FRIDAY, March 3 — Susi Elkins has been named director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, effective immediately. The announcement was made today by Prabu David, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Elkins has been serving as interim director since May.
"With her accomplishments in eight quick months as interim director, Susi Elkins has demonstrated quite clearly that she is the best person to lead WKAR forward in these challenging and exciting times for media and journalism," David said. "Her unwavering commitment to our capital region and MSU communities, combined with her inspired leadership that led to the launch of the children's channel, has drawn praise from many quarters."
Under her leadership, the station launched a new 24/7 PBS Kids channel and live stream; created WKAR Family, a new content initiative in partnership with MSU researchers and educators aimed at forming connections to help kids be resilient, lifelong learners; and made programming adjustments to bring more classical music and local news to radio listeners. New partnerships with Detroit Public Television will bring new content to the capital region while extending WKAR's reach into southeast Michigan.
"Susi has truly taken WKAR to a whole new level of innovation, collaboration and operational excellence," said Scott Westerman, associate vice president for alumni relations and a member of the WKAR interim advisory group. "[She] is the ideal choice to take this unique multimedia content creation engine into a future where creativity and agility will be key success factors."
In her previous position as WKAR television station manager, Elkins oversaw all TV programming, including original content production and partnerships for the station's broadcast channels and digital platforms.
During her tenure as TV station manager, WKAR-TV was named the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Public Television Station of the Year for five consecutive years (2011-2015) and earned numerous regional Emmy Awards and top awards from the MAB and the National Educational Telecommunication Association, among others.
Elkins holds a bachelor's degree in telecommunication and a master's degree in educational technology, both from MSU. Prior to her appointment as TV station manager, Elkins served as content and community engagement manager for WKAR, where she oversaw the convergence of media and programming in TV and radio and the ongoing growth of original content across platforms. Under her direction, WKAR increased capacity for providing experiential learning opportunities for MSU students. Elkins also increased WKAR's commitment to early childhood education and solidified the station's reputation as a community institution through strategic partnerships and collaborations.