John Hess has been appointed the new director and general manager of WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee’s NPR, joining the station at an exciting time as it recently celebrated its 55th year of broadcast service. Hess will succeed Dave Edwards, who has served as general manager since 1985.
Hess has spent nearly two decades building and leading public media organizations within and outside of a university structure. Prior to joining WUWM, Hess was chief operating officer of Arizona Public Media, where he led a management team responsible for 70 staffers in six divisions who generate integrated multimedia content. He previously served as general manager of Boise State Public Radio, where he led audience and revenue growth. Hess has 30 years of experience in media, 20 of which are in public media and 12 of which are as general manager at two university-affiliated public radio stations.
WUWM’s general manager provides leadership and vision for the public radio station, which reaches 100,000 listeners weekly as it serves news and culture across as southeastern Wisconsin. WUWM is listener-supported radio that is licensed to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and operated by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Letters & Science.
“We are very excited to have John Hess take the lead as general manager of WUWM,” said Scott Gronert, dean of the College of Letters & Science. “He brings a remarkable portfolio of experience in media and he has been an innovative leader at two university-affiliated public radio stations. He is devoted to strong, independent journalism, has extensive experience in fundraising and is committed to using media to help build vibrant, inclusive communities. John Hess brings the perfect skill set and vision to be the next leader of WUWM.”
Hess will begin his tenure as general manager on Jan. 13, 2020.