WAMU 88.5 : About

WAMU 88.5’s General Manager Caryn G. Mathes elected to NPR Board of Directors

 

WAMU 88.5 today announced that Caryn G. Mathes, WAMU 88.5’s general manager, has been elected to the Board of Directors of NPR as a Member Director.

NPR’s Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of NPR as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. The board sets the policies and overall direction for NPR management, monitors NPR's performance and provides financial oversight. Ten of the board’s 17 members – including Mathes – are managers of NPR member stations elected to the board by 268 member organizations that operate 774 stations nationwide. Mathes will begin her three-year term in November 2011.

“My election to NPR’s Board of Directors presents a unique opportunity to take my service in public radio to a new level,” said Mathes. “I look forward to assisting with policy and strategic development at NPR — and to bringing even greater awareness and stature to WAMU 88.5 and American University through my service.”

Since Mathes’ arrival in 2005, WAMU 88.5 has seen tremendous development as a model for the public radio industry's future. Under her leadership, private sector revenue from individual and corporate sponsorship supporting the general operating budget increased by more than $9.2 million, or 121 percent, between Fiscal Year 2005 and Fiscal Year 2011. The operating reserve — the amount the station keeps on hand for unforeseen opportunities or emergencies — has grown to nearly $14.4 million, up from $382,000 as of Fiscal Year 2005. Mathes’ sound leadership has positioned the station to launch its first $20 million capital campaign, an initiative that will support the station’s relocation to a repurposed facility in northwest Washington, D.C.

Mathes fostered the growth of WAMU 88.5 into a multiplatform multimedia organization, overseeing an expansion of the award-winning local news team with the addition of digital media journalists. She also oversaw the launch of two additional services utilizing HD Radio technology, including the expansion of Bluegrass Country, the station's online bluegrass service, and the creation of Intersection at HD-3, which features a mix of eclectic music, sound-rich story-telling and issue-driven programs. In June 2010, Bluegrass Country became the first digital multicast station in the Washington market to place in an Arbitron© monthly report. Also in June 2010, the station launched 88.3 Ocean City on the Delmarva peninsula, expanding the station's signature brand of civil discussion and public affairs to a new audience.

Prior to joining WAMU 88.5, Mathes served as general manager of WDET-FM in Detroit, Mich., for 21 years and as news director for two years. There, she built an award-winning local news department; helped the station build a strong identity in the competitive Detroit market; instilled financial stability; built a new transmissions facility and new studios; and ushered in a web presence for the station.

 

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