WDIY-FM taps McConnell as next executive director

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Lehigh Valley native to expand presence, visibility and reach
of public radio and digital media organization

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Margaret McConnell — a widely respected strategic partnership, marketing and not-for-profit professional — has been named the next executive director of WDIY-FM, the award-winning public radio and digital media organization that has served the Lehigh Valley with locally produced content and curated music for 29 years.

McConnell succeeds Greg Capogna, who will retire February 29, 2024, after five years in his position and more than 48 years in commercial and public radio. She started her new role February 5.

“Margaret is an experienced and highly regarded community champion who will spearhead continued growth as the station nears its third decade of serving the region,” said Karen El-Chaar, chair of the WDIY board of directors. “She is the perfect person to leverage the stability and expansion we saw during Greg’s tenure and expand WDIY’s presence in the community across all platforms.”

McConnell will be responsible for managing all aspects of the not-for-profit station’s operations with a focus on community and corporate partnerships, audience outreach, membership, fundraising, fiscal growth and fostering a collaborative, inspiring environment for the WDIY team.

“I will bring my passion for serving the community, building relationships and connecting people to all facets of WDIY’s operations,” said McConnell. “The station is the unequivocal leader in bringing a diversity of voices, viewpoints, conversations, music and culture to the greater Lehigh Valley. I’m honored to have the opportunity to amplify everything the station represents.”

She joins WDIY as the next step in a prolific Lehigh Valley career. Most recently, she was director of strategic partnerships at People First Federal Credit Union following a role as enterprise marketing manager at Alvin H. Butz, Inc., and The Butz Family of Companies. She has also been vice president of marketing and communications at Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

Moving forward from a position of strength

McConnell’s appointment comes as WDIY enjoys its strongest outlook in the station’s history. While many other local news outlets have contracted over the past 10+ years, WDIY has dramatically expanded its programming and is featuring more diverse voices and perspectives than ever. The station has attracted prominent community figures as on-air hosts and cemented strategic relationships with key community leaders. It produces 21 regular long-form community programs, with every episode available on all popular podcasting platforms, the WDIY mobile app, and at wdiy.org in addition to being broadcast at 88.1 FM.

On top of a seasoned staff, WDIY has over 120 passionate volunteers and trusted subject matter experts producing 80 public affairs, news and music programs. The station also has strategic partnerships with more than 60 local non-profit organizations and major music venues in the Lehigh Valley.

The station continues to provide the richest music mix and local artist interviews on the airwaves. It is also the region’s long-time source for NPR programming, including news programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

The WDIY team has won 25 awards in the past two years from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and the Keystone Media Awards, including the coveted Keystone Media Award “Outstanding News Operation” Radio II Division twice, making it the most awarded Pennsylvania radio station outside of the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh markets.

“WDIY is a tremendous asset for the Lehigh Valley. We have an opportunity — as well as an obligation — to bring people together to have conversations and share perspectives about the issues that affect how we live and enjoy our lives,” said McConnell. “WDIY has never been in a better position to do that. And it has never been needed more.”

A resident of Allentown, Pa., McConnell is an alumna of King’s College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

About WDIY:

WDIY is an award-winning listener-supported public radio station and NPR station based in the Lehigh Valley. WDIY broadcasts on 88.1 FM serving the Lehigh Valley and beyond with a translator on 93.9 FM serving the Easton-Phillipsburg area. WDIY streams on the web at wdiy.org, on its app for smartphones and tablets, and through smart speakers.

Information provided to TVL by:
Shamus McGroggan