MAIN taps WORT radio exec for new Media Manager post

August 28, 2009 by Wally Bowen

8/28/09                             CONTACT:  Wally Bowen, 255.0182

MAIN taps WORT radio exec
for new Media Manager post

K.P. Whaley
K.P. Whaley

A top news executive at one of the nation’s oldest community radio stations has been named Media Manager for the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN).

K.P. Whaley, the news and public affairs director at WORT-FM in Madison, WI., will join MAIN in this new position Sept. 1. His responsibilities include management of MAIN’s radio station, WPVM, and integrating the station’s programming with MAIN’s existing online news portal at www.main.nc.us.

Whaley has a degree in broadcast journalism from Illinois State University and a certificate in documentary filmmaking from the Seattle Film Institute. He is also a certified project management professional (PMP).

Whaley began as a volunteer at WORT in 2005 and was named news and public affairs director in 2007.  He supervised three daily talk shows, a live half-hour nightly newscast, and trained volunteers in community-based reporting, on-air delivery, digital editing and production, and engineering.

Founded in 1975, WORT has been a pioneer in nonprofit community radio, blending locally-produced programming – both music and community journalism – with syndicated news from Pacifica Radio and the BBC.

“K.P. has all the skillsets we were looking for as we transition MAIN and WPVM from  conventional analog radio to digital streaming over an Internet portal and mobile broadband devices,” said MAIN executive director Wally Bowen.  “We are also impressed with his positive energy and people skills, which match-up well with our community.”

Whaley will implement a new system for local programming based on “producer agreements” to replace the traditional practice of granting airtime to volunteers on a first-come basis. The latter has proven problematic for many community radio stations as airtime becomes scarce and openings for new producers disappear.

“Community radio must change or it will fade away,” said Whaley. “I am excited to be working with an organization like MAIN that understands the challenges faced by community radio, and has the vision and technical experience to embrace these challenges and to help provide a roadmap for other community media.”

Whaley cited MAIN’s new business model for journalism – based on revenue from its nonprofit Internet access business – as the heart of this new community radio vision.

In presentations earlier this year, Bowen called this new model “MAIN 2.0” and described the nonprofit’s vision for creating and delivering content over multiple media platforms – the existing Web portal, public access TV, WPVM, and podcasts.

Bowen said th at the new position title, “Media Manager,” indicates this larger vision for MAIN and WPVM.  “With this position now filled, we are ready to begin accepting applications for new volunteers as well as new ideas for programming,” he said.  To propose a program idea or to volunteer, visit: http://main.nc.us/about/volunteer/volapp.html  END