High Plains Public Radio has filled its executive director position with a candidate who brings considerable print news experience.
Bob Davis, who will start in June, is coming to HPPR from the Anniston Star, in Anniston, Alabama, where he worked for the past 12 years as editor and then publisher/editor.
In Anniston, Davis oversaw a news operation of more than two dozen newsroom employees and helped the publication make its transition from print to digital, while developing the newspaper’s social media presence. He also played a part in the newspaper’s advertising, circulation, new product launches and other revenue generating initiatives.
He served on the board of Consolidated Publishing Company, the Anniston Star’s parent corporation.
Prior to working at the Anniston Star, Davis worked as a design editor and OpEd/Sunday editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas.
When asked why he decided to pursue a public radio leadership position, Davis said he had been looking for the right opportunity for a couple of years and felt HPPR fit the bill.
“I’ve had a lifelong fascination with radio, and I worked in radio as a college student and I’m quite fond of the medium as a way to connect to people,” he said.
Davis said another thing that attracted him to the position was the idea of community interwoven throughout HPPR’s approach to regional programming, including news, information and music.
“At all the news organizations I’ve worked for, we’ve always wanted to aim high,” he said, adding that it has always been his aim to go after stories that oftentimes no one else is going to report. “We’re going to be fair, and we’re going to put things in the proper context. And we’re also going to be open to criticism and open to hearing both sides. And that idea fits in with the caliber of folks I’ve encountered at HPPR.”
Davis replaces Deb Oyler, who left HPPR in December to take the director position at the Finney County United Way, after serving as HPPR’s executive director for nine years and being with HPPR for a total of 18. Oyler remains active as an HPPR volunteer.
“She’s going to be a hard act to follow,” Davis said. “A lot of care and thought had been put into the operations and management of HPPR and that’s the recipe for success.”
Davis and his wife, Lisa, an award-winning newspaper columnist and former Alabama public radio commentator, have two children: Libby, 19; and Hugh, 17.