MADISON – Wisconsin Public Radio former director Jack Mitchell has been inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame, WPR announced today.
“Jack Mitchell’s contributions as an innovator and leader left an indelible mark on public radio in Wisconsin and across the country,” the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association said in a news release. “The innovations he brought to public radio transformed it to the valued service it is today and foresaw the changes technology would bring to radio.”
“This is a well-deserved honor and all of us are incredibly proud,” said WPR director Mike Crane. “In addition to his founding role at NPR, Jack led the building of the statewide WPR networks as we know them today. His vision for a truly ‘public’ version of radio continues to inspire everything we do.”
According to WPR:
Mitchell served as director of WPR from 1976 to 1997. During his tenure, WPR grew from 10 stations to 20 stations and greatly expanded its audience. Beginning in 1986 he opened six regional offices across the state to provide local content and outreach. In 1991 Mitchell created The Ideas Network to provide issues-based and Wisconsin-focused content complementing the NPR News & Classical Music Network. This public affairs network was the first of its kind in the nation and positioned WPR for the era of multi-platformed audio content.
“Wisconsin built a unique educational broadcasting system long before I arrived here,” Mitchell said. “It was my privilege to build on that foundation, both the physical infrastructure and the tradition of public service.”
Mitchell co-created NPR’s groundbreaking newsmagazine “All Things Considered” and helped launch some of its most successful state and national programs, including “Whad’Ya Know?” He has been honored with many awards, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Edward R. Murrow Award and the Edward Elson National Public Radio Distinguished Service Award.
Mitchell’s induction was announced this spring by the WBA. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he will be honored at the WBA’s annual summer gathering in June 2021.