WMFE in Orlando, Fla., has hired journalist and consultant Judith Smelser as GM.
Smelser has served as interim GM since September. She established an editing and consulting firm in 2013, through which she has provided training services to more than 30 public media stations, including WMFE.
“After a nationwide search and interviewing a number of well qualified candidates, we have selected Judith as the person to lead the station on a permanent basis,” Donna Mackenzie, chair of WMFE’s board of trustees, said in a press release. “Judith embodies the qualities and experience we believe will allow the station to reach its full potential, enhancing and building the focus on journalism and service to our community.”
Smelser previously worked as assistant news director and later managing editor at Colorado Public Radio. Her new position is her latest stint at WMFE, where she began her career in public radio as a reporter in 2004 and ascended to the role of news director in 2007. She launched WMFE’s political talk show, Intersection, now hosted by Matthew Peddie.
“My ambition was never to lead a station,” Smelser said. “But for me, WMFE is not just any station. My career has taken me all over the country and given me a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing public media and journalism; now I get to put that experience to work for an organization and a community I love and consider my home.”