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Ron Jones named program director at WDET-FM

September 3, 2009

DETROIT - WDET-FM 101.9 has named veteran public radio administrator Ron Jones as program director, effective Sept. 8. The announcement was made by J. Mikel Ellcessor, general manager of WDET.

Jones, who previously was vice president of programming with Chicago Public Radio, will oversee WDET's broadcast and editorial operations. In Chicago he managed programming including news, music, engineering and other initiatives, for WBEZ-FM as well as affiliates WBEQ-FM in Chesterton, Ind., and WBEW-FM in Morris, Ill. He also developed new programming.

"I am very pleased to welcome Ron Jones to WDET-FM," Ellcessor said. "He is a seasoned, experienced professional with deep experience at major stations in large, diverse cities. He has been a part of public radio's national success story and he knows the power of non-commercial media. He also understands the need for public radio to broaden its appeal, and he knows about the hard work involved in building bridges to new, diverse audiences.

"WDET will continue to build a contemporary, forward-looking relationship with people across the region, and Ron will be a great ambassador. He makes a compelling case for how WDET can fulfill its promise as a valued participant in the re-imaging of a great city."

Jones joined Chicago Public Radio in 2002. Under his leadership, WBEZ and its affiliates received numerous national and regional awards for programming and journalistic excellence. While in Chicago, he also provided management oversight to WLUW-FM, an independent community station licensed to Loyola University and managed by Chicago Public Radio.

Prior to joining Chicago Public Radio, Jones was program director with WGBH-FM in Boston. His responsibilities included oversight of on-air staff, promotions, audience research and fundraising activities. He also was general manager of WERS-FM in Boston and program director with KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Mo., and KANU-FM in Lawrence, Kan.

Jones is on the board of The World Vision Report and is a past member of the Public Radio Program Director's Association. He earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Kansas.

WDET 101.9FM is Wayne State University's public radio station and is Southeast Michigan's station for in-depth news, conversation and music. WDET serves over 165,000 individuals every week and is one of Detroit's few remaining media outlets whose primary mission is to serve the region through locally focused news and cultural programming. WDET's daily talk show, Detroit Today, has established a position among the state's political, economic and cultural leaders as a credible, trusted venue for serious, considered conversations on the region's most pressing concerns. In addition to award-winning local news service, WDET is also the National Public Radio (NPR) member station for metropolitan Detroit.

WDET is also furthering its position as a leading public radio station by partnering with WNYC, New York Public Radio and Public Radio International (PRI) in the development of The Takeaway, the first new public radio morning show in over 25 years. The Takeaway is designed to welcome new audiences into public radio through a contemporary news format and an interactive, multi-platform strategy. WDET continues its long tradition of serving the audience through an expanded and updated approach to community engagement through its community programming strategy, as exemplified by the DPS Robert Bobb Town Hall, the Health Care Reform Town Hall and the series Facing the Mortgage Crisis: Home is More Than Our House. This programming strategy is designed to turn the audience into the programming and bring authentic, under-heard voices to the region's airwaves.