Jonathan Seaborn, chief content officer for Texas Tech Public Media in Lubbock, will be the new general manager of public radio at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Seaborn announced his appointment on social media after eight years in various positions at Texas Tech Public Media, the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio stations for Lubbock and surrounding areas of West Texas.
He will be succeeding Nathan Vandiver, who took over leadership of NPR affiliate KUAR-FM, 89.1, and sister station KLRE-FM, 90.5, Little Rock’s public classical music station, in 2016 and became GM officially in 2019.
Last July, Vandiver left Little Rock for Portland, Oregon, where his wife joined the Federal Public Defender’s office. The UA Little Rock has been looking for a replacement for the past six months, conducting a nationwide search.
Seaborn called the new job announcement bittersweet but exciting. “I have accepted an offer to become the next general manager for @kuarpublicradio in Little Rock,” he said in a post on Twitter, using the stations’ usernames. “For more than eight years I’ve called @attupublicmedia my home. But it’s time to start the next chapter in my career.”
Seaborn is a Texas Tech graduate with a degree in creative media, as well as an adjunct professor at the university. He joined the public media operation in 2014 as a producer and became its production director in 2015. He took over the content officer’s role in April 2022.
“I’ve been lucky to work with some of the most talented people in public media,” he said. “I have no doubt that the future is bright for TTUPM. The news and production teams will continue to surpass expectations.” He noted that Texas Tech had been more than an employer. “My wife and I both graduated from TTU. The university is ingrained in our DNA.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Lyndsey Seaborn has a marketing and general business degree from Texas Tech and has worked for five years in new business development and account management at The Price Group, a Lubbock branding and advertising agency.
Though they will always be Red Raiders, Jonathan Seaborn wrote, the couple is eager to move to Little Rock. “I can’t wait to work with the incredible KUAR staff. The level of excitement I’ve already experienced from the team is inspiring.”
One challenge for Seaborn will be finding a successor for News Director Michael Hibblen, who left KUAR after nearly 14 years for a job at Arkansas PBS at the first of the year.
Vandiver was only the second GM at UA Little Rock radio of the 21st century. He stepped in to lead the stations after the unexpected death of longtime General Manager Ben Fry in March 2016. Fry died in his sleep of a heart attack at age 54. He had led KUAR and KLRE for 20 years.