I apply entrepreneurial techniques to non-profit management. My team and I increased WTMD’s revenues 10 fold in less than 10 years. My biggest Achievement: Moving WTMD into a state of the art broadcast and community engagement facility. While others ponder digital disruption in public media, I embrace 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.
I’m a reflective manager and leader versed in both music and news. You’ll find more about my skill set and why I can lead your station below. Please Click Here to experience his air checks and demo reels.
Accomplishments and Skills
Years of experience
I've 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.
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
I was an early adopter of sustaining 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Testimonials For Stephen Yasko
CFO, Envira - Former President, Towson University Public Media
I can not recommend Steve Yasko highly enough as a top notch radio executive completely attuned to the evolving market place.
Former Supervisor--System Supervisor, UMD Medical System
Steve Yasko has the gift of being able to think strategically and intuitively years into the future – and then putting the building blocks in place and bringing stakeholders together to achieve something great.
President, Downtown Partership of Baltimore
The entire Baltimore music scene has been elevated because of Steve Yasko and his unwavering dedication to creating a premier radio station. He is a Baltimore Icon - there's no doubt about it.
President, Panit Agency
Steve Yasko is truly a visionary who is not afraid to break new ground and push into new areas and engage with his audiences.
Airchecks and Demo Reels
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.
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.
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.
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...
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,'...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
The American University: B.A. Communications/Political Science, 1984