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Rick Johnson remembers Julie Glenn's first big assignment as WGCU news director: Hurricane Irma

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I am the former general manager of WGCU Public Media and one of the relatively few people who know the debt of gratitude Southwest Florida owes Julie Glenn. In early September 2017, I asked Julie to assume the responsibilities of interim news director of WGCU-FM. The news director at that time, having accepted another position, was headed to a meeting out of state. In any other circumstance appointing an interim replacement would not have been so urgent but in this case we had Hurricane Irma, then a category 4 storm, making a beeline for a Marco Island landfall only days away.

It was under that circumstance that Julie, without the slightest hesitation, accepted the responsibility of leading the WGCU news team that kept Southwest Florida informed over the course of the terrible days leading up to, during, and after Irma’s march through Southwest Florida. WGCU’s non-stop coverage – led by Julie Glenn – was recognized for its excellence by national and regional journalism organizations and was profiled by the Washington Post as exemplifying the critical importance of local journalism.

It was Julie’s leadership, tenacity, and good humor under the most trying circumstances that shaped that coverage while nurturing the talents and sustaining the spirits of her team who worked around the clock to keep listeners informed and safe. The world – but more specifically Southwest Florida – is a poorer place without Julie in it. I am deeply saddened by her passing. She will be sorely missed by all who worked with and knew her.