Adrienne Fairwell will join Arizona PBS in Phoenix as GM effective April 19.
Fairwell is currently assistant GM for the South Carolina Educational Television Commission. She joined the network in 2019 as VP of marketing, communications and development.
“I am thrilled to join the incredibly talented team at Arizona PBS and even more excited for the opportunity to lead, execute and elevate its mission and the mission of public media and the role it plays within local communities,” Fairwell said in a news release. “With an established reputation built on trust, I look forward to collaborating with community partners and all stakeholders to expand on the great programming, delivery platforms and audience engagement.”
Arizona PBS is licensed to Arizona State University. Fairwell will report to Kristin Gilger, the interim dean for the university’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“Adrienne brings to the Cronkite School years of experience and a deep commitment to public television. We couldn’t be happier to have her as the new leader of Arizona PBS,” said Gilger in the release.
Before working for the South Carolina network, Fairwell was director of marketing and communications for the state’s Department of Commerce. She was also director of information services for the Department of Employment and Workforce and public information director for the Department of Revenue.
The news release notes that as a leader for the South Carolina network, Fairwell “is credited with identifying new audiences with different needs and attention spans while retaining loyal viewers.” It also said she established a partnership between the network and Furman University’s Riley Institute to begin a series of diversity, equity and inclusion classes to help train public media employees.
The new hire adds to a series of leadership changes for Arizona PBS. Fairwell will replace Julia Wallace, a journalism chair for the university who has served as interim GM after the departure of Mary Mazur. Mazur was later named GM of Vegas PBS. Arizona PBS worked with Koya Partners to recruit for the open GM position.
The Cronkite School is still searching for a permanent dean and permanent CEO for the station. The station dropped its previous candidate, Sonya Forte Duhé, after Arizona State University officials reviewed allegations that she had made inappropriate comments to students in her previous role at another university.