Greg Petrowich is driven by a genuine passion for the mission of public media. During his 28-year career, he has built a reputation for building consensus, promoting independent journalism and providing meaningful community service. His peers recognize him as an innovator with great insight on the future of public media.
On July 1, 2019, Greg will become just the fourth leader in the 48-year history of WFYI. He comes to Indianapolis from WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale, Ill., where he has been the executive director for the past 10 years. We asked him to share some thoughts on his move to Indiana…
Q & A with Greg Petrowich:
What excites you about moving to Indy?
Indy has a real can-do sense that reminds me in some ways of Alaska. I’m impressed by how much has been done through community and philanthropy, where people seemed to roll up their sleeves and say, “let’s just do this.” There is so much energy in the downtown, it’s infectious.
What are your favorite PBS/NPR or WFYI programs?
This is a trick question, right? I’m a regular for “American Experience” and “Frontline.” I don’t miss “Victoria” or “The Durrells in Corfu” (either live or on Passport). Of course, I listen to “Morning Edition,” “Here and Now,” and “All Things Considered” every day. On WFYI radio, I like all the 8 p.m. shows. And I’m a public affairs junkie, so the WFYI Friday night TV lineup has very strong appeal.
Do you have a favorite podcast?
I download 20-30 podcasts every week, but never seem to get the time to listen because I’m generally watching or listening to something live. When I’m on a plane, I’ll dig into my podcasts and binge things like “The Moth” or “This American Life.”
What is your greatest accomplishment, or thing you're most proud of (personal or professional)?
In recent years, I’m proud of what our team has accomplished here in Illinois, forming new partnerships that will be transformational with regard to service and sustainability. In each of my public media management positions, I’ve been proud of how we’ve moved stations to deeper levels of service and positioned them better than when we found them.
What else would you like the community to know about you?
That I’m committed to public media as passionately as our audience. I can’t imagine our nation without an independent public media and I can’t imagine doing anything else. My career is my hobby.