Laura R. Walker is President and CEO of New York Public Radio, the largest public radio station group in the nation and a major producer of audio content for radio and on-demand audiences. An independent and innovative nonprofit dedicated to providing high-quality journalism, music and digital products, New York Public Radio reaches an audience of more than 26 million listeners monthly. Under her leadership, the organization has been honored with 10 George Foster Peabody Awards and three Alfred I. DuPont Columbia Awards since 2000.
New York Public Radio owns and operates eight public radio stations, including WNYC and WQXR, the most-listened-to public radio station and one of the most-listened-to classical stations in America, respectively. WNYC Studios is New York Public Radio’s on-demand audio and national broadcast division, home to some of the most popular, influential and beloved podcasts, including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, 2 Dope Queens, Nancy, The New Yorker Radio Hour, On the Media, More Perfect, Note to Self, Death, Sex & Money, and The Takeaway. These programs are heard on more than 700 public radio stations nationwide, and globally through podcasts and other digital products. The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, New York Public Radio’s state-of-the art broadcast and live event venue, produces more than 150 events each year for live and digital audiences.
Ms. Walker joined New York Public Radio (then WNYC) as President and CEO in 1996, becoming the newly independent station’s first leader, following decades as a city-owned institution. Ms. Walker’s tenure has been marked by dramatic growth for the organization, which has been hailed by Neiman Lab as being on “innovation overdrive.” Under her leadership, New York Public Radio has increased its monthly audience from 1 million to over 26 million, raised more than $100 million in long-term investment and led as one of the most influential producers of podcasts since the earliest days of the medium. Ms. Walker has established New York Public Radio as a place that produces award-winning, impactful enterprise journalism; nurtures today’s most creative talent; champions classical music and creates innovative products that bring the best of audio to listeners everywhere.
A recognized leader, writer and speaker on media, culture and business, Ms. Walker was honored in 2008 with an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She was named one of New York City’s Most Powerful Women by Crain’s New York Business in 2009 and 2017, and was chosen for the Crain’s New York Business special feature on “The 100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business” in 2007. She was named to City & State's Above & Beyond list honoring women of public and civic mind, and New York Moves magazine’s “Power Women” list. The Executive Council honored her with a NY 10 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, the industry’s highest honor. 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 Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s Television Workshop) as the Vice President of Development 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, Yale Center for Customer Insights, and the Eagle Picher Trust. She is the former Chair of the Hudson Square BID and 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:
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016
Thursday, June 04, 2015
Friday, April 03, 2015
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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.