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WKAR’s Julie Sochay, Brant Wells in the News

Julie Sochay

This past week brought national news with two of WKAR Public Media’s staff.  WKAR’s Senior Director of Content and Communication Julie Sochay has been selected to participate in Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative (PMDLI), a program of the Riley Institute at Furman University offered in partnership with South Carolina ETV and modeled after the Institute’s award-winning South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative.  MAB members may recognize Julie Sochay; she was Executive Director of the MAB Foundation for several years.

She is one of 33 individuals to be a part of the initiative’s third cohort. Participants will take part in a highly interactive curriculum comprising scenario analyses and other experiential learning tools that supports public media leaders in their efforts to apply diversity, equity and inclusion principles to behaviors, systems and cultures within their organizations.

Collectively, PMDLI participants reflect a vast public media ecosystem, representing both television and radio as well as a variety of geographic regions, audiences, affiliate organizations, and diversity dimensions. Upon graduating from the program in June, members of the class will help identify future program participants.

“The Riley Institute is proud to play a role in connecting a network of public media professionals who are committed to managing, leading and meeting the needs of increasingly diverse workers, clients and audiences,” said Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this program will have in communities across the country.”  For more information about PMDLI, visit

Brant Wells

Also this past week, WKAR Public Media announced the election of Brant Wells, Senior Director of Television Production and Operations, as the PBS Digital Media Advisory Committee (DMAC) chair.

DMAC members act as advocates for stations and collaborate with PBS Digital to ensure that stations’ needs are met, and priorities considered as PBS Digital delivers products and services to the system.

“DMAC is at the forefront of digital strategy and product development for all PBS stations nationwide,” said Wells. “The work is vital so that we can provide exceptional content to our communities in the ever-evolving media landscape. The work done within the council will not only help WKAR serve the Capital Region, but all stations and their communities.”

DMAC members actively participate in soliciting and sharing station feedback and assisting with general outreach within the system. Feedback and outreach activities include participating in PBS Digital professional development events, providing feedback on draft communications, actively participating on the PBS Digital Station’s blog and participating in other mentoring activities involving stations.

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