Wedu Names New President and Ceo: Susan Howarth Takes Helm

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The Board of Directors of Florida West Coast Public Broadcasting, Inc. - Wedu - announced today its selection of Susan Howarth to become the organization's fifth president and chief executive officer in the station's 52-year history. Wedu, one of the largest public media organizations in the state of Florida, serves 16 counties on the west coast including the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota areas.

Thanks to great community support, the organization is in a strong position and ready to move forward with an expanded schedule of programs and services, and to seize the opportunities presented by new and evolving media. I look forward to leading those efforts

The Board of Directors of Florida West Coast Public Broadcasting, Inc. - Wedu - announced today its selection of Susan Howarth to become the organization's fifth president and chief executive officer in the station's 52-year history. Wedu, one of the largest public media organizations in the state of Florida, serves 16 counties on the west coast including the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota areas.

Ms. Howarth, who will assume her duties at wedu within the month, succeeds Richard (Dick) Lobo, who after almost eight years with Wedu, announced his intention to retire last September. He promised to stay on as ceo until a successor was named. Lobo has since been nominated by President Obama as the administration's Director, International Broadcasting Bureau, a position based in Washington D.C. His appointment is pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

"The search committee worked long and hard to find a successor to Dick Lobo, who's a tough act to follow," said Geoff Simon Wedu Board member and chair of the search committee. "We surveyed members of the community, wedu staff and supporters for their input. After an extensive national search we are delighted to bring someone with Susan Howarth's talents and experience to lead Wedu."

Ms. Howarth, a 35-year veteran of public broadcasting, has been an integral part of the ongoing transition of public broadcasting to public media delivered across a variety of platforms. Most recently, Howarth served as president and chief executive officer of Wcet - the first-licensed educational television station in the nation serving the Cincinnati, Ohio area. During her tenure with Cet, Howarth led the charge to launch the nation's first public media website to prominently feature on-demand video. In addition to driving the growth of planned giving and major donor initiatives, Howarth led the creation of "Common Ground," the area's multi-year effort to address race relations in Greater Cincinnati.    

"I'm honored and thrilled to be selected to lead Wedu and to have the opportunity to work with the talented staff and dedicated Board of Directors," said Susan Howarth.

"Thanks to great community support, the organization is in a strong position and ready to move forward with an expanded schedule of programs and services, and to seize the opportunities presented by new and evolving media. I look forward to leading those efforts," Howarth said.

Prior to her work at Cet, Howarth held executive posts with the Arkansas Educational Television Network (Aetn) and the Aetn Foundation, where she launched several new services and established an endowment for the network. Howarth's public media experience also includes programming responsibilities at Wned/Wneq-Western New York Public Broadcasting; Wuft-Tv in Gainesville, Florida; Kozk-Tv in Springfield, Missouri and Connecticut Public Television (Cptv). Ms. Howarth has served in leadership positions with numerous regional and national public broadcasting organizations including the Pbs Board of Directors where she served as Vice Chair for three years.

"There is a new tomorrow for public media and it's incredibly important that Wedu remain in front of the curve. Susan's talents and experience will keep Wedu the treasured community resource that it has been for the past five decades," said Barry Alpert Wedu chairman of the Board.

Wedu is west central Florida's primary Pbs station reaching 16 counties through multiple media platforms including on-air broadcasting and online experiences that broaden horizons, transport and transform and open gateways to new ideas and new worlds. Financially supported by the community, the station offers a wealth of award-winning inspirational, educational and enlightening content over a variety of multi-media platforms including: television programming; opportunities to serve the extended communities through the station's fully interactive website, wedu.org; monthly member magazine Premiere, and various special events and educational outreach activities. Wedu's focus on the local community has resulted in the station being regarded as a beacon of trust for men, women and children of every walk of life no matter their age, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Wedu is a treasured community resource; a window to the world for the homebound and a vital educational source for our youngest members of society. Wedu prides itself on its position in the Tampa Bay community as a leader, partner, informed citizen and a member of Pbs, the most trusted institution in America (2010GfK Roper Public Affairs Media Survey).

For more information visit http://www.wedu.org/

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