WUSF GM elected vice chairwoman of NPR board

WUSF General Manager and National Public Radio board member JoAnn Urofsky will continue to bring new technology and national experience to Tampa due to her recent election to the post of vice chairwoman of the NPR board of directors.

“I think what I have been able to do is get the station more involved in some of the (new) technology sooner then would have been possible otherwise,” Urofsky said. “I am more aware of the issues, and knowing the people at NPR on a much different level really helps.”

Urofsky, a graduate of Syracuse University with a master’s in broadcast communications, was elected to the position by fellow board members following two years of service on the board, and will hold the position for one year. As vice chairwoman, Urofsky will be focusing on the areas of strategic planning, technology and membership.

“The chair of the board (Tim Eby) had decided the direction that he wanted to take the board in,” Urofsky said. “He decided that he wanted the vice chair to handle these three things.”

As strategic planner, it will be Urofsky’s job to help set goals for NPR that include increasing audience size and attracting more resources. Her experience and expertise with the technological aspects of NPR is something WUSF stands to benefit from greatly.

“WUSF is beta-test station for something we call the content depot. It is a new method that (NPR stations) will receive programs by; it’s not satellite based,” Urofsky said. “Everything will be stored on a massive hard drive, and each station will be able to cache certain programs and store them and basically have them delivered over the Internet.”

This new system will depend on massive informational hubs hosted by NPR members. Currently, the only hub in existence for NPR is in Washington, D.C., but WUSF will soon be the second locale to house such a system.

“We will be testing that, reporting our results back to the public radio community and leading in that way,” Urofsky said.

In addition to her new duties as vice chairwoman, Urofsky is also serving on two other committees — the governance committee and the investment committee. As part of the governance committee, Urofsky helps recruit for and manage the board of directors, which meets quarterly. On the investment committee, she helps oversee NPR investments and spending.

“We decided together what we would do and how we wanted the board to work this year — it was very collaborative,” Urofsky said.