President and CEO of WNYC Radio Laura Walker '87 Receives Edward R. Murrow Award
Laura Walker '87, president and CEO of WNYC, has been named the recipient of the 2008 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Since 1977, the CPB has presented this prestigious award to recognize individuals who foster public radio's quality and service and shape its direction. The award is named for the legendary reporter, producer, executive and government official, who championed responsible, courageous and imaginative uses of the electronic media during his distinguished 30-year career.
Walker has been president and chief executive officer of New York public radio stations WNYC AM 820 and 93.9 FM since December 1995. As the first non-mayoral appointee in WNYC's 77-year history, Walker led WNYC Radio into a new era of autonomy, transforming the organization from a City agency into a not-for-profit public broadcaster and raising the $20 million necessary to purchase WNYC's AM and FM radio licenses from the City of New York.
During her tenure, WNYC Radio has achieved the rank of the #1 radio station in Manhattan. WNYC is now engaged in a $57.5 million capital campaign to finance the station's move to new headquarters at 160 Varick Street and to fund new programming initiatives.
Walker has also spearheaded many new programming initiatives, including the expansion of WNYC's news and documentary units, extended live concert programming, the introduction of American standards host Jonathan Schwartz, and the creation of new national programs Studio 360, The Next Big Thing, and Satellite Sisters. She was recently awarded the 2002 Public Radio International Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Walker began her professional career as a journalist and producer at National Public Radio, where she received a prestigious Peabody Award for Broadcast Excellence. She later joined the staff of Carnegie Hall where she launched the award winning series, AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight. She spent eight years at Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop) where she headed the development department and later led the organization's efforts to establish a cable television channel, now Noggin.