Sutton to lead audience and development division for Pittsburgh stations

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John Sutton, GM of WESA in Pittsburgh since 2017, has moved into a new role as VP of audience and development. 


The job change is part of a management restructuring by Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of all-news WESA and Triple-A format WYEP, that took effect on Thursday.

After Abby Goldstein departed this summer to become president of the Public Radio Program Directors Association, PCBC leadership took time to rethink its management structure and ultimately decided to revamp the GM jobs for both stations, according to Sutton. Both roles have been redefined as station managers who supervise programming, staffing and operations. They are no longer directly responsible for raising money or managing marketing. 

Mike Sauter, who had been PD of WYEP, stepped up to station manager, taking over many of the duties that Goldstein handled as GM, while WESA will launch a national search for its next manager. Neither station will employ a PD.  


As VP of audience and development, Sutton will manage a new division of PCBC that consolidates fundraising, marketing and digital operations for both stations. 

Sutton will handle audience development and work with both GMs to analyze ratings performance and find opportunities for growth. “I won’t be making the programming decisions,” Sutton said. “I’ll be showing people where the opportunities are and making sure we don’t mess up.”  

He’ll also oversee all fundraising departments for both stations. 

Previously, fundraising staff who directed membership, major gifts and sponsorships reported to both GMs. “They had two bosses — reporting to me and Abby,” Sutton explained. Under the new division, fundraising activities will be “more clearly focused and prioritized,” he said. 

Sutton and both station managers report to Terry O’Reilly, president of PCBC.

WESA and WYEP merged under PCBC in 2015. Sutton, who had been a fundraising and programming consultant to radio stations, returned to his hometown two years later to become WESA GM.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that managers at WESA and WYEP would be GMs, but the jobs have been redefined as station managers. The story also has been updated to include details about the reporting structure within PCBC’s leadership team.

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