By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — KOSU and Oklahoma State University have named 20-year news veteran Rachel Hubbard as the station’s new executive director, effective Feb. 24.
Leading KOSU into its next chapter, Hubbard will strive to maintain the member-supported public radio network’s journalistic excellence while continuing its mission of serving Oklahomans with independent and authentic news and music.
“I want to fight for public media in Oklahoma,” Hubbard said. “Oftentimes, people look at news outlets that are outside of Oklahoma and talk about the things they’re doing well, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t own that right here in Oklahoma and have a media resource that is ours, it’s made by us and it’s made for us. I humbly take on this leadership responsibility, but really this is about our community and listeners taking control of our own media service.”
Hubbard began her radio career while still in high school, reading obituary and hospital reports as a part-time announcer and board operator at KTJS in Hobart. She continued her radio career in 1999, joining KOSU as a student reporter.
Following graduation from Oklahoma State University in 2003, Hubbard served as the station’s state capitol reporter and news director. She was promoted to associate director in 2007, managing the day to day programming and news operations of KOSU.
Rachel has served as the station’s interim director since Kelly Burley’s retirement in 2019.
In the coming year, Hubbard will lead KOSU as it launches new initiatives to increase reporting from unrepresented parts of Oklahoma and add an agriculture and rural issues reporter with a matching grant from Report for America.
“We have been able to expand what we do because listeners have put their trust in us through their dollars,” Hubbard said.
“There is this perception that media outlets are flush with cash and that’s not true. We really can’t do it without listeners saying they want more of this news, information, and music and backing that up with their financial contributions,” she added.
Hubbard led KOSU’s innovative collaboration with The Spy in 2012, giving a platform for local music and music otherwise not represented through the radio waves. She brought StoryCorps to Oklahoma City in 2018, allowing Oklahomans to share, record, and preserve their stories.
Hubbard also currently serves as interim editor for StateImpact Oklahoma, a collaborative journalism project involving KOSU, KGOU, KWGS and KCCU. StateImpact reports on education, health, criminal justice, and how policy affects people.
During her tenure at KOSU, Hubbard has won national awards from the Public Media Journalists Association, the Scripps Howard Foundation and Society for Professional Journalists for her news coverage. She has also received numerous state and regional awards for news coverage and has been named to Oklahoma Gazette’s Forty Under 40 and Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 under 40.
Hubbard holds a Master’s of Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications from Oklahoma State University.
KOSU is a public radio service of Oklahoma State University and a member station of National Public Radio (NPR). Its programming can be heard by more than 91,000 on-air listeners every week in central, northern and northeastern Oklahoma, parts of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas and worldwide.
For more information, visit kosu.org.