Public media veteran Maxie C. Jackson III has been named executive director of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-88.9FM), the station announced Wednesday.
Jackson most recently served as chief content officer for New England Public Media. He brings more than three decades of management, content and audience development experience in radio, television, digital and live events to the position.
“Maxie is a public media powerhouse,” said Erickajoy Daniels, chairwoman of the Radio Milwaukee executive director search committee. “From programming to management to audience development, he brings comprehensive and national experience to the role of executive director. Our board of directors is thrilled to be bringing Maxie to Milwaukee and looks forward to the impact he will have on the organization and the city at large.”
Jackson takes over the role previously held by Kevin Sucher, who resigned in January after less than two years on the job.
Prior to his role with New England Public Media, Jackson served as a public media consultant and leader of two national media organizations, Pacifica Foundation and National Federation of Community Broadcasters. He also served in executive roles at public radio stations WCPN (Cleveland), WNYC (New York City), WETA (Washington, D.C.) and WEAA (Baltimore).
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“I’ve had the pleasure of serving a diverse portfolio of audiences and organizations and look forward to bringing those experiences forward in my role as executive director,” Jackson said. “Radio Milwaukee’s mission of championing music, arts and culture, neighborhoods and community organizations strongly aligns with my passion for using public media to celebrate the nuance and intersectionality found throughout the patchwork of communities across the nation. More directly, public service and institution building are my motivations.”
During his public media career, Jackson has focused on public media funding, technology, recruitment and programming through service on committees initiated by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Radio Exchange, British Broadcasting Corporation, the African American Public Radio Consortium and National Public Radio. Jackson earned an undergraduate degree in mass communication broadcast management from Morehouse College in Atlanta and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Michigan State University.
As executive director, Jackson is responsible for management of the station and leading the overall organization. He officially started in his role on Wednesday and will be immediately establishing residency in Milwaukee. His wife will relocate to Milwaukee following the graduation from high school of the couple’s youngest son in May 2023. In the interim, Jackson plans to commute on a weekly basis.
The Radio Milwaukee board began an extensive national search for a new executive director in February 2022 following Sucher’s resignation. Community leader and former Radio Milwaukee board president Danae Davis served as interim executive director for the organization from February through August.
A search committee made up of current board members, a community member and a Radio Milwaukee staff member interviewed numerous local and national candidates. Cory King of Kittleman & Associates LLC conducted the search for the board.