Joe O'ConnorPresident & Chief Executive Officer
Joe is the President and CEO of WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR news source.
WFAE’s mission is to provide journalism that informs, enriches, and inspires. Its vision is to co-create a more knowledgeable and engaged community grounded in our shared humanity. Its new strategic plan calls for WFAE to “Be the Bridge” between priority community initiatives – as identified in Charlotte’s Opportunity Task Force (OTF) recommendations – and the community at large, and demand accountability and transparency from our community leaders.
As CEO, Joe oversees all aspects of station operations, including WFAE’s award-winning newsroom and Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. He has worked extensively to increase funding to the station, leading to more than 25% growth in revenues, including more than a 30% increase in listener-contributors now numbering over 20,000 and a 34% increase in corporate sponsorship. During his time at the helm of WFAE, the station has reached record audience levels with more than 225,000 listeners per week and over 100,000 digital users.
During Joe’s tenure, WFAE has won numerous regional Edward R. Murrow awards including two awards for Overall Excellence and for the station's work covering the unrest in Charlotte after the shooting of Keith Scott. WFAE has also launched successful podcasts such as SouthBound hosted by former Charlotte Observer columnist Tommy Tomlinson.
With its remarkable revenue growth, WFAE has increased its newsroom staff by a full 50%.