Next June, Patty Cahill will mark 25 years at Kansas City's public broadcaster KCUR-FM, many of those as its general manager. Not only is that a nice endpoint for her career, the quarter-century of service qualifies her for early retirement from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. So, why not?
"I've been a general manager since 1976, when I was appointed in Wichita," Cahill said Wednesday morning, shortly after informing KCUR's community advisory board that she was retiring. "So what is that? It's a long time. But I'll still be involved in public broadcasting."
That's because Cahill,
who was appointed in 2009
to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, was just elected the CPB's vice chair. The CPB is the nonprofit created by Congress to dole out the money we the people decide, through our representatives, should be used to help underwrite public media in this country. Cahill figures she will be taking a few more meetings in Washington than she does now, and she will need to broaden her knowledge base.
"I want to get more informed about public television," Cahill said. "I know too much about radio."
Between now and next June, Cahill will have her hands full at the station, bringing on new web staff and getting KCUR behind NPR's expanding initiative into digital content.
Cahill has run KCUR since 1987. She was the first active public radio manager to be voted onto the CPB board. She will also be retiring as assistant professor of communications studies at UMKC.