Dennis Wharton, the long-serving chief spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, will retire in July.
Wharton, who has been with the organization for 24 years, will continue to serve as a senior adviser to NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith. Following Wharton’s retirement, NAB will combine its communications and marketing departments into a new Public Affairs department, which will be led by Michelle Lehman. Lehman has served as executive vice president of Marketing since joining NAB in 2006.
Ann Marie Cumming will serve as senior vice president of communications, and will take over Wharton’s role as the primary spokesperson of the organization. Jen Jose, who has been with NAB since 2007, will serve as senior vice president of public affairs, overseeing all messaging, digital and public service activities of the organization.
“Dennis is a fervent advocate for local broadcasting and his dedication to NAB and the broadcast industry cannot be overstated,” said Smith. “Journalists, broadcasters and colleagues alike value his extensive insight on industry-related issues and appreciate the enthusiasm and good humor he brings to his work. We wish Dennis all the best and are fortunate to have him stay on as an adviser to NAB.”
Wharton joined NAB in 1996 as vice president, Media Relations and subsequently was promoted to senior vice president in 1997 and executive vice president in 2006.