Joyce Slocum began her professional life as an attorney, but soon realized that she could leverage the critical thinking skills she learned in law school to serve her employers and her community in many ways. While frequently characterized as a visionary, the through line of her career is not just conceiving big picture results, but also charting the strategic paths to achieve those results and leading others to join in the effort.
Slocum is President and CEO of Texas Public Radio, a non-profit public media organization that is a vital source of news and information and cultural programming to communities across a wide swath South Central Texas through its seven radio stations, and to listeners and readers around the world through its digital distribution channels. Since joining TPR in January 2014, Slocum has led a successful $10 million capital campaign, negotiated a unique arrangement with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County that secured a prime downtown location for a new TPR headquarters on highly favorable terms, and overseen the renovation and buildout of the new headquarters building.
Under Slocum’s leadership, TPR’s operating revenues and staff size have doubled. She has also overseen TPR’s robust growth in the digital space, with numerous TPR-produced podcasts and a vibrant virtual events practice that has seen steady growth even during the COVID-19 pandemic. True to Slocum’s commitment to public service, TPR initiated Spanish-language coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and other critical news and information in 2020.
Slocum was an architect and champion of what is now known as The Texas Newsroom, an innovative statewide collaboration designed to dramatically boost public media’s local and regional news coverage. The Texas Newsroom links the state’s public radio newsrooms, allowing its four lead stations (TPR, KERA in North Texas, Houston Public Media, and KUT in Austin), together with NPR as a national partner, and smaller stations across Texas to share resources, plan coverage together, and dig deeper into the state’s most important stories.
Slocum currently serves on the NPR Board of Directors, including as its Vice Chair and Chair of its Audit Committee; the Executive Committee of Eastern Region Public Media; the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio; the Advisory Board of the H-E-B School of Business & Administration of University of the Incarnate Word; the Board of Directors of the Alameda Theater Conservancy; and the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Masters Leadership Program. She is a member of the Alliance for Women in Media, the International Women’s Forum, the Argyle Business Forum and the San Antonio Masters Leadership Alumni Association.
Prior to joining TPR, Slocum spent 5½ years at National Public Radio, based in Washington, DC. She joined in 2008 as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Ethics Officer. In March 2011, the NPR Board appointed Slocum to serve as Interim President and CEO, a role she held for nine months. She then served as Chief Administrative Officer until her departure in December 2013.
While Slocum had oversight of or influence on almost every function of NPR in her varied roles there, notable among her accomplishments were leading the teams responsible for the design and construction of NPR’s 400,000 square foot LEED Gold headquarters, delivering the project two months ahead of time and $2 million under budget; orchestrating NPR’s offering of $162,125,000 of tax-exempt municipal bonds to finance the new headquarters and later refinancing of the bonds to a lower interest rate; shepherding the development of a new Journalism Code of Ethics and Code of Business Conduct; repairing the previously fraught relationships with SAG-AFTRA and NABET, the unions which represent approximately half of NPR’s employees, and successfully negotiating collective bargaining agreements with both unions; and invigorating the functions of numerous NPR departments through strategic hiring, deployment of technology, and a culture of excellence and service.
Prior to joining NPR, Slocum was Executive Vice President, Global Legal and Business Affairs, and General Counsel for HIT Entertainment, a producer and distributor of quality children’s entertainment products. Over 14 years, Slocum was a constant in top management as the company evolved through a variety of management structures, starting with her role in establishing the first legal department at Lyrick Corporation in 1994. Slocum served as a key negotiator when Lyrick merged with HIT Entertainment PLC, and later as key player in negotiations for HIT’s acquisition of Gullane Entertainment PLC. Following HIT’s acquisition by Apax Partners, Slocum was named company secretary for the primary holding company and all US subsidiaries.
In addition to her mergers and acquisitions work while at HIT, Slocum championed the concept of a cable channel dedicated to quality pre-school children’s programming and later served a pivotal role in bringing together the unique partnership of HIT, Comcast, Sesame Workshop, and PBS to achieve that goal with the launch of the PBS Kids Sprout channel. The channel was available to over 56 million homes prior to its rebranding as Universal Kids in 2017.
Previous to HIT, Slocum contributed as both a legal and business adviser during her 10 years at 7-Eleven, Inc. Slocum played a pivotal role in preserving the company’s cash flow when it filed a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to transfer control of 70% of the company to its Japanese affiliate, Ito-Yokado, and was a crucial liaison between the new Japanese management and the 7-Eleven franchisee community. She was also responsible for negotiating the company’s country licenses for Brazil and Korea.
Slocum began her career in the private practice of law, first with the Dallas firm of Johnson, Swanson & Barbee and later with Winstead, McGuire, Sechrest & Minick. Her practice focused on comprehensive business, succession and estate planning for high net worth owners of closely held businesses.
Slocum’s work in the legislative realm includes assisting the Texas Motion Picture Alliance with a successfully lobby of the Texas Legislature for funding production incentives, and taking a lead role as a member of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition Foundation board by helping draft a successful multi-state model trademark anti-counterfeiting bill.
Slocum was honored with a 2017 Women’s Leadership Award by the San Antonio Business Journal, and the 2013 Public Radio Regional Organizations Award in appreciation of contributions made on behalf of public radio stations nationwide.
Slocum holds a Juris Doctor degree from the St. Louis University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University.