Heather Reese

MADISON – Heather Reese has been named interim director of Wisconsin Public Media, the division at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that oversees Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin.

The announcement follows the recent death of Director Gene Purcell, who had served in the role since 2018, Wisconsin Public Media said in a news release. Reese has worked at WPM since 2010 and has served as associate director since 2020. Prior to that, she was the director of strategic initiatives and compliance.

“We’re all still grieving the sudden and tragic death of Gene, but it’s comforting to know that Heather is ready to step in as a leader. I can’t think of a better person to guide us through this transition,” UW-Madison Provost John Karl Scholz said in the release. 

As WPM’s interim director, Reese will oversee operations and administration of the university division and work in partnership with the Educational Communications Board, who maintains the transmission and distribution of public media in the state.

Reese is a Wisconsin native, a graduate of UW-Madison’s School of Law and a longtime supporter of The Wisconsin Idea.

UW–Madison plans a national search for the director of WPM.