Danae Davis, the chief executive officer of Milwaukee Succeeds, will serve as interim director of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM 88.9) following the recent departure of its former leader, Kevin Sucher.
In a statement Friday, the station’s board of directors said Sucher had stepped down to “pursue other opportunities.” He was named executive director in April 2020.
The 88Nine board said it is initiating a formal search process to permanently fill the position.
“We appreciate Kevin’s work at Radio Milwaukee and his commitment to advancing our mission of being a catalyst for creating a better, more inclusive and engaged community. We wish him the best moving forward,” said Ross Williams, chair of Radio Milwaukee’s board of directors. “We’re very pleased to have Danae as interim executive director as she brings a high level of experience and understanding of Radio Milwaukee and our mission as an organization.”
Davis previously served on the Radio Milwaukee board of directors for nine years, including time as board chair. She has led Milwaukee Succeeds, a nonprofit that focuses on improving educational outcomes in the city, since 2015. She will continue in that role while serving as interim 88Nine leader.
Prior to Milwaukee Succeeds, Davis was CEO of PEARLS for Teen Girls Inc. and, previously, diversity affairs director at Molson Coors.
“88Nine Radio Milwaukee is a special place, and I look forward to working with the excellent staff team and board and our many community partners to continue its mission of making our community a better, more inclusive place for everyone,” Davis said of her interim role.
Jordan Lee, former 88Nine station director and now a consultant contracting with the station through Paragon Media Strategies, will facilitate the leadership transition, the board said.
“We’d like to name a permanent executive director as soon as possible, but it will be a deliberate process, and we expect to have many talented applicants for the job,” Williams said. “In the interim, we’re very confident in Danae’s leadership capabilities to continue moving our organization forward.”
88Nine has several new initiatives in the works. It’s preparing to launch its new Urban Alternative channel, which is slated to go live on Juneteenth Day (June 19) and will be led by on-air host Tarik Moody. The station is also planning to open a café in its Walker’s Point headquarters, in the ground-floor retail space at 220 E. Pittsburgh Ave. formerly occupied by Stone Creek Coffee.