Boise State Public Radio Hires Tom Michael As General Manager

May 16, 2016

Tom Michael will join Boise State Public Radio as general manager July 6.
Credit Boise State Public Radio

Boise State Public Radio has announced the hiring of Tom Michael as its next general manager.

Michael is the founder and general manager of Marfa Public Radio and West Texas Public Radio. Considered to be the preeminent small market public radio station in the country, Marfa Public Radio has won 16 Edward R. Murrow awards the last two years.

Prior to founding the station in 2005, Michael was a freelance writer and editor. He also served as an editor for Encyclopedia Britannica in the 1990s. He’s a 1991 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.

Michael will join BSPR on July 6.

“It has a lot going for it as a local leader in the market with loyal membership, a talented staff and wide coverage across southern Idaho,” Michael said. “I’m honored to take the helm at Boise State Public Radio. I seek to deepen its mission in the community, extend its strategic partnerships and raise its national profile.”

The search was led by Boise State Dean of Extended Studies Mark Wheeler and included a committee of station and university staff, as well as members of the Boise State Public Radio Community Advisory Board.

“(Tom’s) entrepreneurial spirit, his journalistic integrity and accomplishments and his success developing local programming earned him the nod among a talented pool of applicants,” Wheeler said.

Michael’s hiring follows the resignation of former General Manager John Hess in December.

Peter Morrill, who came out of retirement to lead BSPR for the past four months, will step down on May 27 but has offered his assistance when Michael arrives in July.

“Peter exhibited significant leadership at Boise State Public Radio in a crucial time for the station,” Wheeler said. “We greatly appreciate his dedicated service.”

Boise State University announced Michael's hiring in a press release Monday morning.

Boise State University is pleased to announce that Tom Michael, founder and general manager of Marfa Public Radio and West Texas Public Radio, will take over as general manager at Boise State Public Radio (BSPR) beginning July 6, 2016.

Michael’s accomplishments in Texas have been featured by the Columbia Journalism Review, the Poynter Institute, and recently on Current.org. Under his leadership, Marfa Public Radio won in numerous categories at the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for two consecutive years. Michael founded Marfa Public Radio in 2005. Prior to that, he worked in Chicago as an editor for Encyclopedia Britannica, a public radio consultant and a freelance writer. Michael said he’s excited to take the reigns at BSPR, calling the station a gem that provides a vital public service.

“It has a lot going for it as a local leader in the market with loyal membership, a talented staff and wide coverage across southern Idaho,” he said. “I’m honored to take the helm at Boise State Public Radio. I seek to deepen its mission in the community, extend its strategic partnerships and raise its national profile.”

Boise State University President Bob Kustra said Michael’s demonstrated leadership and vision will make him an invaluable part of the public radio team. 

“Tom is an innovator in radio and storytelling who took a small rural radio station in West Texas and grew it into a million-dollar network of four stations covering issues important to that region’s citizens. I’m excited to have him join the Boise State family,” Kustra said.

That vision made Michael a compelling candidate, said Mark Wheeler, dean of Extended Studies at Boise State who oversees station leadership.

“His entrepreneurial spirit, his journalistic integrity and accomplishments and his success developing local programming earned him the nod among a talented pool of applicants,” Wheeler said.

Peter Morrill, who came out of retirement to lead BSPR for the past four months, will step down on May 27 but has offered his assistance when Michael arrives in July. 

“Peter exhibited significant leadership at Boise State Public Radio in a crucial time for the station,” Wheeler said. “We greatly appreciate his dedicated service.

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