Colorado Public Radio’s OpenAir has hired music industry expert and radio veteran Willobee Carlan as its next PD. Carlan has nearly four decades of experience in programming and operations, including his most recent venture launching the independent music station NV89 at Nevada Public Radio. As the OpenAir program director, Carlan will provide leadership and vision to advance the station and support long-term growth strategies for Colorado Public Radio, including a focus on building awareness and trial among new music enthusiasts.
“We are thrilled to welcome Willobee as OpenAir’s next leader and begin a new chapter in the station’s ongoing development,” said President and CEO Stewart Vanderwilt. “Music discovery is an essential part of the Colorado experience and likewise CPR’s service. We’re confident Willobee’s experience and leadership will help elevate OpenAir and the distinct mix of new, independent and local music important to Colorado.”
Carlan’s career in radio began on the air at New York’s legendary WLIR. Over the next 30+ years he went on to launch new stations and lead successful turnaround efforts for others. He’s been a PD and OM at stations across the country, from California to Arizona, Texas and all across the northeast. His recent achievements include heading up broadcast operations for Shamrock Communications, where he was program director for their classic and Alternative Rock stations. He also developed several start-up stations while at Shamrock, including KRZQ, POP-FM, Z105.3 and K-NEWS in Reno, NV. In 2016, he joined Nevada Public Radio to launch their Triple A station, NV89 and was later inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In addition to his background in programming and operations, Carlan has experience managing musicians and concert venues. In Los Angeles, he helped manage Korn, General Public and several other successful artists. In Austin, he helped create and build Two River Canyon Amphitheater, where he was GM, responsible for producing a number of events with artists like Willie Nelson, The Dead, Neil Young, Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Leon Russell and others.
“OpenAir is among a small group of independent radio stations in the country devoted to music discovery,” said Carlan. “I am very excited to become part of Colorado Public Radio. I look forward to exploring the Colorado music scene, and building OpenAir’s brand – to engage more music enthusiasts and help raise the profile of musicians who are putting Colorado’s music scene on the map.”