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New Leader For Essential Public Radio

DeAnne Hamilton, a 21-year veteran public broadcaster, has been hired as President and General Manager of Essential Public Radio, WESA 90.5 FM, formerly WDUQ-FM.

"DeAnne, I think, brings the requisite experience and expertise, as well as the leadership skills that we were looking for," said Marco Cardamone, chairman of the board of Essential Public Media. "We're excited to have DeAnne lead the team we're building at Essential Public Radio (EPR)."

Hamilton served from 2004 until July 15 of this year as General Manager and Director of Broadcast Services at WKAR Public Broadcasting at Michigan State University. "Joining Essential Public Radio is a fabulous opportunity to help build a vibrant, excellent news service to fulfill the need for people to be informed about the Pittsburgh community and to make their own decisions," Hamilton said. "Broadcasting in recent years has gotten into sound bite journalism, and we need to instead focus on what public radio does best, to allow all of us to hear, listen and participate."

Hamilton started in news at KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon before joining KPIX-TV in San Francisco. In 1990 she began her public broadcasting career with KQED, working there until 2004, and served in many positions including Vice President and Television Station Manager.

Essential Public Media reached an agreement to purchase the license for 90.5 FM from Duquesne University in January, and began operating the station on July 1 of this year. The sale closed on September 15. Cardamone said the search for a general manager took longer than anticipated. "We had committed from the very beginning to find the right candidate," Cardamone said. "So we didn't really put a time line on it other than making sure we found the right person."

Cardamone sees the general manager of EPR as a community figure. "There is fundraising activities. There are issues and stories and constituents in the community that need to be listened to and talked to," Cardamone said. "So, certainly this is as much an external position as it is an internal one."

Hamilton starts on October 17.