Ann Alquist, a media leader with broad public radio experience, has been named the executive director and general manager of WBHM 90.3 FM — NPR News for the heart of Alabama — a listener-supported service of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Alquist will direct the operations of WBHM and the Gulf States Newsroom as she develops and executes a strategic plan for the station’s news, programming, fundraising and community engagement missions.
“Ann is a smart and talented leader whose passion for public radio is evident,” said UAB Chief Communications Officer Jim Bakken, APR. “WBHM provides an invaluable service to the Birmingham community and beyond, and Ann has the ability and vision to chart a course and inspire an incredibly talented team at WBHM to best serve listeners and our region.”
Alquist comes to Birmingham from The Public’s Radio 89.3 FM in Providence, Rhode Island, where she serves as assistant general manager and previously served as chief progress officer. She recently worked on loan from The Public’s Radio as director of community engagement for America Amplified: Election 2020, working with eight public radio journalism collaboratives across the country to support coverage through digital engagement platforms, community conversations and text-to-engage.
Prior to her time in Providence, Alquist worked as audience engagement manager with the Bangor Daily News in Maine; executive director of KDHX Community Media in St. Louis, Missouri; director of membership at Alaska Public Media; and director of radio engagement for the National Center for Media Engagement.
Alquist completed her undergraduate education at The Evergreen State College, received her master’s degree in media management from Ohio University, completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany and was a journalism instructor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
“It is an honor to lead a dedicated and talented team as WBHM’s next executive director,” Alquist said. “I am looking forward to building on WBHM’s success as a free, public information and news resource. This is especially exciting in Birmingham, a community with rich traditions that include valuing local journalism. I am eager to work with the staff and communities across the heart of Alabama to chart WBHM’s next chapter, together.”
Alquist will start her new role July 6.
WBHM is much more than a radio station — it is an essential public resource that enlightens and enriches its audience and makes strong connections to communities through journalism that is fair, credible, accurate and honest. Free from commercial and political influence, WBHM seeks to make Birmingham and Alabama a better place to live by educating, engaging and entertaining the people of its metro area and state. WBHM is dedicated to the idea that an informed citizenry is vital to democracy and a thriving economy, and it celebrates diversity, innovation and lifelong learning.