Stephen Yasko

Stephen Yasko

I've spent 20 plus years in public media most recently as a Chief Executive and I'm recognized as a transformational non-profit leader.

I like to apply entrepreneurial techniques to non-profit management and increased my last station's revenues 10 fold in less than 10 years.  I am most proud of moving WTMD into a state of the art broadcast and community engagement facility.

Maintaining editorial integrity, in both news and music formats, is a priority for me.

Everyone talks about digital disruption in public media. I've embraced it by combining the reach of traditional media with the accountability of digital. That philosophy resulted superior digital revenue generation.

Media is all about brand management from product creation to social media promotion.  I think I've mastered those skills and love daredevil tactics that push the creative envelope. Plus, I think I'm a pretty nice guy.

Four Reasons To Hire Me

I'm A Strategic Thinker

I have expertise in creating long terms strategic plans by consulting stakeholders and recognizing marketplace conditions. I'm able to look 10 years down the road and choose the right activities today to get there.

I'm a Reflective Leader

I vigorously fine-tune my own style through career coaching and leadership training. I work on developing my level of emotional intelligence so I can quickly assess personalities and integrate their needs into my communications.

I Know Public Radio Inside and Out

I've produced, edited, fundraised, managed and even built a new broadcast facility. I know the difference between a fad and a trend and implement activities that fit within our listeners value system.

I Like Making and Counting Money

I can make the phones ring during a fund drive by identifying with our listeners lifestyles and I'm thrilled to ask for major gifts. I get a kick out of seeing the average spot rate increase and I like to analyze day-to-day financial activities.

What They Say About Me

Resume

A History of Innovation and Leadership

Where I've Worked

2016 - Current
Bromo Arts and Entertainment District

Executive Director

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

2002-2015
WTMD 89.7/Towson University Public Media

General Manager and Executive Director

Over responsibility for founding and growing Baltimore's AAA Station. Built new state of the art broadcast and community center; grew revenues by 10 fold; managed 25 staff; created Towson University Public Media management company.

2000-2002
Pacifica Radio Foundation

National Program Director

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.

1995-2000
NPR

Program Operations Manager/Marketing Manager

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.

1995
WAMU-The Diane Rehm Show

Producer/Marketing Director

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

1984
The American University

BA Major: Communications/Minor: Political Science

Management Skills

Strategic Planning

97%

Human Resources

88%

Financial Reporting

84%

IRS-FCC-CPB Compiance

95%

Radio Skills

Hosting

79%

Editing

85%

Reporting

88%

Writing

90%

Programming

95%

Editorial Management

96%

Fundraising Skills

Pitching

100%

Membership Programs

95%

Major Giving

91%

Sustaining Memberships

93%

Underwriting Sales Management

93%

Projects

I'm Proud of This Stuff!
Branding Campaign

Branding Campaign

Fundraising, Marketing
Reporter Recruitment

Reporter Recruitment

Management, Programming
First Thursdays Concerts In The Park

First Thursdays Concerts In The Park

Community Engagement, Events, Fundraising, Partnerships
Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

Management
Air Checks

Air Checks

Fundraising, Programming
Towson University Public Media

Towson University Public Media

Community Engagement, Fundraising, Management
The New WTMD Broadcast and Community Center

The New WTMD Broadcast and Community Center

Community Engagement, Digital Innovation, Events, Management
Baltimore Band Block Party

Baltimore Band Block Party

Digital Innovation, Events, Fundraising, Programming
TV Hosting

TV Hosting

Community Engagement, Partnerships, Programming
Believe in Baltimore

Believe in Baltimore

Community Engagement, Events, Partnerships, Programming
Podcasting

Podcasting

Digital Innovation, Partnerships, Programming
The Great Baltimore Check In

The Great Baltimore Check In

Digital Innovation, Fundraising, Marketing
Branding The Bromo

Branding The Bromo

Community Engagement, Marketing

Finance & Administration

Rather than list a lot of facts and figures about the 15 years of budgets I formulated and executed for WTMD, I thought I tell you about some of the tools I use to develop my financial philosophy.

Many of these tools might give you the impression I'm overly conservative. That's not always true. Sure I develop best-expected-worst scenarios, but I've budgeted for long term asset growth, like new signals and durable assets.

So here are my favorite tools to move a station up to the next level.

Live Plan

I love Live Plan.  It's easiest to us financial planning tool.  It's built to be a full business plan complete with marketing and research sections.But's strength is projecting out years based on logical assumptions that can be changed at any piont in time.  Say your key employee demands a raise or he walks.  Simply plug in the new number and the anticipated annual increases and you have a new personal cost including benefits.Let's say your university cuts funding three year out. Read The Plan.

This took gives you the full look at how much you have to raise, and when, to make sure you don't miss a beat.  It's a great scenario tool.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

There is one management book I live by.  Essentialism, the Disciplined Art of Doing Less by Greg Mckeown changed they way I managed staff and looked at our bottom line.

We went though a significant training session based on the book. From that came a ethic the whole staff could guide their activities by "We will engage only in activities that contribute to the long terms sustainability of WTMD.  It worked as we increased revenues.

Chase Ink Business Prefered Credit Card

I love collecting credit card points for business and personally.  I was able to reduce travel costs for recurring travel by 20% AND was able to send additional staff who don't normally attendconferences or other events with little to no added expense.

What makes the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card so attractive is the bonus categories.  You earn 3 points per dollar spent on cable TV services, phone services, social media advertising buys, restaurants, hotel and other travel expenses.  Plus their on line card management system allows you to track staff membersspending and set limits and such.

Just don't get caught in a first class seat by the CPB IG!

Charting Staff Progress

You'll notice this section is not called employee evaluation.  Nothing creates anxiety in a person's mind than an email with the title "Employee Evaluation."  Everyone starts freaking out.  How much of raise will I get?  Did I screw up this year?  Should I start looking for another job?

I bypass all that uncertainty with a more reliable employee achievement process.  It's a little more complex than an annual form filling out session, but I feel it increases the organization's speed in achieving goals.

I focus on two types of goals.  Organizational and personal.  The staff is heavily involved in setting both.

The process begins with a series of all staff meetings to review the previous year's organizational goals and set new ones for the next year.

Staff is asked to analyze the KPIs we've agreed on and perform a SWOT analysis for the station, their department and for themselves.  Department heads bring these documents to a senior staff meeting for review and then an all staff meeting is held to find the three to five major goals we need to focus on.

Budgeting is done to determine how much revenue we'll need to accomplish the goals including staffing, salary adjustments and organizational structure.

Then I meet with my direct reports and they with theirs.  By the time we get to individual meetings, each staff member know what they did to contribute to a goal's outcome.  They've had discussions with their peers and determined why something did or didn't work.

From there each staff member is free to set a strategy for their own goals that I monitor with them at their weekly check in meetings.  Often goal sheets are put aside, but ours are taped to the cover of the notebook I keep for each direct report.

An easy example is membership.  Let's say we need to make, and everyone has agreed, that we need 10% more in membership to achieve our expense goals.  Membership, having reviewed their data is free to decide which metric to work on to achieve it.  They might focus on new members or increased annual gifts or elevating sustainers by $2 a month.  It's their choice about how to get there. I pretty much stay out of those decisions unless I see significant flaws with their analysis--that's rare.

I believe through this process each staff member is objectively able to own their strengths and weaknesses without the emotional nature of traditional employee evaluations.  We're able to identify professional development needs to strengthen weaknesses and create teams with the maximum strengths to achieve a goal.

No process is perfect and no person is perfect, so while this system reduces staff stress, I still have to counsel some staff members through personal growth episodes, but this greatly reduces blaming others for failures, grabbing credit for others ideas and other and other headaches.

Read More About How I Recruit and Hire

Finance and Administration Skills

Budgeting and Forecasting

90%

Fund Accounting

80%

HR Policy Formulation and Compliance

86%

Employee Evaluation

96%

Auditing and Internal Controls

88%

Diversity Training

95%

Sexual Harassment Training

97%

Recruiting, Hiring and Firing

92%

Contact

Get in Touch

202-841-2059

Baltimore

syasko@comcast.net

Full-time and Contract

How Can I Help You?