WRNI hires new News Director

Providence, R.I. – WRNI is pleased to announce our new News Director, Catherine Welch. Please read the station press release below for more details:

WRNI-AM/FM/Org, Rhode Island's only NPR News station, has announced a 20-year veteran of both commercial and public radio will join as overall news director starting August 9. Catherine Welch comes to WRNI with an extensive radio background, most recently as News Director for five years at the National Public Radio station WHQR based in Wilmington, North Carolina and broadcasting in parts of both North and South Carolina.

"Catherine brings remarkable experience," noted Joe O'Connor, general manager of WRNI, who said Welch was chosen after a nationwide search. "She's been the news director of radio stations in two states. She's an award-winning producer and writer. She is an accomplished anchor. In her early days, she even hosted her own jazz show and sold commercials! She knows the business. She knows how to manage. She knows her craft," he added.

"Nothing is more important than delivering to our listeners the quality journalism that matches the highest standards of journalism as exemplified by NPR. In addition to her work as news director, Catherine has filed stories for NPR, giving perspective to the nation about local stories with national importance. No doubt she will do the same for us" said O'Connor.

As WRNI's news director, Welch will lead a staff of five reporters and three on-air hosts. In addition, she will be responsible for defining the coverage of breaking news 24/7 as well as regularly produced features that offer context to listeners and are exclusive to WRNI.

"The excitement is palpable"

"I'm thrilled to be part of a still rapidly-growing and evolving station, responded Welch. "The excitement surrounding the station is palpable. It is truly an honor to be permitted to lead such a professional news team, especially as we move into the election season."

During her two previous tenures as news director, the stations won six regional Edward R. Murrow awards, four North Carolina Associated Press awards and three Missouri Broadcasters Association awards.

Welch follows Anthony Brooks, who was WRNI news director for the past year. Brooks returns to his first love of reporting on national news for NPR from his home in Boston. "We were fortunate to have Anthony as our newsroom leader," said O'Connor. "His unique ability to tell stories for NPR over the past few decades served to provide invaluable lessons for our entire staff. We are better because of him." "He brought a discipline and a professionalism that are essential to integrity in reporting."