Johnston to step down as chief of The Peoples Channel
Chad Johnston, executive director of The Peoples Channel and Durham Community Media, has announced that he will resign March 15 to take a similar post in St. Paul, Minn.
Johnston notified the nonprofits’ Board of Directors of his decision to step down at the board’s Jan. 14 meeting.
The People’s Channel has two separate agreements to manage public access stations for Durham and for Chapel Hill.
In Saint Paul, Johnston, who has led The Peoples Channel since 2004, will become executive director of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network.
He will assume those duties March 25.
“They have a very similar mission and philosophy,” Johnston said of the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network.
While looking forward to taking on new challenges, Johnston said he will miss the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham communities, which he said are filled with people who care deeply about the towns in which they live.
“That’s what’s kept me here,” Johnston said.
He said he will also miss the staff.
“I will deeply miss the amazing staff I have worked with, probably them, more than anything else,” Johnston said.
He said he is comfortable leaving because of the very capable staff and the fact that organization is financially stable.
“I would not even consider leaving if our organization wasn’t in a really good position,” Johnston said.
During the nearly nine years that Johnston has led The Peoples Channel, the nonprofit’s financial situation has improved significantly.
Vimala Rajendran, the board’s president, said Johnston has shown “excellent leadership” through his nearly nine years at the helm of the organization.
“Mr. Johnston has seen the organization through many challenges over the years, including the near extinction of Public Access TV through the deregulation of cable in 2005 and the opening of a brand new TV station for the Durham community in 2009,” Rajendran said in a statement announcing the impending resignation.
While leading The Peoples Channel, Johnston won several awards.
He was the recipient of the Independent Weekly’s Citizen of the Year award in 2006 and in 2012 the Community Programming Advocacy award by the South East Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for his state legislative work.
The organization’s board will start a search for a new executive director soon.
Anyone interested in the position should visit www.thepeopleschannel.org for more information, as it’s made public.