It's been more than six months since José Fajardo departed WMFE in a cloud of toothy charm and firm handshakes – and at least three pledge drives – but the staff of our local NPR affiliate has carried on, grown and excelled, despite lacking an official leader. Now the station announces their candidate search is over. LaFontaine Oliver is WMFE's new president and general manager, coming from Baltimore's WEAA-FM. The email from WMFE board of trustees chair Derek Blakeslee is below:
Derek Blakeslee, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Community Communications, Inc. (WMFE) is pleased to announce the appointment of LaFontaine Oliver to the position of President and General Manager for WMFE-FM (90.7 News). In this role, Oliver will manage the operations of Orlando’s leading public radio station.
Oliver has held a similar position with WEAA-FM in Baltimore, Maryland since 2007 where he successfully increased station funding, audience (listeners) and programming. Of his many accomplishments in this role, Oliver created and launched the then nationally-syndicated Michael Eric Dyson Show. He’s also previously held management positions with XM Satellite Radio and Radio One (Washington D.C.). A third generation broadcaster, Oliver brings more than 15 years of radio broadcast experience to WMFE-FM.
“We are very excited to bring LaFontaine into this very important role,” stated Blakeslee. “We conducted a national search for this position and received inquiries from many qualified candidates. LaFontaine’s proven record of success and passion for broadcasting stood out and we feel this combination bodes well for the future success of the station.”
Oliver leads the “New Visions, New Voices” initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting whose goal is to increase the diversity of perspective on public media. He also currently serves on the Executive Committee of Eastern Region Public Media (ERPM) and the Advisory Council of The African American Public Radio Station project (AAPRS) headed by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Marketing from the University of Miami and is currently an MBA candidate at the Merrick School of Business at University of Baltimore.
“I’m very excited to join the station and the Central Florida community,” commented Oliver. “WMFE is a key source of news and information for Central Florida. It has a rich history and talented staff. Our mission is to make WMFE the best station of its kind in not only the local market, but the United States.”