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A farewell message from WSHU General Manager Rima Dael

A. Rima Dael, General Manager of WSHU Public Radio

I firmly believe that good leadership involves recognizing when it's time to step aside and make room for others with the creative spirit and energy to step in. I hope you have seen the news that I am stepping down from my current role tomorrow. So, this is the last missive from me as the WSHU General Manager. My colleagues, Terry Sheridan and Janice Portentoso, will share the responsibilities of day-to-day leadership as co-interim Station Managers and will receive support from public radio veteran Scott Finn as the interim General Manager. This transition comes at a busy time for WSHU, as we are in the midst of our busiest fundraising season, and planning for the news and program cycle for 2024. The WSHU team is ready as always to be here for you with the news and music you count on.

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie recently spoke to the WSHU audience. When asked why we should vote, he said, “communities are ours to shape.” I deeply believe this notion. We all have a collective responsibility to do this, and we must do so intentionally. Public radio stations build community by sharing news, music, information, arts, culture and storytelling…freely, and not tucked behind a paywall. Through these efforts we inform, inspire and connect our communities…and your support of this work makes it all possible.

WSHU Public Radio does what public media has done for decades – bring people together to help make sense of the world. Voluntary donations from our listeners make up the largest and most reliable source of funding for WSHU. Your support keeps our programming independent and freely accessible to everyone–online, via streaming, on the air and through the WSHU app.

We are also keenly aware of the impact that difficult current events and the news cycle have on the mental health of our staff and our audience. In response to this, we are committed to investing in community-based news, stories, and coverage that explore solutions to issues of vital importance in Connecticut and Long Island. We go beyond the headlines to explore the impact of national issues on a local level. We are dedicated to providing meaningful and impactful coverage from a solutions-oriented lens. Furthermore, we are doubling down on our commitment to music programs, as we recognize that audiences across the country are turning to the oasis of music more than ever.

Your generous financial support has been instrumental in driving transformation at WSHU. We have built an infrastructure to create digital content and expand our audience base beyond traditional terrestrial broadcast listeners. We have also begun the process of digitizing our music library and diversifying our playlists, making us much more relevant to our communities across Connecticut, Long Island, and beyond.

I want to express my deepest gratitude for your ongoing support, which has been integral to our success. As we look ahead to the future, I am confident that WSHU will continue to thrive and innovate, thanks to your unwavering commitment. You make WSHU Public Radio possible. It has been an honor to serve you.

Wishing you a holiday season filled with joy, wonder and peace.

Rima Dael

Rima has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in Public Media, Arts, Education & the Human Service sectors. She came to WSHU from New England Public Radio, where she was the executive director of development & major gifts. Rima is passionate about the essential role of public media in our communities and the transformational power of the arts. In September of 2021, Rima was elected to the NPR Board of Directors.