WQPT manager finalists to meet public

Posted Online: Jan. 07, 2013, 8:29 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
The public will have a chance this month to meet the four finalists for general manager at WQPT, the Quad-Cities PBS station.

"I felt like we had a great response of candidates from all across the country," said Kristi Mindrup, search committee chairwoman and Western Illinois University's assistant vice president for Quad-Cities and planning.

The 10-member search committee includes WIU-QC faculty and staff, and WQPT board members and staffers. WIU owns the public TV station's license, houses its offices and provides equipment and other in-kind services. Otherwise, the station budget and 10 staff members are self-supporting and not funded by Western, Ms. Mindrup said.

Each of the candidates will spend a day in the Quad-Cities, and because the committee wants to make the search "transparent" to the public, there will be an hour-long open session as part of the interview process, she said.

There is no set timetable to choose a successor to Rick Best, who retired last June after nearly 27 years with the station, 15 as general manager. Chief development officer Jamie Lange is interim director.

The finalists are:
Victor Hogstrom will interview Wednesday, Jan. 23. He has been executive director and general manager at Utah Public Radio Network since January 2011, and a nonprofit fundraising consultant since 2008. He was president and CEO of KCPT public television in Kansas City, Mo. (2005-08), and president/CEO of WTCI public TV in Chattanooga, Tenn. (1991-2005).

Mary Pruess will interview Monday, Jan. 28. She was president and general manager of WNIT, South Bend/Elkhart, Ind., from 2002 to 2012. Previously, she was chief content officer and general manager (2001-02) and vice president and station manager (1993-2001) for WHRO in Norfolk, Va. Ms. Pruess has also held director and manager positions at KICR Radio at the University of Iowa.

Sharon McNeal will interview Wednesday, Jan. 30. She was coordinator of communication and marketing at Pinellas (Fla.) County Schools from 2006 to 2012. She's been a freelance writer, editor, and fundraising consultant in Atlanta from 2004-06, and was vice president of broadcasting, communication and educational/outreach services for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Broadcasting Authority in Charlotte, N.C. (2001-2004).

Andrew Chalanick will interview Thursday, Jan. 31. He was director of programming at WDSC-TV, Daytona Beach, Fla. and hasserved in many positions at WDSC-TV since 2007, including interim general manager; director of educational services and programming; and coordinator of educational services and outreach. Since July 2012, he's been director of programming, broadcast operations and administration.

Proven fundraising experience and skills are "critical" for the new general manager, Ms. Mindrup said. "Inorder to be able to provide local programming, the community demands initiatives as part of public television. It does cost money to run a TV station."

The new boss must "have his or her fingers on the pulse of the community, talk with leaders, supporters, to make sure those initiatives can happen," she said. To help save money, WQPT reduced staff over the years and contracted services to Stratus Broadcast Solutions in Davenport, where its production facilities and studios are located.

Ms. Mindrup said that is "very innovative nationally," and WQPT was the first PBS station to contract out such services. The GM finalists will tour Stratus and meet the station staff.

The open public meetings willbe held from 11-11:50 a.m. for each candidate in Room 102AB at the WIU-QC campus, 3561 60th St., Moline. If you can't make these sessions, you can offer suggestions or feedback about WQPT by calling (309)762-9481.

To see the finalists' resumes and Q-C itineraries, visit wiu.edu/employment/gen_manager.


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