After a decade at Detroit’s public radio station, WDET General Manager Michelle Srbinovich has resigned and accepted a position with the American Journalism Project (AJP). Srbinovich’s last day at WDET will be July 12.
“It's been an absolute honor to serve as the leader of this critically important public institution, a role that I was not ready for but provided time to grow into,” Srbinovich said. “This new role with the American Journalism Project will provide me with an incredible opportunity to more broadly impact the future of local media in this country without having to leave home, here in Detroit.
“I look forward to bringing my passion for public-service media and experience driving growth at WDET to build and empower an ecosystem of local civic news organizations that are sustained by, governed by and look like the public they serve.”
Srbinovich will start on July 15 as the AJP’s managing director, civic news organization success. In this role, she will guide investments in local news organizations and provide ongoing advice and counsel to grantees to maximize their operating performance and community impact.
Some of Srbinovich’s accomplishments during her 10-year tenure at WDET — five as GM — include:
- WDET named Michigan Association of Broadcasters Public Media Station of the Year (2015) for the first time
- Recently led the station through the development and adoption of a comprehensive strategic growth plan in partnership with nationally recognized consultants, Atlantic 57
- Led WDET through a financial turnaround and put it on a path toward long-term sustainability by creating efficiencies, increasing community support and diversifying revenue streams
- Led WDET’s digital transformation and grew audience across platforms by increasing investments in award-winning local programming, technology, audience engagement, and new models of community reporting and storytelling
- Launched two, live local daily radio programs — CultureShift, Detroit’s only daily radio show dedicated to local arts and culture, and Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson, WDET’s most successful local public affairs program
WDET is a public service of Wayne State University, which will retain a search firm to support the recruitment and hiring of a new general manager. In the interim, WSU Chief of Staff and Vice President of Marketing and Communications Michael Wright will continue to oversee the station with support from members of its leadership team.
“WDET has accomplished transformational growth over the better part of the last decade,” Srbinovich said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team and will be eternally grateful for Wayne State and the community’s support of the station through a pivotal time in Detroit’s history.”