The U:SA and its affiliates mourn the death of Connie Walker, President and General Manager of WUNC, Chapel Hill, NC; and Treasurer of the U:SA Board of Directors.
Connie spent her 30+ years of professional service in public media, first as a reporter and News Director at Wisconsin Public Radio and then as News Director at WUNC prior to her appointment as President and General Manager in 2009.
During her time at WUNC, Walker “played a vital role in our station’s growth and many successes”, according to Nora Casper, Director of Finance and acting President and General Manager. Casper went on to say, “Under Connie’s accomplished leadership, WUNC strengthened its commitment to producing and air quality news programming, serving North Carolinians and remaining one of the nation’s most high-performing and respected public radio stations.”
Among those accomplishments was an 80% increase in revenue between 2009 and 2021, and the acquisition of WFSS to extend the broadcast range, and an added Triple A music service.
According to WUNC Board Chairwoman Hannah Gage, “Connie loved public radio to her core, and her personal mission was to extend it and high-quality news to as many people as possible.”
U:SA Board Chair, John Hess noted, “Connie was always so helpful to her peers in public media. She was gracious with her time, providing mentoring so many up-and-coming public radio leaders. I think I speak for everyone on the University Station Alliance board that we deeply mourn her passing.”
“We have known Connie since her days doing news at Wisconsin Public Radio. She always handled her many responsibilities – wherever she was – with strength, clear perspective, directness, and humor. We will truly miss her”, said Tom Thomas, SRG Co-Director.
In addition to her board service with U:SA, Connie served on boards for Eastern Region Public Media, NPR, SRG, Greater Public, and the Public Media Journalists Association among others.
Connie will be missed by those who knew and worked with her, and by those who unknowingly benefitted from her passion, dedication, and professionalism in the service of public radio and its listeners.