News Director Kurt Gwartney is leaving KGOU, and his family is moving to Tulsa. The Rev. Charla Gwartney will soon be the new Senior Pastor for Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa, and Kurt is the new communications director for the Eastern Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross.
After an earlier career in both commercial and non-commercial radio, Kurt returned to public radio in 2005 as KGOU's Operations Director. He became News Director in 2009, and editorial director of StateImpact Oklahoma in 2011.
Kurt brought joy to all of us, with his depth of knowledge about Oklahoma, his enthusiasm for great journalism, and his listenable on-air presence during Morning Edition. He earned dozens of personal accolades and led KGOU's local and national award-winning news team for half a decade.
He told KGOU's Brian Hardzinski some of his best memories at the station include the first broadcast from the new KGOU studios in Copeland Hall on the University of Oklahoma campus in 2006, and recalled an unusual traffic report involving a stalled Batmobile on Interstate 235 one morning.
Kurt said he was most proud of the collaboration that occurred between KGOU and other public media outlets in Oklahoma during his tenure, including the development of StateImpact Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange. On Wednesday, OPMX earned the prestigious national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for its collaborative coverage of the May 2013 tornadoes in Central Oklahoma.
KGOU will move forward, but the impact Kurt had on the staff, and the service he gave to listeners will never be forgotten.
Thank you Kurt! Best wishes to you and your family!
From the Manager’s Desk, I’m Karen Holp.