Shawn Turner named GM for WKAR Public Media

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Shawn Turner, interim GM for WKAR Public Media in East Lansing, Mich., has been appointed to the job on a permanent basis.

Turner formally succeeds Susi Elkins, who left Michigan State University’s dual licensee in May.

“Shawn’s experience in broadcasting, communication leadership and strategy, alongside his time serving as the interim general manager, make him the ideal person to continue to lead WKAR,” said Prabu David, dean of the college of communication arts and sciences, in a Wednesday news release. “During his time as an interim director, Shawn has demonstrated steady leadership and the talent necessary to take the station into the next century of service.”

Turner served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 21 years before working in communications for the National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He also served as deputy White House press secretary for national security during the Obama administration.

Turner will retain his roles as a professor of practice for MSU’s communications college and as a national security communication analyst for CNN. Before his appointment as interim GM, Turner hosted COVID-19: Answers and Insight, a public affairs television series that WKAR produced from March through May 2020.

Turner told Current this summer that as interim GM he planned to continue the work Elkins prioritized with ATSC 3.0. He also aims to convert more of WKAR’s viewers to PBS Passport, the streaming service for station donors.

“I am deeply honored and excited to serve as the next general manager alongside the talented team of professionals at WKAR,” Turner said in the news release. “We know how much this station means to our community and we are going to continue working tirelessly to deliver programming that informs, educates and inspires. I am confident that the best is yet to come.”

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