Sally Eisele, a 30-plus year veteran of the radio industry, has been named general manager of Interlochen Public Radio (IPR). Eisele was most recently the managing editor of WBEZ, where she was involved in its transformation from a traditional broadcast model to Chicago Public Media, a multi-platform media organization that actively uses digital channels to attract new audiences while still serving the radio station's devoted listener base.
Jeffrey Kimpton, President of Interlochen Center for the Arts (the licensee of IPR), said Eisele's experience with this rapidly changing media landscape makes her uniquely qualified to lead a similar transition at IPR. "Interlochen's vision for the future is comprehensive audience participation through enhanced digital content that transforms public radio to public media," said Kimpton. "With Eisele's expertise and direction, Interlochen looks to build a rich, multi-platform experience on top of it's strong foundation of local public broadcasting."
Interlochen's Vice-President of Communication and Engagement, Jenie Altruda, sees the opportunity to broaden audience engagement through these enhancements. "Through the use of online streaming, HD channels, podcasts, and enhanced video content, IPR's strengths in classical music and journalism and Interlochen's unique perspective of the arts will be accessible to both local and global audiences," said Altruda.
In Eisele's previous role at Chicago Public Media, she oversaw a staff of roughly 40 editors, reporters, hosts, producers and interns. A nationally recognized and award-winning National Public Radio station, WBEZ is known for its original programming including the unprecedentedly popular podcast "Serial" and the nationally syndicated program "This American Life." During her time at WBEZ, Eisele organized a public affairs department committed to multi-platform coverage of the important news stories of the day, long-term enterprise and investigative work as well as simple stories of people and place. Under her leadership, the talented staff at WBEZ has won dozens of local, regional and national awards for that blend of journalism. Those honors include a 2013 national Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence.
Eisele studied journalism at Michigan State University, began her public media career in Michigan at WKAR in East Lansing and went on to become managing editor of the Michigan Public Radio Network and host of the daily statewide news magazine program State Edition. Before joining WBEZ, Eisele spent 12 years at KQED in San Francisco where she was the founding senior producer of the acclaimed "California Report."
For Eisele, an amateur musician who has long vacationed in northern Michigan, Interlochen Public Radio is an ideal opportunity.
"To return to this place that I have always loved, and to do so for IPR, is a chance of a lifetime, and a great privilege," she says.
Eisele will begin her new role as General Manager at IPR effective February 16, 2015.