Dave Edwards, general manager of WUWM – Milwaukee’s NPR, announced that he will retire on May 30, 2019. Edwards’ career with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee public radio station began in 1979 when he joined WUWM to create a professional news department. He was later promoted to program director before becoming general manager in 1985.
Under his leadership, the station has expanded its local programming efforts, community based fundraising and partnerships with many organizations in southeastern Wisconsin.
Highlights of Edwards’ career with WUWM include:
- Increasing the size of WUWM’s weekly audience from 35,000 in 1985 to more than 150,000 in 2018.
- Increasing annual community fundraising from $60,000 in 1985 to nearly $4 million in 2018.
- Conceptualizing the creation of journalistic initiatives to report on education, race and ethnicity, environment, and innovation.
- Increasing the number of journalists who report on issues facing southeastern Wisconsin from 3 to 14.
- Under his leadership, WUWM was recognized for numerous prestigious awards including Edward R. Murrow Awards, “Best Radio Station of the Year” by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (2010) and “Best Radio News Operation of the Year” by the Milwaukee Press Club (2010).
- Forming journalistic and marketing partnerships allowing WUWM to become part of the fabric of southeastern Wisconsin.
Edwards has also been known for his work nationally. He served six years on the Board of Directors for National Public Radio, including two years as its chair. He led NPR through tumultuous times involving the resignation of a CEO and leadership in its news and development departments. He has served on many other industry boards and committees and worked as a consultant to public radio stations in strategic planning and program development.
“I’m proud of the radio station WUWM has become,” said Edwards. “I’ve been fortunate to work with a very talented and dedicated staff. I’ve enjoyed interacting with our listeners and others in the community who value an open discussion of issues. I’m leaving WUWM at a time when the station is in very strong position with an exciting future ahead.”
A national search will be underway soon for WUWM’s new general manager.