Joseph Lee Appointed New General Manager of NJ PBS

August 18, 2021

Portrait of light-skinned Black man with freckles and dark blue checked pattern jacket and buttoned up dark shirt. He has two-toned eyeglasses: upper part is multicolored, bottom is solid dark color

New Jersey’s statewide public television network NJ PBS welcomes Joseph Lee as General Manager of NJ PBS, starting September 13. Lee replaces John Servidio, who is retiring after serving as the network’s general manager since 2011.

Joe Lee is an experienced public media leader, an accomplished fundraiser and a pioneer in community engagement. For 28 years, Joe Lee ran non-commercial radio station WAER-FM and its digital platforms at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, first as Program Director and then as Director and General Manager. Prior to that, he led content development and management for Morgan State University public radio WEAA FM in Baltimore, his hometown.

Under his leadership, WAER transformed from a music-oriented radio station to a public media organization focused on multimedia journalism, storytelling and community impact. Lee also served as Executive Producer of Syracuse Speaks, WAER’s public affairs show focusing on issues of concern to Central New Yorkers, and as producer of WAER’s Afro Futures and Pop Life podcasts. WAER trains and mentors roughly 120 Syracuse University students interested in careers in news and sports journalism each year.

“I’m excited for Joe to be a part of NJ PBS,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of The WNET Group, which operates NJ PBS and is home to New York’s PBS stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21. “He brings deep knowledge of public media, fundraising experience and a love of journalism and community that will benefit our organization. Joe’s experience in digital and audio storytelling will be essential as NJ PBS continues to evolve into a multimedia, multiplatform provider. I will miss John Servidio, who guided NJ PBS and helped to make it the success it has become. I know that Joe will continue that legacy.”

The WNET Group stepped in to operate NJ PBS in 2011 when the State of New Jersey retracted its funding for public media. Since that time, it has become an award-winning producer of news and public affairs programming including statewide coverage of New Jersey on its newscast NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi.