Tuesday, May 7, 2019

LaFontaine Oliver leaves Orlando's local NPR affiliate 90.7 WMFE

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 4:01 PM

click to enlarge LaFontaine Oliver - PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
  • Photo by Rob Bartlett
  • LaFontaine Oliver
LaFontaine Oliver, president and general manager of 90.7 WMFE, announced today he will leave the station.

Oliver has accepted a new position in Baltimore as president and general manager of public radio news station WYPR.

Oliver will remain in place in Orlando for at least two months to oversee the transition, while WMFE's Board of Trustees starts a nationwide search for WMFE's new leader.

In his six years at WMFE, Oliver almost doubled the news staff and oversaw the expansion of "Intersection," their twice-weekly local news program; added a Friday arts roundup, community commentaries, longer pieces and series; and assigned reporters to regularly delve into topics including health, space and other beats rather than just hitting the headlines with "spot news."

He also instituted the stations's successful "silent drives," in which fundraising doesn't disrupt programming, as well as adding a space podcast, "Are We There Yet?" And he spearheaded the purchase of a sister station in The Villages, dubbed WMFV.

Oliver was featured in Orlando Weekly's "People We Love" issue in 2017. At the time, he mentioned, "I'm very particular about saying 'community engagement' and not 'community outreach.' Outreach is when you're looking to change someone else, whereas engagement is when you yourself are changed."

It's fair to say that if Orlando changed Oliver, he changed the city as well.

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