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WBGO President and CEO Amy Niles Resigns, Station Founder Bob Ottenhoff Returns in Interim Role

Bob Ottenhoff
Bob Ottenhoff

Amy Niles has resigned as President and CEO of WBGO. The decision came after a consultation with the Board of Trustees and a board-requested independent counsel review of WBGO’s management policies.

WBGO founder and inaugural station manager Robert Ottenhoff will serve as the station’s interim President and CEO.

WBGO Board of Trustees Chairman Karl Frederic gave a statement about the changes.

“We are going to bring in a consultant to work with staff, management, and the board to train them in diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We are going to have a more robust human resources function. We’re going to bring in training for management to have a more explicit sense of direction for the organization and do the things we need to do to improve morale.  We value the contributions that Amy Niles made to WBGO. She was a very dedicated and hardworking leader.  However, we decided that the time had come to make a change and Amy agreed.  We were very fortunate to have one of the founders of WBGO available to us, Bob Ottenhoff, who is coming aboard as the interim President and CEO while we find a permanent replacement.”

Frederic also addressed an open letter from Mayor Baraka expressing concerns about WBGO.

“We agree with the spirit of everything that Mayor Baraka said in his letter.  We’ve been working on the issues of perceived racism at WBGO for a number of months at the board level we received the report from the inquiry into management on Tuesday morning and we unainimously as a board adopted the recommendations arising from the inquiry.”

WBGO’s next public board meeting is Monday night at 6pm at the New Jersey Historical Society at 52 Park Place in Newark.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 200 awards from organizations like PRNDI, AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.