Rhode Island Public Radio announced Tuesday it has hired Torey Malatia, who led Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, for nearly 20 years, as its new president, CEO, and general manager.
During Malatia's time in Chicago, he co-created with Ira Glass the popular public radio program “This American Life,” and he had a hand in creating the NPR quiz show “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.”
Malatia replaces former RIPR general manager, Joe O’Connor, who left for a job in Charlotte, North Carolina, this past January. He was hired following a national search, and said the commitment of RIPR's newsroom and the opportunity to foster community is part of what attracted him to Rhode Island.Listen to an interview between RIPR's Ian Donnis and the station's new head, Torey Malatia.
As far as his vision for the station, Malatia said, "I think that it's very important that any institution that is devoted to public-serving journalism draw upon the people it serves to determine its direction. There's a notion sometimes that journalism is somehow removed from the public that is consuming its work, and actually the public is the source of its work."
Malatia continued, "It's very important that we deepen the relationship with the community to find out exactly what the needs are -- what are the prominent and most essential kinds of stories, kinds of bridges that need to be built between different groups of people who are trying to solve problems together, and how can Rhode Island Public Radio help. That information has to come from the community that is being served. It can't come from us to them."
Rhode Island Public Radio, the only NPR member station in the Ocean State, was established in 1998.
The station broadcasts on three frequencies, 88.1 FM in the Providence area, 91.5 FM in western RI, and 102.7 FM from mid to southern Rhode Island. The station's newsroom includes beat reporters covering healthcare, politics, and the environment, as well as a political analyst.