Syracuse’s WCNY welcomes two new execs, Echeverría and Santos host Vocalo en Español, and more . . .

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Echeverría and Santos



WCNY in Syracuse, N.Y., has a new chief operating officer and vice president of development.

Richard Sullivan, c.o.o. and e.v.p., brings 34 years of news experience to the post. He is responsible for day-to-day organizational management and will oversee government, community, and industry and board relations.

Sullivan formerly was managing editor for local news of the city’s Post-Standard, a job he held for 14 years. Before that, he edited the newspaper’s sports, community and regional news. Sullivan also taught journalism for nearly 10 years as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and was a longtime supervisor of the Newhouse Foundation Graduate Fellowship/Internship for Minorities program.



Thomas Burton joins WCNY as v.p. of development, overseeing membership, volunteers, grants, planned giving, major gifts, special events and auctions.

He’s managing the $20 million capital campaign for the Broadcast and Education Center, which will house Centralcast, the joint master control for 13 pubTV stations, and Enterprise America, an educational service teaching middle- and high-school students about government and business. The new broadcast center is scheduled to open later this year.

This is Burton’s second tenure at the station; from 1991 to 2001 he served as development director. Most recently, he was Onondaga Community College’s v.p. for institutional advancement and e.d. of its OCC Foundation.

Longtime pubcasting technology manager Stacey Decker is the incoming chief technology officer for Boston’s WGBH.

Beginning in late September, Decker will oversee WGBH’s technology strategy, infrastructure, broadcast operations, engineering, production services and information technology.

Decker previously served as assistant g.m. for technology at Nebraska Educational Telecommunications in Lincoln, with responsibility for a statewide network of nine television and nine radio transmitters as well as a staff of 60. He also serves on PBS’s Enterprise Technology Advisory Committee.

Prior to his work at NET, Decker spent seven years as c.t.o. of South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion, where he oversaw the network’s conversion to digital broadcasting, managed 18 TV and radio licenses, and introduced technology that supported the convergence of media.

“This is an exciting time for a powerhouse content creator like WGBH,” Decker said in the announcement. “I strongly believe public media is well positioned to create new opportunities through the use of smart technology.”

Jesús Echeverría and Rocío Santos are the new hosts for Chicago Public Media’s expanded Spanish-language music and talk blocks on Vocalo en Español.

Echeverría and Santos

Echeverría and Santos

“We’re hoping to introduce the public radio brand to Spanish-language audiences,” Managing Director Silvia Rivera said. “Our goal is to create a new model for Spanish-language public radio in the spirit of what Radio Arte did for many years.”

Both Echeverría and Santos have experience with Radio Arte/WRTE, the low-power signal that was programmed by and for Latino youth under its previous owner, the National Museum of Mexican Art. Chicago Public Media acquired the frequency in 2012. Santos was involved with Radio Arte’s training program and Echeverría was program director.

The two signed on Aug. 18 in back-to-back Vocalo en Español program blocks presenting Latin alternative music, stories and conversation. Echeverría hosts from noon to 4 p.m. and Santos from 4 to 8 p.m.


Maryland Public Television has promoted Mark Keefer, executive producer, to director of news and public affairs. He will continue to oversee production of the weeknightly series Direct Connection, Your Money & Business and State Circle, as well as specials including candidate debates at the Owings Mills station. In addition, he will be responsible for development and broadcast of political documentaries. Before arriving at MPT in 2000, Keefer produced for WUSA-TV, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.

Eight aspiring pubradio journalists will get 10 months of training in research, reporting, interviewing, writing, voice work and sound design starting Sept. 4 at the Audio Academy at NPR member station KALW in San Francisco. Participants will work on the live daily program Your Call, and alongside KALW reporters and editors to create original feature stories for broadcast on the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents. Selected from some 60 applicants were: Rhian Miller, producer of pubmedia outreach initiative Not In Our Town; Todd Whitney, former intern at NPR’s Tell Me More; former KQED arts intern and  multimedia producer Liz Mak; David Boyer, author of Kings and Queens: Queers at the Prom; Jeremy Dalmas, producer and co-host of quirky local talk show Oakland Nights . . . Live!; Jasmin Maria López, founder of multimedia training program Project Luz, which helps youth share stories within their communities; Charlotte Silver, editor-in-chief of Palestine Monitor, which tracks human rights issues on the West Bank; and product designer Rachel Wong.

Thuy Vu, recently announced as host of the upcoming KQED Newsroom, will also anchor KCETLink’s weekly news program, LinkAsia. Both tape in San Francisco. The Emmy Award–winning broadcast journalist replaces former host Yul Kwon, who left to head Facebook’s privacy program. LinkAsia, a web-first multiplatform program, is also distributed through KCETLink’s World News iPad app and airs on Link TV’s satellite channel at 9:30 p.m. Fridays. KCET broadcasts the show locally at 6 p.m. Saturdays.



After nearly 15 years at Cincinnati Public Radio, Robin Gehl, programming v.p., has departed for a teaching position at St. Paul’s Concordia University in her native Minnesota. Stepping up at WGUC-FM is Jessica Lorey, who was promoted to classical music director from her part-time post as assistant music director. She is now responsible for all music and specials that air on the 24-hour classical station. Lorey holds a master’s degree in music history from University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music.

Frank Stowers, longtime announcer for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, is among nine inductees to the West Virginia Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Stowers has been anchoring broadcasts on the Charleston station for 27 years. A ceremony Oct. 12 at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington will recognize the honorees.

Another hall of famer: WVAS’s Mel Marshall, program director and morning host at Alabama State University’s pubradio station in Montgomery. He was inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s hall on Aug. 17. Nominees are selected for leadership, achievements and contributions to the broadcasting industry.

WBGO-FM in Newark, N.J., has promoted Josh Jackson to the new role of vice president of content. “This new position reflects the evolving nature of WBGO as both a creator and distributor of content for our communities of jazz and news,” said Amy Niles, WBGO acting president. Jackson, who joined the station in 2001, will continue as host of the hourlong music magazine The Checkout. Previously, he produced special projects for WBGO and was associate producer of Jazz at Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley. Jackson began his career at WWOZ-FM in New Orleans. Jackson is the 2010 and 2012 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association’s Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting.

The weekly pubradio talk show Travel with Rick Steves has added a third producer to its production team. Isaac Kaplan-Woolner joins the crew at Europe Through the Back Door in Edmonds, Wash., after six years as lead producer and reporter for KOHO radio in Leavenworth, Wash. He got his start in public radio as an evening news producer and anchor for KBOO in Portland, Ore.



Ryan Rodruck has taken over as station manager of KYVE-TV in Yakima, Wash., a station operated by KCTS-TV in Seattle.

Rodruck was previously a field representative for U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and an assistant director at Melby, Cameron & Anderson, an association management company.

“We were impressed by his deep connections to the greater Yakima community,” said Moss Bresnahan, KCTS president, “as well as his vision for further developing KYVE as an essential partner and player serving the diverse communities that comprise central Washington.”


Robin Amer, multimedia producer at WBEZ, is leaving the Chicago station to become a McCormick Tribune Leadership Scholar at the Medill School of Journalism and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Six full-tuition scholarships are awarded annually to support the education of leaders in news media. Amer plans to focus on building her skills in investigative journalism, she told Current. She now produces web content for Curious City and other projects. Amer joined WBEZ in 2007 as one of the first host/producers to work for Vocalo. She previously worked for the nationally distributed talk show Open Source.



Kate Alany is now senior manager of digital analytics at PBS, where she leads development of analytic services for stations. Alany previously managed brand research and strategy at Gannett, providing research support for the media company’s cross-platform sales team.

Digital journalism entrepreneur Lisa Williams has joined the Investigative News Network as director of digital engagement.

Williams won a 2007 Knight News Challenge award for, a searchable index of local weblogs that she developed; and, as a fellow at the MIT Media Lab, she specialized in the future of news and civic engagement. At INN, Williams works with members on audience engagement strategies, fundraising and revenue development, and using technology to create high-impact journalism. She is based in Cambridge, Mass., reporting to Kevin Davis, INN c.e.o., at INN headquarters in Los Angeles.

Nonprofit newsrooms

Mark Schaver has joined Louisville Public Media’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, where he is directing the nonprofit investigative newsroom’s efforts in data journalism and news application development. Schaver worked for more than 25 years as a reporter and editor in North Carolina and Kentucky, most recently as editor of the local Courier-Journal’s breaking news team. He has also built several data-driven online news applications, including one highlighting the media’s use of anonymous sources. Schaver is the third addition to the news team at the center, which is continuing its national search for two more investigative reporters.

ProPublica is welcoming three reporters to its investigative operation. David Epstein spent most of the last seven years at Sports Illustrated as a senior writer; he will focus on environment and energy. Nina Martin specializes in women’s, legal and health issues, and worked for most of the last decade at San Francisco magazine as articles editor and executive editor; she will cover sex and gender issues. Megan McCloskey, national correspondent at the U.S. Army newspaper Stars and Stripes since 2009, will report on the military and Department of Defense. “We’re very pleased to add such talented writers to our team,” said ProPublica Managing Editor Robin Fields. “The subjects they will cover are ones of great priority to us and offer opportunities for powerful accountability journalism.” ProPublica now employs 41 full-time journalists.

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 This article was first published in Current, Aug. 26, 2013.

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