The University of Southern California’s USC Radio Group, billed as “the No. 1 Classical music radio station network in the nation,” has named public broadcasting executive James A. Muhammad as its new President & CEO.

Muhammad is currently President & CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, which serves the Northwest Indiana and Chicago areas. His appointment is part of the organization’s expanding outreach to diverse audiences throughout the state with its broadcasts on KUSC-FM/Los Angeles and KDFC-FM/San Francisco, streaming services, websites, social media, YouTube channel and live events.

“James is a highly accomplished public media executive with a lifelong passion for Classical music,” said Samuel Garrison, SVP of University Relations at USC, which owns the licenses for KUSC-FM and KDFC-FM. “He engages audiences with meaningful, innovative programming together with a steadfast commitment to community partnerships. We are so glad that James will be leading USC Radio Group forward into its next era.”

Muhammad began his career as an intern at Alabama Public Radio in Tuscaloosa where he later became one of America’s youngest classical music announcers. He has gone on to hold leadership positions at Bradley University’s NPR affiliate WCBU/Peoria, IL, and with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Muhammad earned his bachelor’s in mass communications from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, which he attended on a choral music scholarship. He went on to earn an MBA at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he sits on the National Council for the College of Business.

“It’s an honor to be selected as USC Radio Group’s next president,” Muhammad said. “The organization’s mission aligns perfectly with my personal beliefs and how I was raised. I’m the proud son of a music educator, choral music director and organist whom I watched share the majesty and transformative power of classical music freely. It’s the mission of Classical California to do the same. I’m so excited to be part of that.” Muhammad begins his new role on Sept. 12.