José Fajardo is leaving WMFE

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  We just got an email from WMFE CEO José Fajardo announcing his departure from WMFE, effective Dec. 1. The press release from WMFE Board Chair Bob Showalter is below. You can read it while we try to pick our chins up off the floor. And hope they keep us on the air with "From the Pages of Orlando Weekly" after José is gone.  
Contact: Bob Showalter, WMFE Board Chairman, Showalter Flying Service, Inc.  Showalter Aircraft Management, Inc. (407) 894-7331 bob@showalter.com (October 26, 2012) The WMFE Board of Trustees today announces the departure of José A. Fajardo, WMFE’s President and CEO since 2007. Mr. Fajardo started with WMFE as director of radio programming in 1996, and recently led the successful completion of the sale of Channel 24 to the University of Central Florida in late September. Mr. Fajardo’s official last day of employment is December 1, 2012, though José plans to take vacation for most of the month of November. ‘When we began our discussions about the possible sale of Channel 24, Mr. Fajardo made it clear to the Board that once WMFE became a radio-only operation he would initiate a dialog with the Board about his future,” said WMFE Board Chair Bob Showalter. “José was clear that a new and smaller 90.7 would not need a highly compensated CEO and to his credit he kept his word about having that conversation. After preparing 90.7 News to succeed on its own after the sale of Channel 24, José and the Board mutually agreed to downsize the role of the CEO. José decided to take this opportunity to seek new challenges.” “l’m thrilled and delighted on how well prepared 90.7 is today to become Central FIorida’s premier local news station while continuing to be the source' of the wonderful programming availahle from NPR. The  staff is one of the hardest working and most dedicated staffs l’ve had the pleasure of working with during my 29 year career,” eaid José A. Fajardo. “l’m grateful to the WMFE Board for their leadership during some of our most challenging times, and l’m honored to have served WMFE and Central Florida in ajob I loved.” Fajardo leaves 90.7 News on a sound footing. Audience numbers and listener contributions are at their highest levels since becoming an  station. WMFE-FM is ranked 23rd out of 275 public radio markets in the nation and the station enjoys a weekly audience of over 200,000 listeners. During last month’s fund drive 90.7 News exceeded its goal of $180,000 by raising over $200,000, including 12 new major donors. Fajardo’s many accomplishments at WMFE include the successful transition to digital television, the production of many local awarding winning TV and radio programs, the format change to an all-news radio station, and audience growth for 90.7. This past year, Mr. Fajardo added eight local commentators to the station’s programming, launched the “My Voice” segment and developed plans for the hiring of three additional local reporters for 90.7 News that will proceed as scheduled. “The Board has nothing but the highest regard and respect for José. He led WMFE during some very difficult times and consistently demonstrated strong leadership and detennination. The entire Board joins me in congratulating José for his over “I6 years of service to WMFE and we wish him continued success,” said Showalter. The WMFE Board of Trustees will conduct a national Search to hire a new general manager for WMFE FM.

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