New WMUK-FM manager hails from NPR station in Maryland

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Stephen Anthony Williams.

Williams

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Stephen Anthony Williams, a National Public Radio station manager on Maryland's Eastern Shore, has been named the new general manager of Western Michigan University's WMUK-FM, effective July 1.

Williams has been general manager for WESM-FM at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore since 2011. Prior to that, he was interim general manager of the station for 18 months, and he served at that station for four years as an award-winning news and public affairs director and morning news host.

"Stephen Williams brings a strong background in station management, community engagement, strategic planning and grant writing and fund raising," says Dr. James Gilchrist, WMU's vice provost for budget and personnel and chief information officer, who led the nationwide search. "Those are the traits we were out to find, and we're delighted to have him on board."

Stephen Williams

In addition to experience at the Maryland station, Williams' background includes positions with an XM Satellite station and two AM stations in Arlington, Virginia. Before beginning his broadcast career, Williams taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa's Republic of Cameroon. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, who majored in communication and minored in music.

Williams' current station is similar to WMUK in format, offering a mix of music, news and public service programming. He says he's excited about the fundamental strengths he found at his new broadcast home in Kalamazoo.

"The thing that stands out to me most is that WMUK has a truly dedicated staff, and that the administration of Western Michigan University is fully committed and supportive of the station's success," he says. "Importantly, there is also a community of listeners and supporters that stand behind the station, and it's clear to me that both the station and the University are deeply engaged in serving both Kalamazoo and greater southwest Michigan. In my experience, these are critical ingredients for success."

Williams will replace Gordon Bolar, who is retiring June 30 after five years as WMUK general manager and more than 20 years in public radio and public television management.

"I'm grateful for all that Gordon Bolar has done," Williams says. "My goal is to build on his success and move the station forward toward greater growth."

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