Trustees Create Board To Govern WUNC Radio

Mar 26, 2015

Credit Keith Weston / WUNC

Trustees at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill are changing the organizational structure of North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC.

A governing board will be created to oversee the radio station. The board will be made up of several trustees, several appointees made by the trustees, Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs Joel Curran, and WUNC President and General Manager Connie Walker.

The station has not previously been governed by its own board. Currently, Walker reports to Curran, who reports to UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. 

Update 6:20 PM:  Walker says, "This board is more of an oversight board to look at the station’s businesses operations and is not going to get into day-to-day management or editorial decision making."

UNC Trustee Haywood Cochrane helped spearhead the new structure. He says Trustees will transfer the station's FCC license to a non-profit Limited Liability Company that will be owned by UNC. He says the new oversight will allow the station to be more nimble: "Oversight can be looking at financial reports on a regular basis, making sure that we’re investing in the right sorts of opportunities, whether it’s replacing a tower, whether it’s adding 200-feet to a tower, to add 40,000 listeners - whether it’s looking at the acquisition of somebody else's signal."

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees  has 13 members. Eight are appointed by the General Assembly and four by the governor. The final member is the Student Body President. The Board of Trustees owns the FCC license for the station.

North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC is a 100,000 watt NPR member station with repeater stations in Rocky Mount, Manteo and Welcome, NC. WUNC does not receive direct financial support from the university, but does receive in-kind support. The station is on university property, and WUNC employees receive state benefits.

The station serves nearly 300,000 listeners each week from the Outer Banks to Forsyth County. 

Read UNC's news release here.

This article originally stated that UNC Chancellor Carol Folt would be a member of the new governing board. That was incorrect.