88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM 88.9) has named Maxie C. Jackson III as its new executive director, the station announced Wednesday.
Jackson brings more than three decades of experience in public media, including radio, television, digital and live events. He most recently served as chief content officer for New England Public Media in Amherst, Massachusetts.
In his new role at 88Nine, Jackson is responsible for managing the station and leading the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. He succeeds former Radio Milwaukee board president Danae Davis, who served as interim executive director for the organization from February to August, following the departure of former leader Kevin Sucher. The Radio Milwaukee board launched a nationwide search for a new executive director in February 2022, interviewing numerous local and national candidates, according to a news release.
"Maxie is a public media powerhouse," said Erickajoy Daniels, chair of the Radio Milwaukee executive director search committee. "From programming to management to audience development, he brings comprehensive and national experience to the role of executive director. Our board of directors is thrilled to be bringing Maxie to Milwaukee and looks forward to the impact he will have on the organization and the city at large."
Prior to NEPM, Jackson served as a public media consultant and leader of two national media organizations, Pacifica Foundation and National Federation of Community Broadcasters. He also served in leadership roles at public radio stations in Cleveland, Ohio; New York City; Washington D.C.; and Baltimore, Maryland.
"I've had the pleasure of serving a diverse portfolio of audiences and organizations and look forward to bringing those experiences forward in my role as executive director," Jackson said. "Radio Milwaukee’s mission of championing music, arts and culture, neighborhoods and community organizations strongly aligns with my passion for using public media to celebrate the nuance and intersectionality found throughout the patchwork of communities across the nation. More directly, public service and institution building are my motivations."
During his public media career, Jackson has served on multiple committees initiated by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Radio Exchange, British Broadcasting Corporation, the African American Public Radio Consortium and National Public Radio. Jackson graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor's in mass communications broadcast management and from Michigan State University with a master's in telecommunications management. Jackson officially took over as executive director on Sept. 7, with plans to establish residency in Milwaukee effective immediately. His wife will relocate following their youngest son’s graduation from high school in May 2023. In the interim, Jackson will commute on a weekly basis.
88Nine has several new initiatives in the works. It recently launched its new Urban Alternative channel, dubbed HYFIN, 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.