Lisa Trapani Shumate is the new executive director and general manager of Houston Public Media, the umbrella organization for the University of Houston's KUHT-TV and its KUHF (88.7 FM) and KUHA (91.7 FM) radio stations, reports the Houston Chronicle. The university announced plans in January to merge its TV and radio stations, which employ about 165 people, to streamline operations and improve fundraising.
Shumate will continue in her current post as director of programming and marketing for local CBS affiliate KHOU until assuming her new responsibilities in November. Previously, she was an executive director at Belo Corp., a Dallas-based company that owns 20 commercial broadcasting television stations and two regional 24-hour cable news television channels. She also was a reporter and manager of marketing and special projects at ABC affiliate KTRK in Houston.
The paper said Shumate would not speculate on possible staff consolidation, but said the merger "is an opportunity for everybody to work across the aisle. It's no different than what is happening at any media outlet where people publish for the web or shoot their own video. It's happening on the TV side already."
John Profitt, c.e.o. of Houston Public Radio, said he "will be a team player with the organization and it will be up to (Shumate) how she wants to move forward." The Chronicle said John Hesse, station manager of Channel 8, was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 4).