Alan Chartock, who has served as CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, N.Y., for more than four decades, has retired, the organization announced Thursday.
His retirement is effective immediately. Stacey Rosenberry, director of operations and engineering, will take over as WAMC’s interim CEO.
“This has been the journey of a lifetime and I have loved every minute, every challenge and every opportunity for growth this work has afforded me,” Chartock said in a press release. “But it’s time to let a new crop of leaders take the helm and I have every confidence that the Board and staff will more than rise to the occasion.”
Chartock began leading the station in 1981. Prior to working at the station he was a political science professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
He became well-known as the public face and voice of the station. The Wall Street Journal once acknowledged his reputation with a column that referred to a “cult of Alan.”
“I can think of no other public radio manager that has as much power as Alan Chartock,” Mark Vogelzang, now CEO of Nevada Public Radio, said in a Current profile of Chartock in 2011.
During his time at WAMC, Chartock expanded the broadcaster into a 29-station network that serves seven states. He also created programs for WAMC, including The Capitol Connection, a weekly show in which he interviews political leaders in New York.
“More than all the stations and all the programming, Alan built a community,” said Dorothy H. Reynolds, chair of WAMC’s board of trustees. “He built it with a passion and an energy that was just boundless. While we are incredibly sorry to see him leave the leadership of WAMC, he has more than earned the right to step down and relax a bit. While Alan’s retirement is effective immediately, he has assured us he stands ready to continue to help in any way we might need his support.”
“His retirement is effective immediately.”
Uhhh. I feel like there’s mighty deep waters under this surface…?
Alan is one of those pubradio folks whom I often didn’t particularly LIKE but he’s impossible to not RESPECT. What he’s accomplished might be awe-inspiring or nails-on-chalkboard grating…or both :) …depending on your perspective. But I’ll insist to the death that what he’s done is a *major* accomplishment.
Am I worried for WAMC? No, not especially. It’s a strong brand with strong infrastructure underpinning it. Could his eventual successor find it impossible to fill his shoes? Possibly, but even doing a bad job of filling Alan’s shoes might be a pretty good job by any objective measure.
The only thing I would *potentially* ding him for…and I guess now we’ll find out…was the (apparent) lack of a succession plan for a station that had so much of its branding and even its programming reliant on its leader. Hopefully that won’t prove to be too much of a problem.
And hopefully Alan finds a way to “switch it off” and actually enjoy his retirement! :)