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The Wisconsin Educational Communications Board didn’t need to look far to identify its next executive director.

The board elevated deputy executive director Marta Bechtol to lead the state agency, which owns the majority of broadcasting licenses for Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television in partnership with UW-Madison.

Bechtol has worked at the Educational Communications Board for 14 years. Her appointment took effect Oct. 16.

She takes over for Gene Purcell, who was named director of Wisconsin Public Media earlier this year.

Bechtol’s new salary will be $138,257, according to board executive assistant David Cobb. The board received 16 applications for the position.

She will lead the state agency during a time of great change in the broadcast industry. The agency is also in charge of NOAA weather radio transmitters, the state’s Emergency Alert System and Amber Alerts.

“I am honored to serve the people of Wisconsin at ECB,” she said in a board announcement. “Wisconsin has always been a pioneer in public broadcasting and that will continue.”

Bechtol is an alumna of the University of Utah and California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. She is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at UW-Madison. She previously worked as an educator in California, Alaska and Kansas.

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