Thursday, February 13, 2020


Dave Edwards speaking at a
public media conference
Dave Edwards was always busy when he was the General Manager of WUWM in Milwaukee. 

Since he retired after three decades of leading the station, he is busier than ever running Dave Edwards Media [link], a firm that consults organizations and individuals involved in public media.

Edwards’ goal is to use the knowledge he has gained over the years by helping the next generation of leaders in public media – and in the folks other nonprofit organizations – become effective leaders. 

As part of the effort to achieve this goal, Edwards has released his first book, the Public Media Managers Handbook.

Edwards feels there is a need for the Managers Handbook. Though millions of dollars have been spent to establish public media stations and organizations, very little training or feedback is available for new managers as they enter the field or are promoted to the top job.

The Public Media Managers Handbook is available at Amazon [link] for $20.00 per copy. 

Edwards is encouraging sales of the book by offering buyers additional services and documents including a one-on-one half-hour telephone consultation about any problem, issue or training element they would like to discuss. 

Plus, Edwards is offering copies of three special reports:

A Public Media Manager’s Guide to Podcast Production

Productivity Hacks, Apps & Books  

How To Use Evernote As A Tool for Better Productivity

The incentive is being offered for a limited time. 

Edwards asks that people who want the extras email him ( and attach a copy of the purchase receipt to qualify. More information is available here.

Edwards' book is notable for several reasons. To our knowledge, it is the first book of its kind about public media. Edwards blends his experiences and advice in a concise easy-to-read narrative. 

You can see in the Table of Contents on the right. 

The scope of topics discussed in the book are comprehensive and detailed.

We recommend the Public Media Managers Handbook to readers who are interested in mechanisms of public media, particularly public radio. 

The book is best suited for senior managers at any point in their career. 

People who have just begun public media management jobs will find it is essential reading.

Though the topics covered are specifically about public media, many of the techniques described will be of value to leaders of other types of nonprofit organizations.

People now working in public media may want to read the Managers Handbook because they, or people they know, might be mentioned.

Edwards’ book has approximately 140 pages that are filled to the brim with advice and perspective about the operation of public media organizations.

We imagine that there will be copies of the Public Media Managers Handbook with dog-eared pages in managers offices five or ten years from now.

The reason we recommend Public Media Managers Handbook is the number of pages devoted to learning to be a leader, the mindset of an effective manager and handling “people issues.” 

Dave Edwards is an experienced mentor

We found this quote to be particularly telling:

“You aren’t a manager until you can go home at night knowing that someone on your staff thinks you are the dumbest person in the world....and you are OK with it.”

We appreciate Edwards' discussion of “Managing The Crisis You Inherited.” Take it from someone who has been in this situation, talking about it is very helpful. Here is a quote from that part of the book:

“In an ideal situation, a new CEO comes into a previously well-run organization without controversy. But sometimes a previous leader has left under less than favorable circumstances. It is important for you, as the new leader, to take charge of the issues you inherit.”

The Public Media Managers Handbook gives frank advice about touchy topics such as personnel problems, hiring and firing and compliance issues.

What makes the book even more unique are Edward’s discussions about building an entrepreneurial spirit, dealing with risk-adverse university decision makers, finding new sources of revenue and making certain that you do not jeopardize your non-profit status.

We have only one criticism of Edwards’ book: It lacks an index. One of the first things we do when reading a non-fiction book is to look at the index for names of people and important events. Because of the large volume of information in Public Media Managers Handbook, an index would help readers to navigate the material.

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