Spencer Michels

Spencer Michels, correspondent and producer in the San Francisco office of the NewsHour, began reporting stories for the broadcast in 1983, while still anchor and correspondent for KQED. A native of San Francisco, he graduated from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1959 and then received his master's from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Michels began his professional career as a reporter with the Palo Alto Times, and then moved to KCRA in Sacramento. In addition to general reporting, anchoring and producing, he traveled around the world doing stories ranging from the Vietnam War and the Israeli war with Egypt, to socialized medicine in Scandinavia and bureaucracy in Italy. After working on news and documentary programs at the public station, KQED, for several years, he joined the NewsHour full time in 1991. Since then, he has produced hundreds of 5 to 10 minute reports on all manner of issues, including health, environment, science, politics, economics and arts. He has won several Emmys and other awards.

He lives in Marin County with his wife, Roberta. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Spencer's Most Recent Stories

  • February 24, 2015

    Since the main job of district attorneys is to indict and prosecute criminals, you might find it odd that many of those prosecutors are whole-hearted supporters of a system that acts to treat — not to punish — the problems of one class of offenders: veterans. Continue reading

  • October 16, 2014

    Fifty years ago this month, long before the Vietnam War, students on the U.C. Berkeley campus ignited protests over a ban on political activity — a student movement that would morph into the huge, confrontational demonstrations of the early 1970s and beyond. Continue reading

  • September 23, 2014

    Biohacking is a fairly new practice that could lead to major changes in our life. You could it call citizen or do-it-your-self biology. It takes place in small labs — mostly non-university — where all sorts of people get together to explore biology. That could mean figuring out how the DNA in plants affects their growth, or how to manipulate genes from another source to make a plant glow in the dark. Continue reading

  • July 30, 2014

    As California suffers through an historic drought, with penalties for wasting water going into effect this week, something unusual is going on: the state and the farmers seem to be agreeing on how to manage groundwater. Or how not to manage it.
    Continue reading

  • June 18, 2014

    Despite their notoriety, snakes — according to some enthusiasts — aren’t getting the attention they deserve, especially when they bite people, which they do with some frequency. The World Health Organization estimates that between 94,000 and 125,000 people die every year from snake bites, to say nothing of 400,000 amputations and other severe health consequences.
    Continue reading