Reber leaves NPR; Arganbright, Appleby launch firm; and more…

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CIR has hired ex-NPR investigative news head Susanne Reber.

As senior coordinating editor for multiplatform projects and investigations for the nonprofit newsroom, Reber will lead national and international investigative and enterprise reporting projects, and guide the center’s team of health and environment reporters. Reber joined NPR in January 2010 to build and lead the network’s first investigative unit as deputy managing editor of investigations. She left NPR this month, according to a May 8 memo by NPR News chief Margaret Low Smith that was published on the Poynter Institute website. Smith put Senior National Editor Steve Drummond in charge of investigations while NPR determines “next steps for the unit’s leadership,” she wrote in the memo. CIR announced Reber’s appointment on May 15. She starts in the new position in June.

Longtime fundraisers Valerie Arganbright and Barbara Appleby have left Minnesota Public Radio/ American Public Media to launch their own consulting firm.

Appleby Arganbright will bebased in Saint Paul, Minn., and focus on creating and implementing sustainable fundraising programs for nonprofits. Arganbright has been managing director of the member program at MPR since 2004; the pubradio station is one of only two with more than 100,000 members. Arganbright also launched the member program for Classical South Florida in 2007, and provided member program support for Southern California Public Radio.

Appleby led MPR’s member program for six years in the 1990s, then left to direct research for DEI, and, in another top fundraising post, developed new revenue strategies for NPR. She led major initiatives such as creation of DEI’s benchmarking survey of local pubradio fundraising and developed the concept for 3MG (3 Million Givers), a collaborative campaign to boost public radio membership (Current, July 14, 2008). Appleby returned to MPR in 2009.

Nico Leone will succeed pubradio veteran Patricia Cahill as g.m. of KCUR on Aug. 1.

Cahill, who has run the Kansas City, Mo., station since 1987, announced last September that she planned to retire. A 10-member search committee conducted a national search for her successor.

Leone is co-executive director of St. Louis’ KDHX-FM, a nonprofit indie community station. “Nico is exactly what we need to extend the excellence of KCUR into the future,” said David Warm, who headed the search committee and is chair of the community advisory board. “Patty Cahill is leaving some big shoes to fill, and Nico will come as close as anyone can to matching her legacy.”

During his tenure at KDHX, Leone led the station through several major CPB-backed initiatives, including the Station Renewal Project and Leadership for Philanthropy. He also kicked off the station’s first capital campaign to fund a new facility in the city’s arts and cultural district.

WFUV’s Chuck Singleton will drop “interim” from his title on July 1.

The veteran program director took the job of general manager at Fordham University’s public radio station in June 2011 when longtime chief Ralph Jennings retired. Last week, the university in Bronx, N.Y., announced that Singleton earned a permanent appointment to the post.

“We have in Chuck Singleton an extraordinary eye for talent, a long track record of pleasing audiences, and a highly capable and collegial manager,” said Joseph McShane, Fordham University president. “I expect great things from Chuck, and with his appointment believe WFUV’s best days lie ahead of us.”

In his year as interim director, Singleton presided over a successful gala fundraising event and chaired the station’s strategic planning committee. His leadership has guided WFUV’s staff “toward a unified vision for the station and increased audience and revenue,” according to the news release announcing his appointment.

“I’m hugely honored to be asked to lead WFUV, and excited about what’s ahead for this one-of-a-kind public station,” Singleton said.


After a trial run leading WHYY’s membership program, Jeff Bundy has been appointed director of member relations. He began his career at the Philadelphia station in 2006 as senior publicist, and later worked as WHYY’s first community relations manager, overseeing events as well as fundraising and outreach initiatives. Bundy is a two-time winner of the PBS Development Award for Innovation, and recipient of the Pennsylvania Public Television Network’s “Best Neighbor” Award, inspired by the work of Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.


NPR has hired Brian Boyer to lead a news apps group within its digital news unit. Boyer will oversee a team of data journalists, designers and application developers who will advance NPR’s interactive storytelling through data-driven presentations on all platforms. NPR is staffing the team from existing and vacant positions across the network. Boyer is leader of a pioneering news apps team at the Chicago Tribune, and also created investigative news apps as an intern with ProPublica. He spent seven years in the software field before enrolling at Northwestern University to get a masters’ degree in journalism on a scholarship for developers funded by the Knight Foundation. Boyer also leads the PANDA Project, a tool backed by a Knight News Challenge Grant that allows newsrooms to store, sift and share databases.

Human resources

WGBH in Boston appointed Frances Sullivan as vice president for human resources. She will oversee all HR functions, including workforce planning, acquisition and development, employee relations, benefits administration and communications. Sullivan has worked in various divisions of Fidelity Investments for nearly 20 years, most recently as senior vice president of human resources for Fidelity Personal and Workplace Investing, where she assisted more than 800 managers and a workforce of 6,500.


Georgia’s GPB Radio has selected a new senior news editor, Rickey Bevington, and two local hosts, Ellen Reinhardt and Joshua Stewart. Bevington most recently hosted GPB broadcasts of All Things Considered, and was a frequent contributor to the state network’s TV series Georgia Traveler. Reinhardt takes over local hosting duties for ATC; she previously worked as news director and managing editor at North Carolina News Network of Curtis Network Group. Stewart now hosts Morning Edition for GPB, moving up from his role as Weekend Edition host and producer of radio segments for the GPTV series Georgia Outdoors. Before joining GPB, he produced the weekly news show Florida Matters for WUSF in Tampa.


KVCR President Larry Ciecalone, who had been placed on administrative leave in March pending an investigation of an undisclosed matter, has resigned, effective May 31. Ciecalone has led the dual licensee serving San Bernardino and Riverside counties since 2003. “No reason was given for Ciecalone’s paid leave last March, nor his reasons for resigning,” reported the local Press-Enterprise. Station manager Kenn Couch told Current he is overseeing radio and TV until licensee San Bernardino Community College District decides on staffing.

Development Exchange Inc. (DEI) has hired Joan Kobayashi as the Minneapolis-based firm’s chief financial officer, effective July 1. Kobayashi is currently g.m. of KMFA-FM in Austin, Texas, and has been a member of the DEI board and the finance committee for 17 months. Before joining KMFA in 1998, she spent nearly 10 years overseeing finances at the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Kobayashi received the Outstanding Development Professional of the Year Award from the Public Radio Association of Development Officers in 2008.


The New England Public Radio Foundation, fundraising arm of WFCR and WNNZ in Amherst, Mass., has appointed Paul Lambert as vice president, along with several directors and advisors. Lambert has served as the vice president of guest experience and programming at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., since June 2002. New directors are Rosemary Caine, who grew up in Ardee, Ireland, and is a founding member of the folk-music Burren Flora Trio; Jenny Kallick, music professor at Amherst College; and Jerrell Moore, diversity and inclusion consultant at MassMutual. Incoming advisors, who serve as nonvoting board members, are Jennell Cappo Sorrell, a registered nurse and community services case manager at the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care in Springfield, Mass.; and Dr. Steve Wittenberg, a cardiologist and Tufts University medical professor.

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