WCNY announces CEO leadership change

Robert J. Daino

Robert J. Daino

WCNY, Central New York’s public broadcaster, announced today that President & CEO Robert J. Daino is ending his 13-year term as President & CEO to pursue other opportunities, effective July 31.

The Board of Trustees voted to honor Daino’s service by appointing him as WCNY’s first Director Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, to help ensure WCNY’s entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and growth continues.

“What started as a volunteer experience 16 years ago at TelAuc, has turned into one of the most rewarding and impactful career experiences in my life,” said Robert J. Daino, WCNY President & CEO. “I always have the burning desire to make a real impact in people’s lives and at WCNY I experienced what it felt like to change lives on a daily basis. I will truly miss the everyday interactions that I have with the incredibly dedicated team here along with our special members, volunteers, community partners, and of course one of the most courageous and devoted boards I have ever had the pleasure to serve with.”

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we want to sincerely thank Bob for his outstanding achievements, leadership, and dedication to WCNY and the communities it serves,” said Jeffrey Scheer, WCNY Board Chairman. “We are thrilled to have Bob serve as the very first Director Emeritus of the WCNY Board, where he will be deeply engaged and continue to provide leadership, vision, and wisdom to ensure WCNY’s long-term growth and success.”

Caroline Basso

Caroline Basso

Effective Aug. 1, the WCNY Board of Trustees have named Caroline Basso WCNY Interim President & CEO.

Basso brings 16 years of advancement, major and planned giving, membership, grants, community engagement, finance, and senior leadership experience along with strong project management and content strategy expertise. She is currently WCNY’s Vice President, Development & Engagement. Prior to her appointment at WCNY, she held the positions of Director of Development & Marketing and Director of Finance and Institutional Grants at sister station WSKG in Binghamton. Additionally, she serves as a member of the PBS Development Advisory Committee.

“I am honored to serve as Interim President & CEO,” said WCNY’s Caroline Basso. “Bob has redefined public broadcasting, and created a dynamic framework and vision for the future. I’m eager to continue to lead the initiatives, projects, and key revenue strategies he has established while developing additional strategies for WCNY’s ongoing success.”

During his tenure at WCNY, Daino’s drive, commitment to excellence, passion, and vision resulted in the following accomplishments:

The Creation of WCNY’s LEED Platinum Certified Broadcast and Education Center
Central New York’s public broadcaster celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters in the ninth most challenged neighborhood in the country – a facility featuring new technology, collaborative work spaces, programs, services, opportunity, partnerships and environmental strategies. WCNY’s Broadcast and Education Center is LEED Platinum Certified, the only media organization in the world to receive this prestigious “green building” certification. WCNY is now one of the region’s largest generators of renewable electricity via its rooftop solar panels; three rain gardens capture up to 95 percent of rainwater, keeping it out of local sewage systems; and a revolutionary cooling system protects WCNY’s state-of-the-art technology equipment.

Interruption-Free (Pledge-Free) on Both TV and Radio
WCNY became the only station in the national PBS system in 2007 (and still today) to eliminate televised pledge breaks preferring to give WCNY’s 1.8 million viewers an additional 330 hours of programming each year. Additionally, in 2017, the 10th anniversary of being pledge-free on TV, WCNY became pledge-free on all of its radio stations making WCNY the only station in the nation to be pledge-free on both TV and radio.

Hands-On Learning for the Future
WCNY’s Enterprise America program provides middle school students with the opportunity to participate in a real-life immersive learning experience focused on STEM (science, technology, education and math) skills, entrepreneurship and financial and civic literacy. The Enterprise America “city” complete with 14 businesses, a non-profit, and a City Hall is designed to enhance students’ creative, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills to improve students’ ability to communicate and collaborate. It’s the first of its kind in New York State, with a potential to engage 30,000 students per year. WCNY’s unique partnership with BOCES has resulted in the ability to partner with more than 3,000 schools within a two-hour radius of Syracuse. Students have the opportunity to play the real game of life in a safe, educational environment, and learn that education is the fuel for their futures. In addition, high school students come to WCNY every school day to participate in its hands-on Media Marketing Communications Career and Technical Education program, learning alongside WCNY professionals, as they prepare to become tomorrow’s business leaders.

Interconnection of the Nine Public Broadcasting Stations in New York State
WCNY built the first high-speed fiber optic interconnect linking all nine New York State PBS stations with WCNY operating as the Network Operating Center (NOC). As a result, stations have the ability to operate as a network and leverage the technical, programmatic, and operational opportunities of all the stations across the state.

Groundbreaking Content Management and Delivery Hub
Housed within the WCNY Broadcast and Education Center, Joint Master Control Operating Co., Inc. (JMCO), a WCNY supporting organization, provides the services for master control operations on behalf of Centralcast LLC, the first collaboration of its kind within PBS. This ground-breaking approach for the delivery of television content of up to 600 streams (or channels) of television is managed from the Centralcast command center in WCNY’s Broadcast and Education Center. In this single location alone, Centralcast is saving subscribing stations millions of operational and capital dollars while also creating local jobs. Currently, Centralcast and JMCO are providing services for all nine PBS stations in New York, the state of New Jersey, WHYY in Philadelphia, WTVI in Charlotte North Carolina, PBS Hawaii, WITF, Harrisburg, the State of Connecticut, KTNW an KWSU in Washington State, and KUEN and KUED for the State of Utah, KOCE in Los Angeles, and many other stations totaling nearly 100 streams of television content. As a result, Centralcast is now serving over 43 percent of the PBS viewership across the United States.

Content Engagement and Expansion
WCNY increased its broadcast service and engagement by expanding its programming to five digital broadcast television channels, three digital radio stations, and robust digital and social engagement locally, regionally and nationally. Our team has been recognized for creating new and award-winning content across all our platforms as we strive to tell our communities’ stories and provide trusted information on issues of importance to our region. Due to the robust marketing and communications strategies that have been implemented, WCNY now has engaged members in all 50 states and 14 unique countries across the global making WCNY a true global organization. Each year, millions of individuals are served by WCNY’s high-quality, engaging content, aligning with WCNY’s mission to educate, entertain and inspire, while serving as the community’s connector.

The Capitol Pressroom
We designed, built, and launched the statewide radio show “The Capitol Pressroom,” connecting the everyday citizen with the inner workings of our New York State government providing daily insights from our Albany hub located within the walls of the state Capitol.

Premier Events
A Division of WCNY, Premier Events provides facility rental, events management and execution to clients across the region serving as a revenue generator for WCNY’s core programs and services.

Built a Powerful Brand
“Connected” defines WCNY’s commitment to be a community connector, a conversation convener, and hub for communities it serves. This brand was created to visually represent the multitude of ways in which WCNY engages those that own this incredibly valuable asset through arts, culture, education, technology, and overall engaging content that reflects our diverse region.

CONNECT Magazine
Created CONNECT – WCNY’s member magazine – reflecting the commitment WCNY has to its members to provide them with meaningful, engaging, and entertaining content to enhance their experience with their public broadcaster.

For more information, please contact Haley Dubnoff, Director, Marketing, Communications, & Creative Services.

WCNY FAQ – Leadership Transition

Haley Dubnoff
Director, Marketing, Communications & Creative Services
415 W. Fayette St.
Syracuse, NY 13204
(315) 385-7317

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