..they pull me back in.

I’m back.  Back to public radio.

At first, the clip from “The Godfather, Part III” came to mind:

As apt as that Al Pacino moment may seem in the context of going back to the realm of coffee mugs and pledge drives, my “return” is pretty exciting.
I have accepted the position of General Manager for WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama. The people and the community impress me. It reminds me a bit of Pittsburgh – and WDUQ – in 1995. A city with a legacy in steel, evolving into a center for medicine, commerce, and education. The changing media world is offering up the potential for public media to take an even larger role in convening and informing the public.  It is a great opportunity with a dedicated, talented staff in a special city with a great university, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a strong community of listeners and supporters. I am eager to contribute to the success of what is next.

My radio career (or, should I say, my first paid radio job) started in September 1978.  The same month and year as a TV show about the business, sort of.  WKRP.

When I started, I was still a teen. From that media job to others, like Gary Sandy’s character from WKRP, I moved around the country.  When I first moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, a colleague’s family emergency pulled me into on-air TV pledge drives just a couple of weeks after my arrival.  Over the years, one radio and TV job to another, there wasn’t a week when I wasn’t on the air somewhere, somehow, either live or “transcribed.”

And so it went for more than three decades.  About a year and a half ago, I left not just public radio, but broadcasting as my full-time gig.  Things had changed and moving on made sense.  Things do end. Even good things.

The past year and a half has been a fascinating experience, working with new groups of great and diverse people doing interesting and valuable work.

Now, another hand has been dealt in the realm of radio.   WBHM in Birmingham.

I regret leaving the State Theatre in Uniontown before their hopes and ambitions for the 90th Anniversary Season are fully realized.  It is a great organization on the rise, with a dedicated board, staff and volunteers, serving a remarkable community with a fascinating history. I will continue to support them – and encourage you to, too!   (Season opens with the musical, Titanic – September 29, 2012 – call (724) 439-1360 to order tickets for that and many other great performances).

To my friends in Pittsburgh, Uniontown, Michigan, Iowa, Texas and more, up and down the dial, I leave a bit of my heart with you. It has been a privilege to have had so many people and places welcome me home.

See you on the radio in Birmingham!


About sehanley

Musician, journalist, teacher, technologist, consultant & former NPR station manager. A media and entertainment professional, journalist, entrepreneur, technology advocate, educator, student, mentor, manager, and media, musical and theatrical performer. Voice talent and coach for music and spoken word. I also act and sing (mostly jazz, but a lot of experience with choral, classical and musical theater, too). Brass instruments, too, but my AF ofM card lapsed years ago. Heard on the national jazz service, PubJazz, and in the Pittsburgh market on WZUM/Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. I also teach college level courses in media and journalism. I managed the leading NPR/public radio station in Pittsburgh, PA for 16 years, a few years later was GM of the NPR station WBHM in Birmingham, AL. I served for six very busy years on the NPR Board of Directors and have done much volunteer service for national and local organizations in the communities I have been privileged to live and work in. Former NPR Board Member, former President of the Pittsburgh Radio Organization, sometime musician, relentless technology advocate. Opinions expressed are not the viewpoints of any employer or affiliation past or present.
This entry was posted in NPR, Pittsburgh, State Theatre, UAB, Uniontown, WBHM, WDUQ, WKRP. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to ..they pull me back in.

  1. Pingback: The Gift of the Krumkake – Redux | Scott Hanley's news, tech, culture

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