Craig Swagler, who spent more than 20 years working for CBS News Radio, will take over as the new president and general manager of Baltimore’s Your Public Radio, which operates news station WYPR and music station WTMD, the station announced Monday.
Addressing his move from commercial to public radio, Swagler called public radio “the cornerstone in local communities and nationally, as the voice of those communities.
“It excites me to focus on community issues in a vastly diverse and growing area,” said Swagler, whose last day at CBS was July 14.
Swagler will oversee all operations at both stations starting Aug. 1, taking over for interim general manager Tom Livingston, who has led the station since January after the departure of LaFontaine Oliver.
“We were looking for someone to continue our mission to provide unbiased perspectives and journalistic and artistic excellence, as well as our focus on growth and community,” said Your Public Radio chair Lisa Manzone. “Craig really does bring with him an extensive array of experiences in the broadcast industry.”
Swagler, 46, started at CBS News Radio in 2001 as a desk assistant and quickly rose up the ranks. In 2005, he became executive producer of special events, such Obama’s inauguration, Democratic and Republican national conventions, the G8 summit, the Oscars and the Grammys. In 2019, he was named vice president and general manager of CBS News Radio. Prior to joining CBS, Swagler worked for Saturday Night Live and Monday Night Football as a production assistant.
Swagler’s move to Baltimore was driven largely by family reasons. His wife grew up in and has extended family in the region, with a sister and mother who live in Ellicott City. The recent death of his wife’s father, whom Swagler was also very close to, was cause for him to reevaluate his professional priorities. Working in Baltimore presented an opportunity for his family — the couple have three children aged 6 to 12 — to spend more time with relatives, and also to be part of covering a community that is personally relevant to him.
The new job “is a really nice alignment both personally and professionally,” Swagler said. “In this profession, it is such a calling, it has to be passion-driven because you give so much of yourself, and ask so much of your colleagues.”