Debra FraserGeneral Manager
Debra believes that KMUW has a responsibility to bring the story of Wichita to local listeners and to the world. After joining the station in 2014, she has more than doubled the size and scope of the KMUW News team, built a new Community Engagement department, moved the station to new studios in Wichita’s Old Town and made KMUW an integral part of the Kansas News Service, a statewide public radio news network.
It is Debra’s job to ensure that Wichita’s NPR station is well-represented on local, regional and national levels, while also providing the tools for her talented team to make great radio, trusted news and engaging conversations. She recognizes that in a time of tumultuous news cycles and shrinking news reporting, it is the responsibility of nonprofit news organizations to provide accurate reporting with integrity at heart. Plus, offer a little room to breathe at night and on weekends with curated local music programs and an occasional laugh, even if it’s at ourselves!
Debra serves the community as president of the Old Town Association, ex-officio member of the Downtown Wichita Board and immediate past-chair of Kansas Public Broadcasting Council. She and her staff volunteer for other nonprofits to help make Wichita even better. She came to Wichita from Houston, where she served as station manager and chief operating officer of Houston Public Media, radio and TV. Debra spent 25 years at the Gulf Coast organization as a public radio reporter, then news director and station manager, allowing her to learn the business of public radio from the ground up.
Debra received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Radio, Television & Film. She started as a news intern in Georgetown, Texas, with pre-dawn trips to the police and fire departments, along with late-night city council and school board meetings. This is when and where she learned that an informed citizenry makes a community stronger. That is why she is here.