RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The director and general manager of North Carolina’s statewide public television network is retiring after more than two decades.

UNC-TV said Tuesday that Tom Howe announced his intention to retire effective Feb. 1 at the quarterly meeting of the UNC-TV Board of Trustees. Howe has been in his post since 1992 and is the 12-station network’s longest-serving general manager.

During Howe’s tenure, UNC-TV expanded its service to 24 hours a day, switched from analog to digital broadcasting and expanded its audience to more than four million viewers a week. The network increased its production of original local programming under Howe, including the 1994 launch of “North Carolina Now,” the state’s first statewide weeknight television information magazine show.

Howe previously spent ten years as an executive at KCTS in Seattle.