Laura R. Walker is President and CEO of New York Public Radio, the largest public radio station group in the nation. An independent and innovative nonprofit dedicated to providing high quality journalism, music and digital products, New York Public Radio reaches an audience of 14 million monthly. The organization has been honored with seven George Foster Peabody Awards in the last decade and produces some of public radio’s most popular programming including Radiolab, The Takeaway, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media, New Tech City and Death, Sex & Money. These programs are heard on more than 500 stations nationwide, and through podcasts and other digital products. New York Public Radio owns and operates eight public radio stations, including WNYC and WQXR, the most-listened-to public radio station and the most-listened-to classical station in America, respectively. It also operates The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, a 120 seat state-of-the art venue which is home to more than 150 events each year.
Ms. Walker leads New York Public Radio during a period of dramatic growth and innovation. Under her leadership, New York Public Radio’s audience has grown from 1 million to 14 million, more than $100 million in campaigns has been raised for long term investment, and as NeimanLab’s Ken Doctor describes it, WNYC is on “innovation overdrive.” She has established New York Public Radio as a place that produces award-winning enterprise journalism, nurtures today’s most creative talent, and creates innovative products that bring the best of public radio to listeners everywhere.
Ms. Walker is a recognized leader in media, culture and business. She was honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the industry’s highest honor. She was named one of New York City’s Most Powerful Women by Crain’s New York Business, was chosen for the Crain’s New York Business special feature on “The 100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business,” and was one of New York Moves magazine’s “Power Women.” She was named to City & State's Above & Beyond list honoring women of public and civic mind, and The Executive Council honored her with a NY Ten Award in the category of Best Media Executive. The New York Choral Society honored Ms. Walker with the Distinguished Service to Music Award. She is also the recipient of Public Radio International’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University.
Ms. Walker began her professional career as a print journalist and then a producer at National Public Radio, where she received a Peabody Award for Broadcast Excellence. In 1983, she joined the staff of Carnegie Hall, where she launched the award-winning series AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight. In 1987, she joined the Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s Television Workshop). Ms. Walker was the Vice President of Development at Sesame and led the cross-departmental team that established the cable television channel Noggin. During the course of her career, Ms. Walker also worked at the Boston Consulting Group and Eurasia Press, where she wrote the organization’s first guide to China. In addition to the New York Public Radio Board of Trustees, Ms. Walker sits on the boards of The Tribune Media Company, Saint Ann’s School, The Women’s Forum, Inc., Yale Center for Customer Insights and The Eagle Picher Trust. She is the Chair of the Station Resource Group.
Ms. Walker holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in History, magna cum laude, from Wesleyan University where she was an Olin Scholar.
Laura R. Walker appears in the following:
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Have you ever set an alarm clock to remind you to go to sleep? Arianna Huffington has. She joins WNYC's Laura Walker and other top managers to talk about how some of NYC's most bleary-eyed CEO's are taking the WNYC Clock Your Sleep challenge.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
New York Public Radio President Laura Walker on the importance of sustaining robust Garden State journalism.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
On Wednesday, November 13th, Laura Walker, the President and CEO of New York Public Radio spoke about the core values of public radio and progress at the 2013 Public Radio Super-Regional Meeting in Washington, DC. Below is a copy of the remarks, as they were prepared.
Monday, July 29, 2013
July 29, 2013
In 2009, New York Public Radio acquired WQXR from The New York Times Company, preserving one of the city’s finest cultural institutions and New York’s only all-classical music station. As a public radio station, WQXR has thrived by offering the best in classical music programming on the radio, on digital devices and through exclusive live events.
Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that New York Public Radio has acquired a Westchester station that will extend the reach of WQXR in Central and Northern Westchester. As a consequence of the frequency change to 105.9 FM that came with the 2009 acquisition, we could no longer serve parts of Westchester. We’ve been looking for opportunities to restore that service ever since. This acquisition enables us to do just that and to expand even farther.
Monday, July 22, 2013
In recent weeks as our nation watched the George Zimmerman trial unfold and the Supreme Court rule on the Voting Rights Act, issues of race in modern American society and stark reminders of what it means to be black in America have come to the forefront. A continued dialogue about race is essential to fostering understanding, perspective and change. Through the study of history, through difficult discussions about current events and even through cultural exploration, we need to keep the dialogue going any way we can.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Up to speed on all the news this week? Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me has always been one of my favorite programs because it gives the quirkier stories time to shine. This week: Yelp’s reviewing prisons and beer is being delivered by drones! I've seen the show taped before, but it is always a delight to watch it all unfold. Last night, hundreds of WNYC fans attended Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me, filling NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts with laughter. The live performance from New York was shown simultaneously in more than 600 movie theaters across the country, marking the popular quiz show’s LIVE cinematic debut.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
New York Public Radio president Laura Walker shares her personal story about Bach in advance of WQXR's Bach 360 Festival.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Everyone has a story to tell about Bach. Here’s mine.
Bach brought me back after 9/11. It was Sunday, September 23, 2001, just twelve days after the terrorist attacks brought down the World Trade Center, killed thousands of people and obliterated all sense of reason and order in our city. I was in my kitchen preparing the first “normal” meal my family would eat together since the tragedy hit. I had been working round-the-clock navigating a city in chaos and filled with raw emotion.
Friday, November 02, 2012
On Monday night, millions of people in the New York region were left in the dark as Superstorm Sandy showed us the full force of her fury. For many of these people, their only lifeline to the world outside their homes and their own experience was a radio -- underscoring the medium’s enduring value in a digital world. It's been our privilege and honor at WNYC, WQXR and New Jersey Public Radio (NJPR) to be on the other side of that radio.
Monday, September 10, 2012
On September 10, 2012, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Veronica White, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Steve Levin and President & CEO of New York Public Radio Laura R. Walker took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening WNYC Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The $12 million redevelopment of WNYC Transmitter Park includes an esplanade for passive recreation, and 1.6-acres of open space to provide residents and visitors with increased access to the Greenpoint waterfront. Laura Walker spoke about the significance of the site during the ceremonies. Below is a transcript of her remarks.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Brian Lehrer has issues and everyone in New York is talking about it. WNYC and its political site itsafreecountry.org launched a new election year project called That’s My Issue. On air, online and via social networks, WNYC is asking our audience to share their personal experiences that shape the issues they care about in this election.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
My 12 year-old daughter and I are looking forward to curling up on the sofa to watch the Olympics together. It’s especially exciting because this Olympics is a banner year for women.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
This week, the most talked about map in New York City isn’t one that directs tourists to new museum shows or sample sales. It shows where the guns are.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
This week, WNYC’s Radiolab comes home to New York under the cover of darkness, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be seen.