Hughes to depart leadership of Public Interactive next month

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After what she termed a “difficult deliberation,” NPR v.p. Debra May Hughes is leaving the network and her post at the top of Public Interactive, which offers website development services to the pubcasting community. Her departure is effective Aug. 31.

Hughes said in a letter to colleagues that “the time is right to step down from the helm of Public Interactive and chart a new course,” but didn’t mention what that would be. Hughes began her pubcasting career 14 years ago by launching Car Talk‘s site and steered PI through transitions to new parent companies Public Radio International and NPR. Hughes headed PI since 2005, as president and COO and then as an NPR vice president. She was an executive in PI’s predecessor company, New Market Network in Boston, from 1996, and involved in the founding of PI in 1999. “Of course, my stilettos will be difficult ones to fill, but I’m confident the transition will be smooth prior and during the appointment of a new vice president, which is likely to occur early this fall,” she added.

In an accompanying note, Kinsey Wilson, senior v.p. and g.m. of NPR Digital Media, said a job description for interested applicants will be posted soon.