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May 4, 2022

WKAR public media GM Susi Elkins accepts new role; Shawn Turner serves as interim GM

Susi Elkins, WKAR Public Media general manager and director of broadcasting at Michigan State University, will leave the station to become chief community development officer at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.

Elkins, who began her career at WKAR as a student employee and became general manager in 2017, made the announcement April 28 that her last day at WKAR will be May 27.

"I grew up at WKAR and I’m so grateful to all those who nurtured my professional growth with such care and kindness,” said Elkins in a meeting with WKAR staff on April 28. “What a joy it’s been to work with people who truly love their craft. It shines through in everything you do, delighting our members and making my time here incredibly rewarding.”

In collaboration with MSU, Elkins led the effort to launch the first ATSC 3.0 experimental station licensed to a public media organization and established WKAR’s NextGen Media Innovation Lab to accelerate development of public service applications, including the launch of a NextGen TV Course, through the National Educational Telecommunications Association Public Media Learns platform.

Shawn Turner has been selected to serve as interim general manager and director of broadcasting at WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University. Turner is a professor of practice in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU and a national security communication analyst for CNN.

As interim general manager and director of broadcasting, Turner will work with WKAR senior leadership to move forward with the strategic plan, strategic priorities, and the upcoming, yearlong Century of Service celebration that Susi Elkins and the collective WKAR leadership team have set in place. Turner is an expert in communication leadership, strategy, and crisis management, having served in communication leadership roles with governmental, private sector and non-profit organizations.

“It is an immense honor to be selected to serve as interim general manager,” Turner said. “Under Susi’s leadership, the team at WKAR has worked tirelessly to develop and deliver quality programming that really connects with viewers and listeners. I’m looking forward to supporting and advancing the great work that is already under way as we continue to serve the WKAR community.”

Turner's appointment takes effect immediately. To assure a smooth transition, he will work alongside Elkins through her last day at WKAR on May 27. A national search will be conducted in the year ahead to fill the role of general manager and director of broadcasting for WKAR at Michigan State University.

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