American Geophysical Union hires Rehm, Johnson to head Iowa Pubradio, Vermont creates digital news team and more . . .

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Dana Davis Rehm, a former NPR senior v.p. and public radio station manager, is joining the American Geophysical Union as director of marketing.



Rehm left NPR in February after 13 years in various roles within the organization’s executive ranks. Her departure was part of a restructuring within the marketing and communications division under former NPR chief Gary Knell.

Rehm began at NPR as v.p. of member and program services, a job that involved leading NPR’s 2005–06 New Realities initiative. After a promotion to senior v.p. of strategy and partnerships, she helped manage its acquisition of Public Interactive from Public Radio International. During a 2008 staff restructuring, she was reassigned as senior v.p. of marketing, communications and external relations.

AGU is a nonprofit association representing more than 62,000 Earth and space scientists. In her new job, Rehm will work with the union’s staff, members and partners to create and execute integrated content strategies for the organization.

“AGU is uniquely positioned to convey the power of science and its role in shaping a healthy and sustainable world,” Rehm said in a news release announcing the move. “I am thrilled to join a community that will play an increasingly critical role in addressing some of the most pressing problems that face humanity.”

Prior to joining NPR, Rehm served as the g.m. of Wisconsin Public Radio and the assistant g.m. of Seattle’s KUOW.

Myrna Johnson, a former government relations associate for NPR who now directs a Boston nonprofit, will sign on as Iowa Public Radio’s executive director in January.

The Iowa Public Radio Board of Directors announced Johnson’s appointment Nov. 5, ending a seven-month nationwide search for successor to Mary Grace Herrington, who was dismissed in February. Herrington contested the firing and both parties agreed to a $197,000 settlement in May.

Johnson departs the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, a public-private partnership that oversees renovation of schoolyards in Boston’s urban neighborhoods, where she has worked as executive director since 2009. Her previous experience in public radio includes eight years on NPR’s government relations staff and service on the board of directors at KUNC-FM, in Greeley, Colo.



Veteran public broadcasting newsman Ray Suarez, who recently left PBS NewsHour, signed on as host of Inside Story on satellite news channel Al Jazeera America on Nov. 11.

The program, an interview-driven weekday newsmag airing at 5 p.m. Eastern, covers the major stories of the week from AJAM’s bureau in Washington, D.C.

Suarez, who reported for NewsHour for nearly 15 years, is one of several pubcasters who have migrated to AJAM since its launch in this summer. One of Suarez’s colleagues at Inside Story is Libby Casey, a former Washington correspondent for the Alaska Public Radio Network and reporter/producer for KUAC in Fairbanks. She now covers Capitol Hill for AJAM.

“At a time when the American news business is contemplating its future and struggling to retool the business model,” Suarez said, “joining a place that was growing rather than shrinking, and dedicated to objective, fact-based journalism, was very, very attractive.”

Vermont Public Radio has reassigned five journalists and hired a sixth to create a cross-department digital news team charged with expanding the station’s content offerings for digital, mobile and social-media audiences.

Over the next several years, the Colchester-based state network plans to expand its news coverage to seven days a week, increase investigative reporting projects and grow its community news reporting through Public Post, an aggregation project.

Heading the unit is News Director John Dillon, a veteran reporter who was promoted last month to run the newsroom. The restructuring “expands VPR’s public service journalism by breaking news and providing in-depth enterprise reporting when and where our audience wants it,” he said in an Oct. 17 announcement.



Angela Evancie is VPR’s new hire, working as digital producer on the NPR Local Stories project, a collaborative effort for creating digital content from stations’ own coverage. Evancie is a multi-platform journalist who has previously contributed to VPR as well as NPR, This American Life and North Country Public Radio, among other outlets.

The digital news team also includes veteran VPR staff as well as recent hires.

Jonathan Butler oversees the team’s daily operations as director of digital services. Butler, who joined the station in 2007, also works with NPR Digital Services and heads VPR’s social media efforts.

Amy Noyes, VPR contributor since 2007, is the community news reporter for Public Post, the station’s online initiative that aggregates documents from dozens of Vermont municipal websites.

Taylor Dobbs, a digital reporter who joined VPR in September, is focusing on web-first reporting for and contributing to social media platforms. Since signing on with VPR two months ago, Dobbs has already broken several stories on a controversial proposal by the Air Force to base its F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport.

Matthew Parrilla is the team’s web developer for digital news projects, building news apps, data maps and other analytical tools. He signed on with VPR earlier this year.

PBS recently formed its first General Audience Programming Advisory Council (PAC), a group of station-based programmers who will weigh in on the network’s primetime content and scheduling strategies.

The 10-member board will meet quarterly, either in person or by telephone.

Beth Hoppe, PBS chief programmer, told station executives that the Public Television Programmers Association assisted in selecting members for the advisory group, balancing market size, licensee type and diversity. Hoppe announced formation of PAC in September.

Members serve two-year terms, with PBS fielding nominations from stations each July for terms beginning in October. Five of the initial members will serve three-year terms to avoid the entire initial panel coming up for election together.

Member programmer directors are Craig Cornwell, Kentucky ETV; James Davie, KUED, Salt Lake City; Garry Denny, Wisconsin Public Television; Mary Gardner, Oregon Public Broadcasting; Justin Harvey, Nashville PTV; Susie Hernandez, associate programmer, KQED, San Francisco; Tom Holter, Twin Cities PTV, Minneapolis; Kelly Luoma, Vermont PTV/programming consultant; Maria Bruno Ruiz, WGBH, Boston; and Jason Viso, Louisiana Public Television.



After 24 years at Smoky Hills Public Television, Mary Pat Waymaster has retired from her job as content director. She began at the Bunker Hill, Kan., pubcaster as traffic director, and rose to the executive position in 1996. “From the director of content position to all the little things that Mary Pat does for the station that we take for granted, it will not be the same around the station without her,” said Michael Quade, g.m. Stepping into Waymaster’s spot is Glenna Letsch, former traffic director, who has worked at SHPTV since 1998. And Jarrod Brantley is the new traffic director. He started at SHPTV in July as a corporate support representative.

Matt Katz, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and creator of the popular “Christie Chronicles” blog, began covering the New Jersey governor as well as other state news for New York’s WNYC and New Jersey Public Radio Nov. 12. “Chris Christie is one of the most compelling political figures in the nation,” said Jim Schachter, news v.p. at WNYC, “and it’s a sign of the maturation of New Jersey Public Radio that we can now devote a reporter to covering him.” Katz won a Livingston Award, honoring the best journalists under 35, for his coverage from Afghanistan for the Inquirer in 2010.

Jonathan Meador is the new state capital bureau chief for KPRN, Kentucky Public Radio in Frankfort. Meador previously worked as a staff writer for alt-newsweeklies Nashville Scene and Louisville’s LEO Weekly. Recently, Meador worked with R.G. Dunlop of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting to investigate sexual harassment complaints against State Rep. John Arnold (D-Sturgis). The coverage led to Arnold’s resignation. “We’re delighted that Jonathan will be our watchdog in the state capital,” said Donovan Reynolds, KPRN Board chair.


The Pacifica Foundation Board voted Nov. 11 to appoint Summer Reese executive director of its five-station radio network. Reese, who previously chaired the Pacifica board, has held the position on an interim basis since August 2012, following the dismissal of Arlene Engelhardt from the job. In recent months, Reese has overseen deep staff cuts at WBAI in an attempt to resolve longstanding financial shortfalls at Pacifica’s New York station. She also removed John Hughes as g.m. of the foundation’s WPFW in Washington, D.C., in September. Reese has worked as a paralegal and accounting professional for more than a decade, according to a candidate statement for a local board election at KPFK, Pacifica’s Los Angeles outlet.

A committee appointed by the NPR Board to oversee recruitment of the network’s next president is in an exploratory phase of its search for a successor to Gary Knell. The committee is soliciting input from member stations’ Authorized Representatives (AReps). Florence Rogers of Nevada Public Radio and John Wotowicz, a financier and NPR public director, co-chair the search committee, comprising five additional NPR directors and a veteran of NPR News, journalist Cokie Roberts. NPR directors on the committee are: Fabiola Arredondo, managing partner, Siempre Holdings, a private investment firm based in New York; Bill Davis, president, Southern California Public Radio in Pasadena; Patricia Diaz Dennis, a retired corporate attorney who chairs the board’s human resource committee; Kit Jensen, NPR chair and c.o.o., Cleveland’s ideastream; Marita Rivero, senior adviser, WGBH, Boston; and Howard Wollner, a retired executive of Starbucks Coffee Company and chair of the NPR Foundation.



Don Derheim is leaving KQED next month after more than two decades with the San Francisco pubcaster, President John Boland told staff in a Nov. 6 email. Derheim, who rose to c.o.o., will become chief executive of SFJAZZ, “the largest nonprofit presenter of jazz in the western United States, with a spectacular new home in the performing arts district of San Francisco,” Boland said. Within public media, Derheim has served as board secretary of Greater Public (formerly DEI), a public radio consultancy based in Minneapolis. Before joining KQED, Derheim worked in marketing for MTV Networks in New York City.

Dan Bindert, a former radio v.p. for northern Indiana’s Lakeshore Public Media, is now managing WDCB, a pubradio jazz outlet licensed to the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Bindert succeeds Scott Wager, who retired in July after more than three decades at the station. Prior to Lakeshore, Bindert spent 10 years at WBEZ-FM in Chicago, hosting jazz and blues programs and producing and anchoring newscasts. He also hosted and produced at WCPN-FM in Cleveland and WXXI-AM in Rochester, N.Y.

Pubcasting veteran Wayne Roth was elected to the city council of Bainbridge Island, Wash., Nov. 5. Roth, who retired in September as g.m. of KUOW-FM in Seattle, handily won the race, with 61.4 percent of the vote to his opponent’s 38.5 percent. “I’m a little incredulous,” Roth told the Bainbridge Island Review on election night, “but the margin seems to be so large, I mean, it’s not even close.”



Western Reserve Public Media in Kent, Ohio, promoted Toni Kayumi to chief development and communications officer, overseeing the development and communications staffs. She previously supervised business development. Before joining the station in February, she was an executive with the YMCA of Greater Cleveland.

Mary Bradley is taking on additional duties at WHQR-FM in Wilmington, N.C., as she rises to development director from her former position of membership director and events producer. Bradley arrived at the station in 2008 from KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., where she directed pledge drives for 10 years.

Phillip Perdue is the new chief development officer at dual licensee WHRO in Norfolk, Va. Over a 25-year career, he has helped lead capital campaigns in excess of $54 million. Most recently he served as senior development officer for Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System, directing the organization’s three foundations.

April Collier is joining KCTS-TV in Seattle in November as development v.p. She brings more than 30 years’ experience to the position, most recently in the same role at Seattle Preparatory School and the local Eastside Catholic School. At KCTS she will oversee all fundraising programs, including membership, foundation support, corporate underwriting, major gifts and planned giving.

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This article was first published in Current, Nov. 18, 2013. It reflects the correct location for KPRN, which was mistakenly reported in print as Louisville.

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