WOSU Public Media Announces New Managing Director

Ohio State University has appointed Ronnie Agnew as the new CEO of WOSU Public Media. Agnew brings over 35 years of experience working and leading media organizations. He most recently served as Executive Director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB), a position he had held since 2011.

“I consider it an incredible honor to be chosen to lead WOSU, an organization with an outstanding national reputation in public media,” said Agnew. “I am determined that WOSU will continue to capture the region’s vibrancy and connect with its diverse audiences. It’s a special moment for me to be back in Ohio where I was a young journalist, leading an organization so respected by the people of central Ohio.

“Ronnie brings an impressive mix of experience in broadcast and print journalism and has a proven track record as an organizational leader,” said Jay Kasey, senior vice president of the state administration and planning office. from Ohio. “I would also like to thank Tom Rieland for his over 19 years as Managing Director of WOSU. Ronnie inherits a thriving organization and a new WOSU headquarters that will strengthen ties with our community.

As Executive Director of MPB, Agnew has directed statewide radio and television programs that reached every home in Mississippi; oversaw the agency’s legislative, educational and digital initiatives; and managed its budget of $ 12 million and 94 employees.

Agnew’s accomplishments during his tenure with MPB include:

  • Lead a $ 1.3 million three-state news collaboration funded by National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Development of a fifth channel for pedagogical education in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Education to support K-12 learning during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Develop a strategy to increase audience engagement by producing over 20 hours of local radio programming per week
  • Growing digital content, including 50,000 MPB app downloads and over 1.5 million podcast downloads

“As Chairman of the Friends of WOSU Board of Directors, I look forward to welcoming Ronnie to WOSU Public Media and Central Ohio,” said Kyle Anderson, Director of Marketing and of communications, State Auto Insurance. “Ronnie’s deep experience in public media and journalism will help ensure continued positive momentum at an important time in WOSU’s history. We deeply appreciate Tom Rieland’s management of the organization and will fully support Tom and Ronnie throughout this transition.

Agnew will only be WOSU’s sixth leader in its 100-year history. WOSU recently opened a new show Headquarter located at 1800 N. Pearl St. in University District 15 + HIGH. The five-story, 52,000 square foot building is designed to be accessible and to inspire innovation, collaboration and community connections. The specially designed facility has been flexibly designed to allow for change as the media evolves, as well as to provide opportunities to engage the community in experiential activities and events. Opening events are scheduled for early 2022.

Agnew will begin his role on January 10, 2022 and replace retired Tom Rieland.

“Ronnie is a seasoned journalist and an outstanding leader in public media. I have just left the PBS Board of Directors after six years of working alongside Ronnie and I can tell you that he will bring incredible insight and knowledge to the leadership of WOSU and do so with a focus on how best to serve all of the citizens of central Ohio, ”said Rieland. , who is retiring from his current role as CEO on January 31, 2022.

One donation in honor of Rieland was created and Agnew will become the first person to hold the position of “General Manager Thomas Rieland Endowed WOSU”. The staffed position will support the role of CEO of WOSU in perpetuity while providing future CEOs with annual discretionary funding.

Agnew recently completed a second term on the PBS National Board of Directors and remains a member of the PBS Editorial Standards Committee, where he was instrumental in a major standards review. He has also chaired the diversity and nomination committees of PBS. Agnew is the former chairman of the board of directors of the American public television networks (APTS) and was chairman of the executive committee of the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). Agnew recently completed a term as Chairman of the Board of American Public Television, the largest content syndicator for US public media stations. He is a member of the Organization of State Broadcasting Managers.

Agnew has joined The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi as editor in 2001, then was editor from 2002 to 2011. For four years prior, he was editor at Dothan’s eagle in Alabama. He knows Ohio well, having worked as editor-in-chief of the metro and suburbs of the Cincinnati Applicant from 1986 to 1993. During his career, he won numerous industry awards and covered major events such as Mississippi Civil Rights and Hurricane Katrina. In 2018, Agnew was appointed by Our Mississippi magazine as one of the 25 most influential African Americans in the state. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in English / Radio and Television in 1984.

The public media executive search firm NETA Consulting successfully conducted the national research that resulted in this appointment of the next CEO of WOSU.

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Lance B. Holton