A veteran broadcaster from Boston will be the new “voice” for public radio in Augusta, officials said.
Andrew Dawson, who has 30 years of radio experience and was most recently at WGBH-Boston, will be the new station manager/host of GPB Augusta and WACG (90.7), the Georgia Public Broadcasting station housed on the Summerville campus of Georgia Regents University.
“We’re really excited about Drew’s hiring and his title should probably say it all, station manager/host,” said Tanya Ott, the vice president of radio for GPB. “We really are looking at down the road giving Augusta a much greater voice in the GPB system.”
It is “a unique opportunity, one that comes along possibly once in a lifetime to be in at this stage of (a National Public Radio) station,” Dawson said. “It was just too much to resist.”
He has had experience in both commercial and public broadcasting, “which I think is really going to bode well for Augusta and for getting Augusta’s voice heard statewide and also reflected locally,” Ott said.
Dawson would not provide any specifics on what he hoped to do in Augusta, and Ott said there will likely be strategic planning sessions this fall. GRU and GPB have been collaborating on what new content GPB Augusta will provide. That could mean student internships to help with running the station and involving students more with GPB Augusta, said David Brond, the senior vice president of communications and marketing at GRU.
“It needs to be something that is driven by the students,” he said. It might be content that is health-related or focusing on education or the arts, Brond said.
It could be content “that we would be able to start small, start here, that is of interest to the local community that ties into what people want to have here,” he said.
A model for what GPB might do with Augusta could be GPB Macon, which grew from one staffer to three and now involves a project that includes Mercer University and the Macon Telegraph newspaper “to produce content and to mentor students in the production of multiplatform journalism,” Ott said.
“We’re all very interested in involving students in the station activities, and Drew has actually quite a bit of experience working with young people,” she said.