Brian Sickora, the executive director and general manager of the public television network UNC-TV, has resigned from his post to take a position with the medical marijuana investment firm Acreage Holdings.
Sickora emailed his letter of resignation to the UNC-TV staff and board of trustees on Tuesday.
In his email, which was obtained by The News & Observer, Sickora writes that he will be Acreage Holdings’ general manager for production, distribution and sales of medical cannibis in New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
“It’s exciting and scary to move into this new fast-growing industry,” Sickora wrote. He noted that the position means a future move to New Jersey, which puts him closer to family in Pennsylvania.
Acreage Holdings writes on its website that it has “the most diverse portfolio of any company in the American cannabis industry, with cultivation, processing and dispensing operations across 14 states with plans to expand.”
Sickora wrote in his email: “While it’s not quite the same as Public Media’s mission to engage, enrich and empower lives, I am struck by the healing power of the cannabis industry on severely disabled children, the elderly and our veterans ... I never thought in a million years that I would be in the Cannabis Industry, but then again after spending ten years in the Defense Industry, I never thought I would work in Public Media either, and that worked out pretty darn well!”
Sickora was named to the position July 1, 2016, coming to UNC-TV from WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York. He is also on the board of directors at PBS. His bio on the PBS website notes that he lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Kate; their triplets, George, Marlene, and Virginia; and their dog, Larry.
According to his email, Sickora’s last day with UNC-TV is Oct. 26.
Neither Sickora nor representatives from UNC-TV immediately responded to requests for comment. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.