Wendy Turner named Michigan Radio’s next general manager

October 31, 2023
Wendy Turner
Wendy Turner

Wendy Turner, general manager of Ohio Public Media Services, will become the next executive director and general manager at Michigan Radio.

Turner, who will join U-M Jan. 2, 2024, will lead Michigan Radio, U-M’s public radio station. She replaces Steve Schram, who retired from the university in late 2022.

Turner is currently a member of Ideastream Public Media’s Executive Team and oversees statewide initiatives on behalf of Ohio’s 15 public TV and radio stations, including The Ohio Channel, The Statehouse News Bureau and The Ohio Newsroom.

Michigan Radio is Michigan’s NPR News Leader and the state’s most listened-to public radio service. It airs programming on five FM transmitters: WUOM 91.7 FM in Detroit and Ann Arbor, WVGR 104.1 FM in Grand Rapids and West Michigan, WFUM 91.1 FM in Flint, WLNZ 89.7 in Lansing and WRSX 91.3 FM in Port Huron, and via the website michiganradio.org. The station has a broadcast signal that is available to approximately 80% of Michigan’s population.

“Michigan Radio’s legacy of excellence has been recognized by nearly 50 awards from the Michigan Associated Press, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Michigan Press Association and others, including being a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist,” said Richie Hunter, U-M vice president for communications. “Wendy brings the enthusiasm, experience and vision to lead this extraordinary team to bold new successes.”

Turner was the executive director and general manager of WKSU for five years before consolidation with Ideastream Public Media. Under her leadership at WKSU, the station reversed its financial trajectory by growing membership and increasing philanthropic support.

She championed numerous new content initiatives at WKSU, including recurring features and podcasts Exploradio: Origins, Shuffle, The Akron Initiative and Mark’s Almanac. In addition, WKSU made several technological advances, including developing a station app, creating a member portal, and introducing a pledge-free stream for sustaining members. WKSU was among the very first stations in the country to adopt the new public radio content management platform, Grove.

“I am truly honored to join the staff of Michigan Radio,” Turner said. “Michigan Radio has an extraordinary legacy of courageous reporting, commitment to community and spearheading innovation. I am eager to help support and accelerate these efforts.”

Turner moved to Ohio in 2016 from Chicago, where she was on the leadership team at WBEZ Chicago Public Media. She served in a variety of leadership roles over 16 years, including fundraising, technology, business development and content initiatives.

In 2008, she was named a “Woman To Watch” by Crain’s Chicago Business, and in 2009 she received a Power Up award from Street Level Youth Media. She started her public media career at Minnesota Public Radio in 1994 as a member/listener services associate.

Turner earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theater from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and will complete her Master’s in Public Administration at Kent State University this semester.