Robert Altman, President and CEO of WMHT Public Media, will step down from his role as President and CEO of the organization in early 2023 after a successful 15-year tenure, Kathy Jimino, WMHT Board Chair, announced today.
“During Robert’s tenure WMHT has grown from a single station radio and television broadcast organization to a multi-station, multi-platform, digital media and streaming service provider,” said Jimino. “Much of the technological changes have occurred while Robert has also been establishing WMHT’s place as a convener, educator and leader in the community. This has never been more evident than during the global pandemic when Robert provided the leadership needed to not only continue to provide the services our community has come to expect from WMHT but also to help our community address the new challenges brought on by this crisis. WMHT and our community have benefited greatly from Robert’s leadership and the Board of Trustees expresses our deepest appreciation to Robert for his tremendous accomplishments.”
Altman, a resident of Kinderhook, has led the station’s evolution from a purely broadcast entity to a multi-platform, community-based digital media enterprise. He placed a special emphasis on the arts and education during his time at WMHT, including overseeing the establishment of AHA! A House for Arts - a show that is now in its eighth season - and ongoing in-person and virtual educational programs for all ages in the community.
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of WMHT-TV, the 50th anniversary of Classical WMHT-FM, and the 15th anniversary of roots and rock station WEXT were also highlights for Altman’s tenure at WMHT, located in the Rensselaer Tech Park in Troy, New York.
Under Altman’s leadership, WMHT’s Emmy ® award-winning public affairs show New York NOW has reestablished its statewide prominence and a myriad of regional and national stories have been told through new programs on television and radio and digital initiatives.
Reflecting on his years at WMHT, Altman, said, “It has been a great honor to serve our community through the work of WMHT over the past fifteen years. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented colleagues on both our staff and Board, and have been continually heartened by our community’s response to, and support of, our work. We’ve accomplished much, but of course, much remains to be done. I look forward to continuing that work over the coming months and to passing the leadership of a strong and vibrant WMHT to new leadership in the year ahead.”
Altman’s time at WMHT caps four decades of work in public media at both the local and national level. Altman came to WMHT from Washington DC where he directed the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Major Giving Initiative having previously served as Senior Vice President of Development and Corporate Relations at PBS. He began his career in public media at WHYY in Philadelphia where he served as Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing.
The WMHT Board of Trustees has retained Livingston Associates, a leading search firm in public media, to conduct a national search to find the next President and CEO of WMHT. Livingston Associates was responsible for the search that originally brought Robert Altman to WMHT. Trustee Mary-Ellen Piche will lead the Search Committee for the Board.