A veteran public broadcaster has been hired as president and general manager of Essential Public Radio, WESA-90.5 FM (formerly WDUQ-FM). DeAnne M. Hamilton, who previously ran public broadcasting operations in East Lansing, Mich., and San Francisco, starts Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh’s only independent public radio news and information station.

Hamilton served more than seven years as general manager and director of broadcasting services at WKAR Public Broadcasting, Michigan State University in East Lansing, where she led a $7 million organization that included four digital television stations, three non-commercial cable channels, two HD radio channels and an online operation.


From 1990 to 2004, she worked at KQED Inc. in San Francisco, where her titles included VP and television station manager, senior director of TV productions and operations, executive producer, associate director and senior producer. Hamilton started in news at KATU-TV (ABC) in Portland, Ore., before moving onto KPIX-TV (CBS) in San Francisco.

She is a member of the Editorial Integrity for Public Media Steering Committee, a former member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of Public Television Stations and, until recently, served on the Public Broadcasting Service Board of Directors. Hamilton is a graduate of the University of Washington, earning a B.A. in Communications.

“Joining Essential Public Radio is a fabulous opportunity to help build a vibrant, excellent news service to fulfill the need for people to be informed about the Pittsburgh community and to make their own decisions,” said Hamilton. “Broadcasting in recent years has gotten into sound bite journalism, and we need to instead focus on what public radio does best—to allow all of us to hear, listen, and participate.”

“We are excited to have DeAnne lead the team we’re building at Essential Public Radio,” said Marco Cardamone, Chairman of Essential Public Media, which owns WESA-FM. “Her experience and expertise will help accelerate our goal to deliver high-quality global, national and locally produced news, information and cultural programming that is engaging, relevant and inspiring.”

Essential Public Radio continues to broadcast from studios on the campus of Duquesne University. A move to the WYEP Community Broadcast Center on Pittsburgh’s South Side is planned for November. The new station can be heard on 90.5 FM in Pittsburgh.

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