Ronnie Agnew will become GM of WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio.
Agnew will succeed Tom Rieland, who announced plans to retire earlier this year. Agnew joins the station next month.
“I consider it an incredible honor to be chosen to lead WOSU, an organization with an outstanding national reputation in public media,” Agnew said in a news release. “I am committed that WOSU will continue to capture the vibrancy of the region and connect with its diverse audiences. This is a special moment for me, to be back in Ohio where I was once a young journalist, leading an organization that is so respected by the residents of Central Ohio.”
Agnew most recently worked as executive director for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a role he has held since 2011. During his tenure, MPB faced multiple cuts to state funding, though the state’s support increased more than 34% for fiscal year 2022. He also helped lead the Gulf States Newsroom collaboration with NPR and public radio stations.
Agnew inherits recently completed WOSU Public Media headquarters, funded in part by a $12 million capital campaign and millions more from the station’s licensee, The Ohio State University. The station is planning grand-opening events for early 2022.
An endowment has been established in honor of Rieland, the outgoing GM, to support WOSU’s future GMs and provide them with annual discretionary funding. Agnew will become the first person to hold the “Thomas Rieland Endowed WOSU General Manager” position.
Agnew has served on PBS’ board of directors. He was also board chair for America’s Public Television Stations, executive committee chair for the National Educational Telecommunications Association and board chair for American Public Television.
Before working in public media, Agnew worked as managing editor and executive editor for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and was also executive editor for The Dothan Eagle in Alabama. He was metro and suburban editor for The Cincinnati Enquirer from 1986–93.