Cambridge community radio station WHCP-FM has named Judy Diaz as the new general manager. Diaz, who brings an impressive background in media strategy and marketing, will replace the station’s founder and long-time station manager Mike Starling, who stepped down as of November 1.
Diaz was head of audience strategy at PBS, where she launched PBS KIDS among other programs and services. She co-founded and launched her own PBS digital product, Next Avenue, and a digital platform at AARP. She also served as vice-president of marketing at POLITICO.
“We are excited and delighted to have Judy as our new station manager,” said Thomas Long, WHCP’s president and board chair. “We knew that replacing Mike Starling, a genuine visionary who built WHCP from the ground up, was not going to be easy. But we feel that Judy brings just the right blend of personality, experience, and leadership skills to take WHCP to the next level. It was actually Mike Starling who brought Judy’s name to the attention of our search committee.”
Starling founded WHCP soon after retiring as vice president at NPR and moving full-time to Cambridge. The station went on the air July 4, 2014, and now features informational and educational programming along with an eclectic mix of music shows hosted by local people. Bruce Patrick greets listeners every weekday morning on Midshore Wakeup, Drew Sheckler spins Jazzmatzz and Indie City, Anne Watts creates the unique Woman Wattage, Dr. Donna Flaggs shares her love of blues music through Lady Spins the Blues are among the many passionate contributors.
In 2015 Starling launched MidShore MidDay, a local news and information program rare for a market the size of Cambridge. Contributors include Cole Ledger the youngest sports forecaster in America and Jim Brady who retired to Cambridge from Chicago and was a producer for the Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2016 WHCP’s 24/7 reading service was launched for the blind, or anyone who wants to hear articles from the local publications and other content (including Snowbirds who want to keep in touch with Cambridge).
Diaz and her husband have owned a home in Cambridge since 2004, but just moved to town full-time last November. “I am awed by what Mike and this community built in WHCP, and I am so excited to build on the station’s incredible foundation,” she said. “Who could not be inspired by its mission?” Our work is to celebrate the human experience as infinitely varied; encourage a spirit of active community participation; preserve and present the cultural past; showcase the work of contemporary artists; document, record and seek to preserve the oral histories of members of the community; and remain committed to radio programming with a human perspective, respecting all peoples and their environments.”