Ward to begin new WFDD position directing development activities

Linda Ward, who has led public radio station WFDD to unprecedented increases in listener and corporate support, is moving from her position as station manager to a new position enabling her to focus solely on developing station support.

Ward will begin her new responsibilities July 10 as executive director of station development at WFDD (88.5 FM), Wake Forest University’s National Public Radio member station.

“We’re looking forward to giving Linda the opportunity to devote her creativity exclusively toward WFDD’s continued growth,” said Samuel T. Gladding, Wake Forest’s associate provost whose responsibilities include overseeing WFDD’s management. “Since joining WFDD’s staff in the early 1990s, Linda has shown an extraordinary talent for welcoming more individuals and businesses into the WFDD family of supporters.”

Ward’s main responsibilities will be soliciting corporate underwriters, organizing fundraisers and generating revenue from other sources.

“From my first days here, my most fulfilling activities have been planning and leading fundraising events and meeting directly with station supporters,” Ward said. “In this new position, I will be able to give those activities my full attention.”

Gladding will launch a national search for a new station manager soon. He anticipates a manager joining the station by early fall.

“I’m forming a committee now to assist in finding a new manager,” Gladding said. “My plan is to include some of the station’s staff, as well as representatives of the university and the community.”

At this point, not all of the committee members have been appointed.

Bob Workmon, WFDD’s programming director, will serve as interim station manager.

Ward joined WFDD’s staff in 1994 as community relations director. Her responsibilities included planning and implementing a corporate underwriting sales program, supervising listener marketing efforts, planning and staging special events and assisting with designing and carrying out fundraising campaigns. She was named station manager in 1997.

Since joining the station’s staff, Ward has seen WFDD’s corporate underwriting climb from $40,000 to $280,000 annually. Last spring’s on-air fundraising event attracted $150,000. Approximately $200,000 was pledged in last fall’s fundraiser.

Seventy-five percent of WFDD’s approximately $1 million annual budget comes from fundraising activities. Gladding hopes that Ward’s development efforts may eventually lead to fundraising supporting WFDD’s entire budget.

As manager, Ward has also overseen a wide range of equipment upgrades at the station’s Wake Forest studio, while establishing a Guilford County bureau in downtown Greensboro. She has also worked to develop greater station interaction with a larger number of the communities served by WFDD in its 32-county region.

Recently, Ward has served as the president of the North Carolina Public Radio Association.

“Linda’s contributions to WFDD are evident throughout the station’s operations, and I am grateful for all that she has done for the station,” Gladding said. “In her new position as executive director of station development, she has the opportunity to continue contributing to WFDD’s success and growth.”

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