Staff Profile - JoAnn Urofsky, General Manager, WUSF Public Media
Q. What was your first job at WUSF and what did you do for the station?
A. WUSF Public Media had four stations in the 1980s. A radio and TV station in Tampa and a radio and TV station in Fort Myers. I was hired to be the station manager of WSFP FM in Ft. Myers in 1992. In 1994, I was managing both radio stations and in 1997 when Florida Gulf Coast University was built, USF gave the two Fort Myers stations to FGCU and they became WGCU FM and TV. I came to Tampa in 1997 as part of that transition.
Q.Are you still doing the same job, or something different?
A. Now, I’m associate vice president and general manager of WUSF Public Media which consists of all our media properties and initiatives. So many things have changed that it couldn’t possibly be the same job. The essence of what we do at WUSF hasn’t changed but the nature of how we do it has changed dramatically. On the air we’re still keeping people informed with our news and public affairs, entertaining people with our wide variety of music and cultural programming, and educating people with programs designed for adults and kids. Off the air, we’ve been active in libraries and classrooms, with educational programs for students. We have significant reporting blogs and engagement projects for the community and so much more.
Q.When / how did you first learn about public broadcasting?
A. I grew up in a household where the radio was always on, but it wasn’t public radio. We watched public TV and I grew up on Zoom! It seemed like the only program on TV that was for me! After college, I was a DJ at a pop music station in Charleston, WV and the person who was training me encouraged me to go over to the public radio station where her husband was the general manager. Fortunately, they had an open position and I got the job.
Q.What makes you look forward to coming into work every day?
A. I truly love the work we do at WUSF and I get to do it with terrific people who are dedicated to providing excellent service to our audience and the community. Every day brings a different challenge and I like a good challenge!