New WFAE personality looks to a future

January 9, 2015 - accent chair

For about 6 months, WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7) has been looking for a new boss to attain a timid Roger Sarow. Every claimant has been asked a same question:

What can be done, in an epoch of sepulchral record and rising competition, to strengthen WFAE’s franchise?

Joe O’Connor, named to a post this week, has his answer.

“What we’re doing right now – providing superb internal broadcasting that meets a high standards of NPR,” he says. “Without that, we won’t have a reason to exist. It’s a hybrid brew of good internal broadcasting and NPR programming.”

Providing programming with a internal accent that can’t be found anywhere else is a station’s niche and a strength, O’Connor says. And notwithstanding a assault of new media channels, digital competitors and other things seeking listeners’ attention, radio stays a clever middle in America, he says.

“Where we continue to be greatest is in verbal storytelling that we can listen to and continue to be taken in along with violation news, domestic news or relocating stories that make we giggle out shrill or hold your heart,” says O’Connor. “Radio is everywhere – on a smartphone, FM, laptop, Internet radio. It’s still going to be your internal NPR source on what’s going on in your community.”

O’Connor, a Philadelphia internal who grew adult in Bethesda, Md., has a low credentials in news. He went to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and got a master’s grade in promote broadcasting from Boston University.

After college he worked for a time during CNN in a fledgling days, afterwards spent 22 years during ABC News, operative for “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and “PrimeTime Live.” He rose to be a comparison writer in Washington for “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” directing collateral coverage.

He warranted 5 Emmys, dual Columbia DuPont Awards and a Peabody Award. One of his Emmys came for his acclaimed “Nightline” array “America in Black and White.” In 2004, he combined a relocating “In Memoriam” shred for “This Week” observant pivotal deaths.

Ted Koppel at “Nightline” was a vital influence. O’Connor remembers his instructions during a commencement of a array on competition in America.

“Ted’s assign to use was, ‘Don’t do a usual. We wish to do stories that unequivocally simulate a complexity of competition family in America,’ ” O’Connor says.

Public radio stations are places where that kind of truth can thrive, he says, and that’s what drew him to open radio after his career during ABC.

O’Connor was comparison writer for NPR’s “On Point,” constructed during WBUR-FM in Boston, afterwards led a bid to take Rhode Island’s tiny Public Radio network eccentric 8 years ago and became a ubiquitous manager.

It launched in tandem with a recession, a terrible time to be looking for income in a state not accurately famous for munificent generosity. But fund-raising was clever and a network was means to build a news staff to concentration on Rhode Island and set it detached from open radio and blurb competitors in Boston and elsewhere in New England.

At WFAE-FM, O’Connor says, he skeleton to stress fund-raising that will support continued expansion of a station’s internal news staff, that in spin should heighten broadcasts.

“He understands that stating is a oxygen of democracy and that fund-raising is a oxygen of open radio,” pronounced Jon Buchan, chair of WFAE’s house of directors and a member of a hunt committee. “He’s an out-in-the-community kind of guy. He’s going to be great.”

O’Connor, who is 57 and is customarily a tallest male in a room during 6-foot-6, has dual grown children, a daughter training English in Spain and a son study comedy (don’t giggle – we can indeed teenager in it) during Emerson College in Boston.

Media Movers

“Drex and Maney,” a morning uncover on WNKS-FM (“Kiss” 95.1) pennyless adult this week, with two-thirds of a organisation – P.J. “Drex” Rener and Cassiday Proctor – withdrawal for a pursuit in Atlanta. Rener and Proctor had a fast up-and-out career in Charlotte. Rener arrived in Mar 2012 to join with Maney on a morning show. They had been partners before on a hire in Memphis. Proctor assimilated a expel from Austin, Texas, and her form grew as she co-hosted “The Edge” weeknights on WCCB (Channel 18). Steve Maney will sojourn during a morning uncover and will be holding live auditions each weekday for a rest of a month, job a hunt “Radio Apprentice: Search for a Next Radio Star.” Among those stuffing in this week was Jacinda Garabito, part-time forecaster during WCCB. …

Retiring after 35 years during a Observer is continue columnist Steve Lyttle. His ability to work on mixed stories during once warranted him a nickname “Ricochet.” … Erika Hayes joins WBTV (Channel 3) as a contributor from a CBS associate in Myrtle Beach. …

WCNC (Channel 36) names Eugene Robinson, radio researcher for a Carolina Panthers and a former player, as co-host with Colleen Odegaard on “Charlotte Today.” He replaces Ramona Holloway, who says she was removing ragged out with dual jobs and will hang with her afternoon radio gig on WLNK-FM (“Link” 107.9) with Matt Harris. In further to media gigs, Robinson coaches football, lane and wrestling during Charlotte Christian High School. …

Joining WJZY (Channel 46) as a contributor is Zach Groth, who comes from a wire complement news operation in Naperville, Ill., where he did sports shows featuring North Central College. … Departing from WJZY after a year is youth digital publisher Alexandra Miller. …

“WCCB News Rising” writer Katie Searles leaves a hire after dual years. … Longtime Charlotte newsie Phillis Shoemaker retires as assignment editor during Time Warner Cable News channel, where she was one of a staffers when a hire launched 13 years ago. Before that she worked in radio and for Channels 3 and 9. … Jay Werth, who assimilated WTVI (Channel 42) as growth executive final spring, is withdrawal to spin a fund-raising consultant once again after removing an offer too good to spin down. “I desired operative for WTVI and it’s staid for a good future,” Werth says. …

Michelle Harper is named ubiquitous sales manager of WSOC (Channel 9), replacing Paul Briggs, who left for Memphis, Tenn., to run a Cox Media Group hire there. Harper has been sales manager during sister hire WAXN (Channel 64) given 2011. … Mathilde ‘Til’ Levesque is named marketplace manager for Radio One’s Charlotte stations, WOSF-FM (“Old School” 105.1) and WPZS-FM (“Praise” 100.9). Previously, Levesque managed 7 Detroit stations owned by Clear Channel Radio. She succeeds Gary Weiss, who stays with Radio One as informal clamp boss in Raleigh.

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