Executive Director, AAPRC

Loretta Rucker

Executive Director, AAPRC

Loretta Rucker is the founding Executive Director of the African-American Public Radio Consortium. She is an executive consultant for public radio capacity-building, and an executive producer for programming that targets diverse audiences.

In 2001, Ms. Rucker led the creation of the AAPRC in partnership with station General Managers, and incorporated in 2005. CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) provided the Consortium with a planning grant in 2008 to develop the Consortium’s business, board and service plans. As Executive Director, Rucker oversees capacity-building and training for stations, and the development of an African-American program and media service. She represents stations in business and programming partnerships, and advocates for stations in their licensee relationships and within the public broadcasting industry.

Rucker led the AAPRC in forging a strategic partnership between the Consortium and NPR (National Public Radio) to develop African-American news/talk programs. Programs created by the partnership include “The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR” in 2002, “News & Notes” with Ed Gordon & Farai Chideya in 2004 and “Tell Me More” hosted by Michel Martin, formerly a correspondent for ABC-TV’s “Nightline” in 2007. She was the architect and facilitator of the African-American stations’ active production relationship with NPR, and with the programs’ hosts and production teams during the programs’ developmental phases.

In addition to national African-American programs, this work has created a talent pool of ethnically diverse producers. Through the Consortium, Rucker is currently working with these producers and new hosting talent to pilot, develop and acquire new programs that will broaden public radio’s service to people of color. Rucker has piloted news and information programs including UpFront with Tony Cox“, a bicoastal African-American news magazine. She is working with stations, music aficionados, prior record industry execs, black culture connoisseurs and experts in health, politics, economics, etc. to create partnerships that increase available African-American programming.

Through her consulting practice which began 1991, Loretta has been a pioneer in growing radio stations serving audiences of color. She was awarded multiple grants from CPB for projects she created to develop emerging stations between 1992 and 2008, including “Developing Minority Stations — Expanding Minority Audiences” in 1992, “Fundraising Strategies for People of Color” in 1995, and the “Stable Revenue Projects” from 1997 to 2008. She’s remained committed to supporting scores of managers, producers and hosts in their professional careers, and a consistent promoter of increasing diverse voices in public media.

Loretta’s on-the-ground experience in developing stations serving audience of color is unrivaled within the public radio industry. Her work onsite with public radio managers, staff and licensees includes the following 45 stations:

Loretta began her radio career at two major market African-American stations – WBGO Newark/New York and WFPW Washington DC from 1980 – 1991.

She continues to visit stations personally, and also commissions other development, programming & production and research experts to work with stations. Outside of the U.S., Loretta has spent extensive time in Ghana, West Africa since 1984. She served on Ghana’s International Panafest Advisory Committee in 1992 and 1994, and has longstanding relationships with some of the country’s leadership (democratic and traditional) and Ghanaian media executives and producers.