1338 Lowman St., Baltimore, MD 21230 202-841-2059

Stephen Yasko

Public Radio | Nonprofit Executive

Hello, I'm

Stephen Yasko

Stephen Yasko applies entrepreneurial techniques to non-profit management.  He increased WTMD’s revenues 10 fold in less than 10 years.  Biggest Achievement: Moving WTMD into a state of the art broadcast and community engagement facility. 



While others ponder digital disruption in public media, Yasko embraces it by combining the reach of traditional media with the accountability of digital. That philosophy resulted in superior digital revenue generation for WTMD and the creation of The Great Baltimore Check In. 

Steve is a superior manager and leader versed in both music and news.  You’ll find more about his skill set and why he can lead your station below. Please Click Here to experience his air checks and demo reels.

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Accomplishments and Skills

 

Years of experience

Stephen Yasko has spent 20 plus years in public radio and media most recently as a Chief Executive and General Manager of WTMD 89.7FM in Baltimore (Market 21).

Broadcast Facilities Built

WTMD moved from 1800 square feet in the basement of a 1958 academic building to an 8,000 square foot state of the art broadcast facility in the middle of town. Stephen Yasko brought it in on time and under budget. He oversaw all, design, equipment and construction.

On-Air Fundraisers

Making the phones ring is the goal of every fundraiser. Yasko is an expert pitcher and rainmaker. He's mentored dozens of staff members in break structure and listener empathy.

One Year increase in Membership Revenue

Yasko was an early adopter of susttaining memberships. WTMD saw an increase of 20% in membership renvenue from the same number of members in year. Sustaining Memberships accounted for 51% of membership at the end of year two.

  • Increased Membership, Underwriting and Digital Revenue

    Fundraising

    Created a 10 fold increase in revenues by combining digtial content with reimagined on and off air fundraising techniques. Early adopter of monthly memberships. Achieved 40% sustainer file composition in 24 months. Cultivated major donors. Carried list of top 25 donors for asks up to $500,000. Led department to 35% increase in $1,000 annual givers. Wrote and produced effective on air spots, wrote fundaising emails, blog posts, videos and other cross platform materials.

  • Expertise in creating long terms strategic plans by consulting stakeholders and recognizing marketplace conditions.

    Strategic Planning

    Created WTMD's three-year strategic plan to revision the station as it moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility. Hired consultants to guide the process and created task force from constituencies including donors, licensee, staff and civic leaders. Implemented new governance structure by creating TUPM, a 501c3 corporation, Recruited 15 highly resourced and accomplished individuals to become the founding board of directors.

  • Producer of East Coast's Largest Free Concert Series

    Events Management

    Incorporated large and small scale events into over all branding and revenue generating strategies. Produced music, cultural and peer to peer fundraising events. Grew First Thursdays Concerts in the Park (pictured) to 10,000/five show series with national recording artists. Negotiated beer sales agreement, 100% sponsorship supported. Recognized as Premier Concert Series in Baltimore. Educated community groups, city agencies and surrounding businesses on benefits of this series. Contracted for sound, staging, port-a-pots and other essentials.

  • Markeing and Branding Expert

    Branding

    Applied research and creativity to the 'Radio for Music People' brand statement. Managed all aspects brand Identity from visuals to on/off air activities. Branded station identity through digital and traditional media. Spearheaded logo and visual identity package creation twice. Once, at station founding, and once when the new facility was built. Worked with Planit Agency to create and deploy two Addy Award Winning campaigns, Anti-Pop and Vi-ear-gra (pictured). Placed in glossies and adapted for digital use. Wrote branding guidelines and worked organizations to ensure proper use of the mark.

  • Founded Nonprofit Corporation

    Business Managment

    Wrote employee handbook detailing policies and expectations. Developed all policies inconsultation with board and staff. Negotiated and contracted healh insurance plans and other employee benefits Dermined compensation packages. Implemented financial policies and reporting procedures. Prepared annual budgets and presented to board for approval.


Other Surprising Skills

 

100%
CPB-FCC Compliance
96%
Communications
93%
Human Resources
94%
Public Media Finance

Testimonials For Stephen Yasko

 

Airchecks and Demo Reels

Concert for the
Chesapeake Bay

Hosting/Interviews/Banter/Intros/Outros/Package Ins and Outs
Hosted this multi-hour annual special for four years.  This Live and Live-To-Tape production featured live musical performances, interviews, hosting and packages.  Aired on MPT in Washington, DC and Baltimore Markets.

WTMD Floor Plan Tour
Web Content

I take the viewer around the final plan of our new facility
This in-house produced web video was used to educate the audience about the revolutionary transformation WTMD was about to undertake. I’m on camera and narrate as well. Video supported print/social media and other marketing/fundraising efforts.

Artworks
On Maryland Public Television

Hosting/Intros/Outros/Host Banter/Color Comentary
Co Hosted the first three episodes of season two of Artworks, MPT’s weekly arts and culture magazine show. Examples of Intros, Outros and host banter/color commentary.





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Press and Writings

 

Op Ed - The Baltimore Sun
Public Radio Pays Dividends For All

Federal funding for public broadcasting is a small investment that pays big dividends. More than 170 million Americans engage with public media every month for fact-based journalism, educational programming, arts and culture — and music they...

Profile - Adweek
WTMD Uses Foursquare To Raise Funds

Lifestyle magazine Urbanite and public radio station WTMD, each local entities in Baltimore, say Foursquare helps sell traditional advertising. The media brands teamed up to create a contest-based geosocial game 'The Great Baltimore Check-In,'...

Profile - Interview - Baltimore Sun
After Studio Upgrade, WTMD Optimistic

Making the new location a destination 'was a primary part of the vision,' Yasko said, partly because the radio industry has changed with the popularity of Internet 'radio' services like Pandora, Google Play Music and others. Yasko points out these online ...

Interview - Trade Publication
10 Questions With Stephen Yasko

1. How did you become interested in radio? Whippany Park, my high school, had a 10-watt FM station back in the '70s and I signed up to do the morning show with my friend Kathy. It was an AOR 'hard guy' format with lots of Skynard and The Band ...

Selected Projects

 

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Digital Innovation


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Business Planning

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Where I've Worked

Executive Director, Bromo Arts and Entertainment District • 2016-Present

Direct organization’s economic development activities.
Consult with arts organzations and businesses on site selection, renovation forecasts,
Provide professional development opportunities in fundraising, business management and marketing/branding activities.

 

 

General Manager and Executive Director, WTMD/Towson University Public Media • 2002-2015

CEO-Level responsibility for large market non-profit music radio station.  
Grew station from budget of $120,000/yr to $2.5M in 13 years.
Built 8,000 sq. ft. state of the art broadcasting and community music clubhouse that includes performance spaces and Times Square style ticker sign to promote activities.
Increased revenue streams to include podcasting development, facility rentals and events.
Inspired innovative producion/programming techniques including podcasting, original digital content and creative editing.
Taught Podcasting and Radio Station Management in selected semesters. Board
 
 

National Program Director, Pacifica Radio Foundation • 2000-2002

Senior-level responsibility for national programming, broadcast operations and digital. 
Board Reporting responsibility. 
Managed 20 employees and dotted line reporting from station program directors.
Managed crisis communications program during union grievance process.
Served as primary public spokesperson for programming.

 

 

Program Operations Manager/Marketing Manager, National Public Radio • 1995-2000

Responsible for program clearances and industry marketing.

Managed NPR’s programming committee.
Served on pricing task force that transitioned to an audience based revenue model.
Coordinated talent activities including escorting Diane Rehm on her first book tour.

 

 

Marketing Director/Producer, The Diane Rehm Show/WAMU • 1995

Launched national distribution of the Diane Rehm Show. 

Recruited initial stations, monitored audience development.
Produced program segments on politics, book interviews and other topics.

 


Education
The American University: B.A. Communications/Political Science, 1984

 

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