WSIU executive director to take new post in Indianapolis


Greg Petrowich. Provided.

By Brian Munoz, Editor in Chief

Greg Petrowich, WSIU Public Media’s Executive Director, will be leaving his post to become WFYI Public Media’s fourth CEO and president in Indianapolis, Indiana beginning on July 1.

Petrowich, a 1991 SIUC alumnus, served as the Carbondale-based executive director for a decade, previously holding positions in Cape Girardeau and Fairbanks, Alaska. He said in addition to being a larger market and having a larger staff, he was attracted to the journalism work the station is producing.

“They’re doing some really amazing work in journalism right now,” Petrowich said. “[WFYI] is launching Indiana’s collaborative journalism center with funding from the Lilly Endowment and the Fairbanks Foundation and the Center for Public Broadcasting.”


He said the opportunity to work in a collaborative environment was “exciting” and timing aligned with his children going off to college.

During his tenure at WSIU, Petrowich spearheaded the acquisition and merger between WSIU and “Network Knowledge” – a network of three PBS member stations in western and central Illinois which includes WSEC Springfield/Jacksonville, WMEC Macomb, and WQEC Quincy.

“This new partnership creates a unique public media enterprise for Illinois, reaching five million residents across 67 counties,” Petrowich said during an October 2018 interview with SIU Marketing and Communications. “Our goal is to offer more programming and service options, while also creating new opportunities for public media fans to access and engage with content they love”

Petrowich said combining resources would bring PBS programming, delivered through a wide range of digital platforms, to almost two thirds of the state. Additionally, coverage would be able to be expanded to state government and politics.  

“I hope that collaborative spirit continues […] I think there are other opportunities within Illinois or maybe partnering with Indiana,” Petrowich said. “The barriers are down in a digital world, you can partner with anybody. Your partner doesn’t have to be geographically close.”

Petrowich said the expansion project was one of the things he is most proud of during his time at WSIU.

“Not just because of the expansion but what it did to raise the visibility of WSIU,” Petrowich said. “One of our challenges, like so many things, is sustainability – how do you keep this going? By adding audience and adding donors, I think [ther merger] gave [the station] a real fighting chance to not only sustain, but thrive.”

Petrowich said one of his favorite aspects of the position at WSIU, housed at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is working with the students.

“Working with the students is an experience that the a lot of stations don’t get, so it’s always fun see people come through the program watch them grow and then go off and get a job,” Petrowich said.

Petrowich’s hire, who was unanimously approved by the organization’s’ board, ends a six-month national search to find a president and CEO, according to the Indianapolis Star.

He succeeds Lloyd Wright, who has led WFYI for 30 years. Wright announced his retirement in September.

“Greg is a collaborative leader,” Brenda Horn, WFYI board vice chair, said in a statement. “He’s always suggesting new ideas and bringing people together around those ideas. His passion for public media comes through at all levels.”

During Wright’s tenure, his operating budgets grew from $2.5 million to nearly $11.8 million, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Funding from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which allocates dollars appropriated by Congress, represents 14 percent of WFYI’s total budget.

Southern Illinois University will be naming an interim director for WSIU Public Media, which includes various NPR and PBS stations, before moving forward with national search for a permanent director, according to Petrowich.

Brian Munoz, Editor in Chief, can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @BrianMMunoz

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