CNN price we paid

CNN's "THE PRICE WE PAID: The Economic Cost of Covid," about the unemployment insurance crisis in Kentucky, premiered March 27.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Eleven days before he died by suicide in March, former Kentucky unemployment insurance director Muncie McNamara sat for a two-hour interview with CNN at the downtown Marriott hotel.

"I knew that this was going to be the most important thing I’d ever do with my life,” McNamara said in the interview. 

McNamara's tragic death was a curve ball for the CNN team, as he would be a key figure in an hourlong documentary, "THE PRICE WE PAID: The Economic Cost of Covid," about the unemployment insurance crisis in Kentucky. The special was only weeks from airing at the time of his death.

Matthew Reynard, the New York-based producer of the special, discusses how the network handled the situation on the latest episode of Uncovered, our news podcast.

"The biggest thing -- the first thing -- is to be as respectful to the family possible," Reynard says on the show.

On the podcast, Reynard goes the behind of the scenes of the making of the documentary with WDRB reporters Chris Otts and Gilbert Corsey, who assisted and appeared in the program.

Reynard also discusses why CNN chose Kentucky and how the network endeavored to make the documentary relevant nationwide.

"Sometimes it feels as though the bigger the audience, the more vague the story. You can't get into the details as much ... So it is a really fine line," Reynard says.

Listen for free below, or find Uncovered by WDRB on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotify or other podcast platforms. Remember to subscribe for future episodes and leave a review of the show.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.