Louisville Public Media, the parent company of Louisville’s NPR news station 89.3 WFPL News, Classical 90.5 WUOL, 91.9 WFPK Radio Louisville and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, announced today that its board of trustees has chosen Michael Skoler as the organization’s next President and General Manager.
Skoler, who currently serves as Vice President of Interactive Media for Public Radio International, will succeed Donovan Reynolds, who retires Sept. 30.
“I’ve spent the last dozen years working at the cutting edge of a changing media world,” Skoler said. “I’m joining Louisville Public Media because I believe it has the passion to define the future for public radio — a future well beyond radio or the web. In a world of online friends and endless news and music streams, LPM can help people share understanding, forge bonds, solve problems and lead richer lives. And we’ll do that through audio, video, text, apps, events and honest conversations.”
Skoler will begin Dec. 1. An interim management team consisting of LPM Director of Development Layla George, Executive Editor Stephen George and Chief Financial Officer Dennis Stovall, will assume leadership of the organization from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30.
“The board felt deeply that our next leader should possess a forward-thinking vision of the new media environment, while understanding the importance of maintaining quality service to our current radio audiences,” said LPM Board Chair Todd Lowe. “Michael has experience in creating and leading digital strategies, fundraising and collaboration, and producing award-winning journalism. This makes him the ideal choice to guide our organization into the future.”
While at PRI, Skoler oversaw the organization’s online and social strategy, as well as its technology platform. He led the re-launch of PRI.org as a global news, issues and culture site, increasing its digital audience tenfold.
Skoler also designed and raised funding for PRI’s special coverage of gender equity (Across Women’s Lives), immigration and identity (Global Nation), the 2016 election (The UnConvention), and youth and international security (SafeMode).
Prior to PRI, Skoler was an award-winning science and foreign correspondent for NPR, best known for his coverage of the genocide in Rwanda. He was an early pioneer in crowdsourcing and founded the Public Insight Network of 250,000 citizen sources now used by more than 60 newsrooms nationwide.
He is also a serial collaborator, having created the Public Radio Collaboration that brought networks and hundreds of stations together for shared coverage from 2002-05. He partnered with the Center for Public Integrity in 2012 to fund and lead the first State Integrity Investigation that ranked every state on its risk of government corruption. And he worked with the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., to launch the online federal budget game BudgetHero, which has been played by millions of people.
Skoler has written for magazines ranging from Glamour and Reader’s Digest to Medical World News. He produced a daily, syndicated radio show on science for CBS, reported for WGBH-TV in Boston and wrote for the popular Let’s Go budget travel guides. In 1999, he earned an MBA at the University of Virginia as a Frank Batten Media Fellow and joined McKinsey and Company as a consultant serving media and technology companies. He has taught and lectured on journalism in the U.S., Europe and Africa, and was a Nieman Fellow in 1992-93.
The selection of Skoler caps a search process facilitated by Livingston Associates, a national Public Media Executive Recruiting firm.