Seattle, Washington: Jeff Hansen, program director of KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, has announced that he will retire February 1, 2016, after 16 years at the station.
Hansen became program director at KUOW in March of 2000. One of his first goals was to expand local content production and presence, a theme he has maintained throughout his tenure with KUOW. By hiring more local programming staff and deploying more local content throughout the schedule, Hansen helped KUOW craft a more distinct and unique sound that made the station a destination for listeners. KUOW has consistently ranked as the number one radio station in King County under his tenure.
Hansen demonstrated his leadership in the industry by discovering, developing or debuting important national programs on KUOW, including Vinyl Café, Travel with Rick Steves, Day 6, and The Tavis Smiley Show. He has also been a pioneer in the movement to shift midday programming to newsmagazine style, an ambitious move that has proven successful for KUOW with increases as high as 40 percent in listening.
Hansen also founded and led public radio’s News Talk Group, an industry group of NPR news stations. With his focus on listeners and dedication to localizing programming to reflect the unique Puget Sound region, Hansen has helped elevate KUOW to be a leader among public radio stations.
“Jeff has made a significant impact during his 16 years as program director at KUOW,” said Caryn G. Mathes, president and general manager of KUOW/PSPR. “He has a keen understanding of broadcast audience behavior and has skillfully guided the station through a changing radio landscape, while putting the listener first. His leadership and progressive thinking have helped KUOW remain at the forefront of public radio in our region, and his 36 year career in public radio leaves a lasting legacy.”
Hansen began his radio career in 1980 as a talk show host at WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1990 he moved to Wisconsin Public Radio where he helped create, produce and host the show Clark & Company. In 1992 Hansen accepted his first program director position at WERU in Blue Hill Falls, Maine, where he helped solidify the station’s place in the community as a distinctive music service.
In 1994 he became program director in Houston, Texas, at KPFT, a Pacifica station where Hansen strengthened the station’s position in the community as an Americana music service. In 1996 Hansen became program director at KERA-FM in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, where he helped the station build on its recent change to an NPR News station.
KUOW will conduct a national search to find a successor for the program director position.
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