WDUQ's sale to a non-profit joint venture has yet to be completed, but already there is a major personnel change at the station: General manager Scott Hanley will soon be signing off the air.
After 16 years in the position, Hanley announced on his blog yesterday that he accepted a job as the interim chief communications officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit located Downtown.
"It's a great opportunity," Hanley tells City Paper. "Change is both exciting and hard, but it's a way in which we grow."
Hanley's decision comes roughly three months after Duquesne University announced that the school would sell WDUQ's license to Essential Public Media, a joint venture of WYEP-FM and Public Media Company. As City Paper reported in February, the deal blindsided Hanley and other WDUQ employees who, as part of the nonprofit Pittsburgh Public Media, submitted a higher bid for the license.
Asked whether the career change was motivated by the uncertainty at WDUQ, Hanley said the foundation post "deserved consideration no matter what my status."
It's still uncertain exactly what format 90.5 will take under EPM, but it's widely believed that the new station will probably be lighter on jazz and heavier on local news. As for staffing at EPM, Hanley says it's uncertain how many, if any, WDUQ employees will transfer to the new station. But he says EPM is unlikely to make any decisions until after they hire a general manager, a position the new owner advertised shortly after the sale was announced.
Hanley tells CP he’s going to miss WDUQ -- "even to some extent, I’ll miss the pledge drives,” he jokes.
"My 16 years at WDUQ have been a remarkable experience,” he wrote on his blog. "It's been an honor to work with such an amazing community of people."
Hanley will start his new job on April 1, but says he will remain involved with WDUQ until April 15. Once he departs, an interim general manager, who has yet to be named, will take over the station’s operations ... at least until WDUQ too signs off.