KEXP in Seattle announced that Executive Director Tom Mara will retire from the music station.
Mara will leave KEXP June 30, 2022, and will assist the board of directors’ search for a new leader.
“Tom has made the decision to transition out of this role at a time when the station’s listenership, influence and financial support are at an all-time high,” said KEXP Board President Jill Singh in a news release. “That’s a beautiful gift, one that puts us in the best possible position to identify the station’s next leader.”
Mara joined KEXP as a volunteer in 1987 when it was known as KCMU. He later worked as development director, station manager and sales manager.
Mara left the organization in 1999 to work as director of corporate support for WXPN in Philadelphia, then rejoined KEXP in 2000 in his current position.
In the news release, KEXP credited Mara with “taking operation and ownership of the station into the community’s hands” by helping to establish the nonprofit Friends of KEXP and the transformation of KCMU-FM to KEXP-FM in 2001.
“Under Tom Mara’s leadership, KEXP grew from a 400 watt, locally-focused college radio station into one of the most influential radio stations in the world, one that can break bands,” said KEXP board member and SubPop Records CEO Megan Jasper in the release.
The station also said he helped grow listener support from “a few thousand to over 28,000 music lovers” and led the creation of a new studio after a $15 million capital campaign.
“It has been an honor to serve the KEXP community over the past three decades,” Mara said in the news release. “I am deeply proud of the growth, heart, and commitment of our staff and supporters who always put music and mission first. I am also eternally grateful for the musicians who inspire and heal us — they are the connective tissue between our communities.”