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KUOW Announces the Retirement of President and GM, Caryn Mathes

July 1, 2024

Seattle, WA—KUOW President and GM, Caryn Mathes, today announced her intention to retire in early 2025. “Caryn’s legacy of leadership excellence in the national public radio landscape is unprecedented. Her dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to informing and engaging the public has set a new standard at KUOW that will endure. As the proud FCC license holder for the station since 1952, we are profoundly grateful for Caryn’s decade of service as President and General Manager,” said Randy Hodgins, the University of Washington’s VP for External Affairs and UW Licensee Director.

Ms. Mathes has led KUOW since January 2014. Guided by commitment to veracity and independence, she has expanded KUOW’s broadcast and online presence and positioned the organization to thrive in the digital age. Under her leadership, KUOW has navigated the rapidly changing environment for media and nonprofits and catalyzed key investment strategies for preserving broadcast listenership, developing digital audiences, and sustaining KUOW financially. During her tenure, KUOW garnered numerous accolades, showcasing its excellence in various fields of radio and digital broadcasting and its ability to connect deeply to listeners across the region. Most recently, KUOW won 20 Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards, 5 Public Media Journalist Association Awards, and 7 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Best Podcast for the “Ghost Herd” docuseries, Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for “Ten Thousand Things: A Book Becomes A Movement,” and in Hard News for the story: “For Some Without a Home, the Airport is a Source of Shelter.”

KUOW has also made remarkable strides in enhancing staff diversity under Caryn’s leadership. KUOW is recognized as a leader in media for racial diversity, equity, and inclusion transformation. Her commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace has resulted in tangible progress, with a 129% improvement in BIPOC staff representation to 29.8% and a 44% improvement in BIPOC supervisory staff to 25.8%. These gains exemplify the positive impact of Caryn’s intentional efforts and commitment to equity in the workplace.

There is joy in leadership, and I have enjoyed my career immensely. Now is a perfect time to step away. I have assembled a stellar executive leadership team, we have a strong staff, we have locally and nationally successful content, we have a committed and supportive university, and we have the support of a dedicated board. Caryn Mathes

In the coming weeks, KUOW’s board will kick off a national search for a new President and GM. The board has assembled a search committee, led by the Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion chair, Ian Warner, and engaged an executive recruiting firm, Campbell & Company, to support the search.

About KUOW

KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio is Seattle’s NPR news station. We are an independent, nonprofit news organization that produces award-winning journalism, innovative podcasts, engaging community events, and more. We work every day in service of our mission to create and serve a more informed public, because we believe an informed public is essential to a thriving community, a vibrant democracy, and a better future. KUOW is a proud member of the NPR Network, a coalition of public media podcast producers with a shared mission to create and serve a more informed public.