KACU announces departure of General Manager Nathan Gibbs
Abilene, TX (June 1, 2022) - KACU is grateful for the nine years that Nathan Gibbs has served the Abilene community, leading KACU from his appreciation of public broadcasting values and mission. "As a student announcer in the '90s, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to come back and lead the station,” said Gibbs, who was the first Hispanic general manager of KACU. “The thing I'm most proud of is recruiting talented people to help KACU fulfill its public service mission. It's been an honor to serve in this role and am pleased to be leaving the station in the hands of such a strong and capable staff."
Early on Gibbs led the station through a frequency change and rebranding to KACU 89.5 FM. He also expanded the station’s coverage of news and information by adding a number of new programs to the lineup. In recent years Gibbs guided major renovations at ACU TV and KACU’s new podcasting studios.
“Nathan's impact on the department, KACU, ACU, and the local community cannot be overstated,” said Chair of ACU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Kenneth Pybus. “He transformed KACU and helped craft it into a leader in local journalism. Under his guidance, it's become a crucial source of news for the local community. He will be sorely missed in Don Morris and on campus.”
Gibbs kept KACU financially sound during his tenure, playing a key role in the twice-yearly, on-air fundraising campaigns, securing nearly $900,000 in grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and maintaining balanced spending budgets.
Corey Patterson, chair of KACU’s Community Advisory Board praised Gibbs for his expressed appreciation for the way Gibbs lead KACU, “We have seen an evolution in the content and professionalism of the station and in turn have seen exponential growth in support. Nathan’s leadership and impact will be missed and we wish him well in all of his future endeavors.”
When COVID-19 presented new challenges, Gibbs worked with staff to increase service to the community, developing a daily newsletter that summarized the fast-changing news around the pandemic. Eventually the station expanded the newsletter’s focus to a broad round up of the day’s state and local news. He also worked to adjust studio spaces and protocols in compliance with Abilene Christian University’s COVID policies, while maintaining fundraising efforts and broadcast operations.
“Nathan brought a wide range of skills and knowledge to KACU, and juggled responsibilities as a journalism professor with his passion serving the community through public radio news, information, and music. We will miss him and work hard to carry on the excellence KACU achieved under his leadership,” said Heather Claborn, who will serve as KACU’s Interim Station Manager.
Nathan Gibbs, his wife Rosario, and their children will be relocating closer to family in the San Diego area. Gibbs has accepted a faculty position in the Department of Literature, Journalism, Writing, and Languages at Point Loma Nazarene University.