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WFAE CEO Joe O'Connor resigns


After eight years at the helm of WFAE, President and CEO Joe O’Connor has decided that it’s time to step down.

Joe O’Connor, CEO of WFAE.
Joe O’Connor, CEO of WFAE.

During O’Connor’s tenure, the station increased revenue as well as the number and diversity of staff, on-air voices, listeners, users, and vendors while transforming WFAE into the region’s most trusted, nonprofit, multimedia, local news source.

O’Connor led the station through the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw a successful $1.2 million campaign to fund the newsroom’s award-winning Race & Equity Team created in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. He was twice elected by fellow station leaders across the country to NPR’s Board of Directors and in 2017, was named Leadership Charlotte’s “Newcomer of the Year” while earning the dubious distinction of becoming the best last-place finisher in the history of the Charlotte Ballet’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

O’Connor also recently achieved a key strategic objective by moving WFAE’s headquarters to uptown near First Ward Park, where it will become an even greater resource to our community through in-person engagements and events.

“I am and will always be immensely grateful,” O’Connor said, “for the distinct privilege to work with this insightful Board & talented staff along with WFAE’s amazing listener/user contributors & sponsors to expand this essential public service over the last eight years.”

“On behalf of the board, I want to express our deepest gratitude to Joe. The transformation he led to take WFAE from just a public radio station to a digital, multi-platform source of excellent local journalism will be his crowning achievement. I am personally grateful for his leadership and service to WFAE and the greater Charlotte community,” said Chris Cicoletti, chairman of WFAE’s Board of Directors.

Effectively immediately, Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Ju-Don Marshall will serve as interim CEO while a search for a successor is conducted.