Here’s the real Mitch Hanley!

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