The Columbus Dispatch
New general manager at WOSU coming to town from Mississippi
After months of conducting a national search to find its next general manager, WOSU Public Media has chosen an official from Mississippi Public Broadcasting to step into the leadership role.
Ohio State University has named Ronnie Agnew to the position.
Agnew brings more than 35 years of experience working in and leading media organizations, according to a news release. He has been executive director for Mississippi Public Broadcasting since 2011.
The news comes after general manager Tom Rieland announced in July that he will be retiring after 19 years with the station. His last day at WOSU will be Jan. 31.
Agnew begins his role Jan. 10 and will be just the sixth leader of WOSU in its 100-year history.
“I consider it an incredible honor to
be chosen to lead WOSU, an organization with an outstanding national reputation in public media,” Agnew said in a news release. “I am committed that WOSU will continue to capture the vibrancy of the region and connect with its diverse audiences. This is a special moment for me, to be back in Ohio where I was a young journalist, leading an organization that is so respected by the residents of central Ohio.”
Agnew graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor's degree in English/radio and television in 1984, and from 1986 to 1993 he worked as the metro and suburban editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
While at Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Agnew led a $1.3 million threestate news collaborative funded by National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He also developed a fifth channel for instructional teaching in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Education to support K–12 learning during the pandemic.
Agnew's experience in print journalism includes time as managing and executive editor at the Clarion-ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to that, he served as executive editor at the Dothan Eagle in Alabama.
During Agnew's career, he has covered major events, including Hurricane
Katrina. In 2018, he was named by Our Mississippi Magazine as one of the 25 most influential African Americans in the state.
With Rieland retiring, an endowment in his honor has been established, and Agnew will become the first person to hold the “Thomas Rieland Endowed WOSU General Manager” position. The endowed position will support the role of general manager at WOSU in perpetuity while providing future general managers annual discretionary funding, the news release stated.
Agnew also will get to experience the recently opened WOSU broadcast headquarters at 1800 N. Pearl Street in the University District. The four-story, 53,000-square-foot center is about one-third larger than its previous location, and is filled with state-of-the-art TV and radio equipment, lush studio spaces and editing suites, indoor and outdoor engagement areas and other features.
“Ronnie brings an impressive mix of experience in broadcasting and print journalism and has a proven track record as an organizational leader,” said Jay Kasey, senior vice president for Ohio State University's Office of Administration and Planning. “I also want to thank Tom Rieland for his more than 19 years as WOSU'S general manager. Ronnie inherits a thriving organization and a new WOSU headquarters that will foster strengthened connections to our community.” firstname.lastname@example.org @micah_walker701