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Fred Martino

Executive Director

Fred Martino, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Broadcasting Services at Southern Illinois University. Martino joined SIU in 2021 after 13 years of service as Director of Content/Assistant Executive Director of Broadcasting at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Martino began his career as a public media leader in 2000, when he was appointed Director of News and Public Affairs for the WGVU stations at Grand Valley State University.

Martino led significant reorganizations at all three institutions. This included strategic planning and the implementation of multimedia content creation. At NMSU, he planned and conducted research to position the station for the future, including recruitment of three focus groups. This prepared him well for his current role, where he completed a program review of the operation, reorganizing staff and programming to eliminate a significant budget deficit. Membership donations increased by more than 10 percent in the first fiscal year after the improvements.

Martino has a strong commitment to lifelong learning. At Grand Valley State University, he earned graduate degrees in communication and public administration. This paved the way for a doctorate in educational administration at New Mexico State University.

At NMSU, Martino developed a comprehensive plan to encourage employees to pursue additional learning opportunities as well. In addition to creating work plans to allow team members to pursue academic work, he sponsored several employees for fellowships with the RIAS Berlin journalism exchange, which allows journalists to learn and work in Germany. The RIAS program also includes opportunities to host German journalists in the United States, something Martino has organized for NMSU and SIU. Martino was a RIAS fellow during his time at Grand Valley State University. After participating in the program, he reported from Berlin for several stories that aired on public television.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a central part of Martino’s success in public media. At NMSU, he worked with other staff and the station’s advisory board to create the KRWG Public Media Scholar program, which raises funds for scholarships, expanding the diversity of the station’s student employees. He also completed a successful Report for America application. This meant KRWG became one of the first public media organizations accepted into the program. This allowed the station to dramatically expand coverage on the U.S./Mexico border, improving journalism at a critical time. The reporting was regularly broadcast by NPR and other member stations. An in-depth report from KRWG also aired on the PBS NewsHour, a rare honor for a member station.

Martino’s success in Michigan, New Mexico, and Illinois has been rewarded with a host of valuable partnerships. In Michigan and New Mexico, he recruited a variety of print journalism partners, vastly expanding news coverage. In Illinois, he created a program to partner with high schools that nominate high-performing students who are interviewed for WSIU’s “Top Teens” segments. He also partnered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which provided several television documentaries that have been some of the most highly successful programs for the stations. Finally, Martino worked with another public media station to launch a daily statewide radio news program on WSIU, dramatically enhancing station programming at a critical time for the region and the country.