Corey Lewis hired as WGCU general manager

Following an extensive search, WGCU is pleased to announce that Corey Lewis will be WGCU Public Media’s next general manager.

Lewis spent the first 18 years of his career in commercial TV in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Rhode Island. In 2002 he joined WBUR, the public radio station on the Boston University campus, as director of corporate support and development and then served as station manager for 15 years.

WBUR is the third-largest NPR member station in the country and has produced several nationally distributed programs, including Car Talk, On Point, Only A Game, Here and Now, and Radio Boston, in addition to a robust podcast portfolio. While there, Lewis grew annual revenues from $15 million to $40 million; the station ranked first in the nation for net revenue per listener hour.

Lewis is passionate about growing underwriting, membership, development, distribution, community engagement, marketing, and audience insights to advance public media’s mission.

“Corey’s references were unanimously admiring of his intellect, professionalism and drive, and also said that he is collaborative, fair, kind, transparent and respectful. I think he is the right person to help grow the excellent organization that Rick Johnson has built,” said FGCU Vice President, University Advancement, and Executive Director, FGCU Foundation Kitty Green, in making the announcement.

Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree from Boston University in Administrative Services with a concentration in Innovation and Technology. His wife, Kathleen, has experience in media and non-profits, and they have two sons, one in 8th grade and one who is a college freshman.

Lewis will be in Fort Myers on May 17 so that he can have a couple of weeks’ transition with Johnson, who retires at the end of May.

Cheryl Forte, whose family lives in both Massachusetts and Florida, has been a member of the WBUR Board of Overseers. “The ties between Southwest Florida and the Northeast are numerous including the support and appreciation for public media. Our family supports WBUR in Boston and WGCU because we live in both places. I have seen first-hand what Corey and his team can do with our investments in Boston to expand service and help our communities have a better understanding of the world. I have confidence that Corey can lead his new team to have the same success at WGCU.”

Lewis explained why he believes WGCU is the right place for him as well. “I knew that WGCU and Florida Gulf Coast University was the place for me when I learned more about the tremendous impact that the institution has on Southwest Florida,” Lewis said. “The region is red and blue, old and new, yet WGCU is among the strongest NPR and PBS services in the nation. This success tells me that the entire country has the potential to celebrate our common ground and our differences in the same way as WGCU engages Southwest Florida.”

WGCU Public Media Advisory Board chair Judy Bricker expressed her optimism about the future as well. “We are so fortunate to have someone of Corey’s experience and leadership in the industry to carry forward WGCU’s mission and vision. We look forward to working with him on the projects we have in process and those to come.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Corey Lewis as the next general manager at WGCU. With his impressive background, we all look forward to working with him as he leads an already highly successful organization to new heights in public media,” said Jim Hale, who will chair the board when a new term begins April 14.