The Board of Directors of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting had a marathon meeting of nearly 12 hours on Monday, December 14th to decide on a new Executive Director/General Manager. There were many qualified applicants, but with a solid consensus we voted for Lorraine Dechter, our stellar news reporter. She will be officially hired at the January 4th Board Meeting in Ukiah.
Dechter came to Mendocino County about a year ago as a part-time contract News Coordinator for KZYX & Z. Since then she has built a top-notch news team, rising to state and national attention during the recent Lake County fires due to the team’s excellent breaking news reporting. She is the former Station Manager (and founder) of KFPR-FM in Redding, an NPR sister station to KCHO-FM at California State University, Chico. She retired from Chico State in 2014 and graduated from that university with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and major work toward a master’s degree.
She has been involved in radio since the age of 14, at the first exclusively cablecasting community radio station in the United States, a non-profit youth organization started by a group of teenagers in 1972. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_radio
Stuart Campbell, the station’s Interim Executive Director/General Manager for 5 months, started at KZYX as producer of the literary show CONSIDER THIS.. He has served as the Board President, and then stepped in as interim manager for the past 5 months. “He has done a wonderful job,” says Meg Courtney, Board President of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, who added that he worked for several months as interim manager without pay. “We are deeply grateful to him. Thank you, Stuart, and welcome to you, Lorraine.”
Dechter has a résumé revealing vast multimedia experience. She was producer/director, public information officer, investigative journalist, and arts & fundraising specialist at KIXE-TV in Redding (PBS) since her early 20s. She produced and directed the music series STAGE 9, which was broadcast on 1/3 of the nation’s PBS stations, and produced and acquired funding for the long running JOBS show, featuring regional employment and job-related stories and issues.
She has also been a correspondent for the Sacramento Bee, Artist Liaison for Strawberry Music Festival, brought A Prairie Home Companion to Redding, wrote the ethics in news policy for Chico State’s public radio station, and was responsible for saving a $250,000 payroll in Shasta County providing entrepreneurial support for non-profit organizations through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
Dechter has trained hundreds in community media, operating radio boot camps, teacher trainings, school programs and other opportunities. She accomplished much of this through grant procurement and administration. She developed a variety of community engagement models that are recognized for their effectiveness and creativity by her peers in the industry. She has a lot of training in group facilitation, mediation, and volunteer management training. She is in the current class of Leadership Mendocino, thanks to a scholarship from an anonymous KZYX donor and another from the Leadership Mendocino Steering Committee.
Dechter will be officially introduced as Executive Director/General Manager of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting on Monday, January 4th, 2016 at the first Board of Directors meeting of the new year. The location will be Travelodge Ukiah, 1720 N. State Street, at 6:00PM.
Dechter is moderating the 2nd Annual BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH NEWS event and KZYX Holiday Party this Sunday, December 20th, at the SPACE Performing Arts Center (W. Perkins & N. Bush Streets) in Ukiah from 2-5pm. The event is a potluck, and there is no admission charge. The guest speaker is Elizabeth Larson, Editor/Publisher of the Lake County News.