Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rhode Island broadcaster new WFAE president

A Rhode Island public radio executive with a background in network TV news was named the new president Wednesday of WFAE-FM (90.7), Charlotte's NPR affiliate.

Before joining Rhode Island Public Radio eight years ago as general manager, Joe O'Connor was senior producer for NPR's "On Point," which is produced at WBUR-FM in Boston.
O'Connor has been a producer for CNN and spent 22 years at ABC News, working for "Good Morning America," "Nightline" and "PrimeTime Live."
He rose to be the senior producer in Washington for "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," directing the network's capital coverage. 
"WFAE rightly boasts an outstanding brand of award-winning journalism that has become one of the most trusted sources for news in the Charlotte region," O'Connor said in a statement.
A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service with a masters degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University, O'Connor has collect five Emmys, two Columbia DuPont Awards and a Peabody Award during his career. One of his Emmys came for the acclaimed "Nightline" series "America in Black and White." 

He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2004-2005 and brings a successful fund-raising background to the position.
O'Connor, 57, who starts his new duties Feb. 1,  succeeds the retiring Roger Sarow who has led WFAE for 26 years.
“Joe is a seasoned journalist who believes passionately that great reporting is the oxygen of democracy," Jon Buchan, chair of WFAE's board of directors, said in a statement.
"He understands that public radio – on air, on the station’s website, in its public forums – can foster the kind of important community dialogue that every city needs.”