Wake Forest Associate Provost Samuel T. Gladding, who oversees the station’s management, has announced new staff appointments, a formal statement supporting WFDD’s editorial integrity, and a newly-established advisory board. He made the announcement in a Feb. 4 letter to Wake Forest faculty and staff.
Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. appointed Gladding last fall to supervise WFDD (88.5 FM) shortly after a controversy developed between the station and the university, which holds the station’s license and operates the station. Three WFDD journalists, who have since resigned, publicly voiced their objection to a university administrator’s request to limit the station’s coverage of a Wake Forest trustee report regarding Wake Forest Baptist Church, which meets on the campus.
The new developments at WFDD follow Gladding’s visits to public radio stations across the country and his meetings with current and former members of the WFDD staff.
“WFDD has a distinguished past and a bright future as a public radio station,” Gladding said. “I’m happy to report positive developments that will assure WFDD continues to meet its listeners’ expectations for quality programming.”
WFDD broadcasts classical music, as well as local news and National Public Radio (NPR) programs.
In his letter, Gladding announced that Paulette Cott has been promoted to news director and Bob Workmon has been appointed program director. Cott joined WFDD as a reporter in 1999 after working at South Dakota and Kansas radio stations as a reporter and news director. Immediately before coming to WFDD, she served as news director at public radio station KCSD in Sioux Falls, S.D., while teaching journalism part-time at the University of Sioux Falls. Throughout the 1990s, Cott received a number of Associated Press awards. She earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism at the University of Kansas.
Workmon is a former WFDD staff member who left the station in 1997 to join the Winston-Salem Journal as an arts reporter. He returned to the station in February. Workmon served as WFDD’s music director from 1993 to 1997 and chief announcer from 1989 to 1993. His experience includes working at public radio stations at the University of South Florida and Bradley University. He received a bachelor of arts in music at the University of South Florida.
Workmon joins Kimberlea Daggy in hosting music programming. Daggy, an announcer who joined WFDD in 1993, has been promoted to music director. She received a bachelor of music in voice at Northwestern University, followed by graduate study in opera performance at Yale University and Arizona State University.
Gladding also announced the adoption of a formal statement of integrity for WFDD. In part, the statement reads, “The university is committed to maintaining the full confidence of the public in the editorial integrity of our (WFDD) news and programming, and to assuring all citizens that station management has the freedom necessary to provide WFDD’s services effectively.”
The statement also declares, “We recognize that as surely as programming is WFDD’s purpose and the product by which our audiences judge the value of the station, that judgment continues to depend upon their confidence that our programming is free from undue or improper influence.”
“In developing this statement of integrity, we have benefited from my visits to public radio stations in several states,” Gladding said. Gladding notes in his letter that the statement is modeled after one written by public radio station KPLU in Tacoma, Wash.
Gladding announced that a community advisory board has been created to assist the station. The board’s members include Ann Boozell of Greensboro, a news anchor for NPR’s “Weekend Edition;” Julian C. Burroughs Jr., professor emeritus of speech communication at Wake Forest; Jim Fletcher, a Guilford County businessman and long-time WFDD supporter; and Hazel Flack of Winston-Salem, a retired schoolteacher and veteran volunteer at WFDD.
“Membership on the board will rotate so that we continue developing fresh ideas and offering new perspectives to WFDD,” Gladding said.
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