An experienced Florida radio professional will be the new station manager for WHQR Public Radio, according to a news release Thursday.
Michelle Rhinesmith, currently on-air and online fundraising producer for WMFE in Orlando, Florida, begins her role in Wilmington on Aug. 15. She's replacing Cleve Callison, who announced his retirement
Rhinesmith is charged with building upon the growth that was overseen by Callison and making sure the station "remains both financially healthy and relevant to the local public radio audience," according to an announcement from The Friends of Public Radio Inc. Board of Directors.
Rhinesmith said in the release, “I am very excited to join such a vibrant station and meet the listeners who make up such a thriving public radio community."
In her position in Florida, she has been involved in development activities, fundraising campaigns and special events, according to the release. Prior to joining WMFE, Rhinesmith spent 20 years working at WQCS in Ft. Pierce, Florida. She began her career at WQCS as a college intern, subsequently holding almost every role from business manager to programmer and for the final two years serving as the interim station manager.
"Feedback about Rhinesmith was overwhelmingly positive, her associates calling her an extraordinary leader who can handle all aspects of the station from making great programming decisions to fixing the transmitter," the release said.
Rhinesmith has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland and two associate's degrees, one in business administration and one in film and TV production, both obtained at Phillips Junior College in Melbourne, Florida.
“We feel extremely lucky to have attracted Michelle to this role. She impressed our search committee with her clear knowledge of the public radio space, her passion for the future and value of public radio, and her genuine and open personality. We have worked diligently to right the ship under Cleve’s leadership and we believe that Michelle can help us envision and reach the right ports for future success,” said Jeff Smith, chairman of the Friends of Public Radio board.
WHQR Public Radio, broadcasting from Wilmington, serves southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina with HQR News at 91.3 FM and Classical HQR at 92.7 FM.