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Michigan Radio announces new Executive Director and General Manager

Wendy Turner photographed at Andrew Collings Photography studio, Chicago, IL.  Photo by Andrew Collings.
Andrew Collings/Andrew Collings/Andrew Collings Photography
Wendy Turner photographed at Andrew Collings Photography studio, Chicago, IL. September 14, 2016. Photo by Andrew Collings.

Following an extensive nationwide search, Michigan Radio is pleased to announce the hiring of Wendy Turner as the station’s new Executive Director & General Manager. Turner will begin her duties at Michigan Radio on January 2, 2024.

Turner is currently a member of the Executive Team at Ideastream Public Media in Cleveland and general manager of Ohio Public Media Services. In that role, she oversees statewide initiatives on behalf of Ohio's fifteen public TV and radio stations, including The Ohio Channel, The Statehouse News Bureau, and The Ohio Newsroom. 

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, UM 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. 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. Michigan Radio has an extraordinary legacy of courageous reporting, commitment to community, and spearheading innovation,” said Turner.” 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 sixteen 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 replaces Stephen Schram, who retired as Michigan Radio’s previous Executive Director & General Manager in late 2022.

Suzanne Belanger is a Marketing Associate at Michigan Public, coordinating community and media partnerships, public relations, special events, and more. She started working in radio when she was 14 years old at her hometown station in Delphos, Ohio. Throughout her radio career, she’s worked at a number of stations in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.