Tom Luljak, recently retired vice chancellor for university relations & communications at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will serve as interim head of Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) until a national search can be completed for a permanent director. He takes over from Mike Crane who stepped down on October 1.
WPR has contracted with the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) to provide executive consultation and leadership for the network.
“We are grateful to NETA for their support services during this period of transition,” Educational Communications Board (ECB) Executive Director Marta Bechtol said. “We are excited to be working with Tom, who brings a wealth of experience in broadcast journalism, strategic communications and management. In addition to sustaining WPR’s essential service to the state, he will help our leadership team plan for the future and recruit a new, full-time director in 2022.”
Luljak started his career in communications as a student at UW-La Crosse and UW-Oshkosh where he worked at the student radio stations WLSU and WRST. Both of those stations are now affiliated with WPR’s statewide network. During his professional broadcast career Luljak served as news director for WTMJ-AM and WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee where he won a prestigious Peabody Award for investigative journalism.
“Tom also has more than two decades of leadership experience within the University of Wisconsin system,” Wisconsin Public Media Interim Director Heather Reese said. “That means he’s uniquely positioned to support both the mission of the station and its wonderful relationship with the university.”
“I have been a listener and a fan of public radio for as long as I can remember, so when I heard about this opportunity to serve WPR, I couldn’t pass it up,” Liljak said. “I have enormous respect for the work done by the great team of professionals at WPR and I look forward to working through NETA to help them continue to thrive during this transition.”