People of Northwest Public Radio
Kerry Swanson, Northwest Public Radio’s station manager, has been in broadcasting for more than 30 years. His experience includes management, programming, fundraising, new media, building community connections, and planning new broadcast facilities. He helped shape public radio through leadership roles of the Integrated Media Association, Western States Public Radio, University Station Alliance and Northwest News Network. In 2013 he was elected to serve on the board of directors of National Public Radio.
His early career includes working in commercial radio at KXLE in Ellensburg, and at KNBQ in Tacoma. Kerry's public radio experience started at KPLU in Seattle/Tacoma. During more than 20 years at KPLU, he held several positions including: on-air jazz announcer, operations manager, development director, chief operating officer and interim general manager. His accomplishments include leading some early development and vision of online and new-media applications for public broadcasting, developing new broadcast facilities, establishing new stations and helping to launch jazz24.org.
Next, Kerry went to Atlanta where he was director of radio at the NPR & classical music station WABE-FM. After enjoying southern living, he and his family decided to come back “home” to the Pacific Northwest and to Northwest Public Radio. As Station Manager, he directs and manages the 19 station and 12 translator NPR news, classical music and jazz network serving audiences in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.