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Rotary Happenings: Island Rotarians hear from WGCU news director

By ROTARY CLUB - | Dec 15, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Julie Glenn, WGCU news director and host of Gulf Coast Life, was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.

It has become harder for the average Joe to determine fact from opinion portrayed as fact in the news. In steps Julie Glenn, WGCU’s news director and host of Gulf Coast Life. WGCU Public Media is Southwest Florida’s source for PBS and NPR, and a member-supported service of Florida Gulf Coast University. Glenn was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.

WGCU offers programming 24 hours a day and is a storyteller, teacher, theater, library and traveling companion. Serving all or part of 12 counties in South and Southwest Florida with five digital TV channels, three radio services and digital media platforms, it delivers national and international programming, as well as develops and produces relevant, informative and educational local content.

Glenn joined the team in 2016 to expand Gulf Coast Life, a call-in radio show, from once weekly to five days a week. Since then, it has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station’s award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in 2017, Glenn was named interim news director. In 2018, she launched WGCU’s first podcast, Grape Minds.

Before joining WGCU, she worked as a freelance food and wine writer and a regular wine columnist for the Naples Daily News. Glenn began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Italy, where she earned a master’s in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in mass communication is from the University of Missour-Kansas City.

Glenn joked that as long as WGCU is receiving complaints from both the left and right sides, it is doing something right — reporting somewhere in the middle — giving representation to all sides.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club holds a meeting on Fridays at 7:30 a.m. at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, at 949 Sand Castle Road, Sanibel, and via Zoom. To attend in person, email Bill Harkey at William.Harkey@gmail.com; attendance is limited to 20 people. To take part via Zoom, call 239-472-7257. For more information, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary.