PIC names executive director, KCETLink reorganizes execs, and more comings and goings in public media

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Pacific Islanders in Communications, part of the National Minority Consortia, has promoted Leanne Ferrer to executive director and announced two additional appointments.



Ferrer, a filmmaker who joined PIC in 2008 and created PIC’s first series, Pacific Heartbeat, steps up from her job as program director. PIC also promoted Amber McClure from content coordinator to digital engagement manager and hired Cheryl Hirasa to direct program development and content strategy. The changes were announced May 1.

Ferrer previously worked for Disney Films and PBS Hawaii.

In her new role, McClure, who joined PIC in 2010, will manage all social media and PIC’s newly redesigned website, as well as focus on partnerships with stations. Her background includes multimedia project management at several Hawaii youth and community groups.

Hirasa joins PIC from the Independent Television Service, where she spent more than eight years working on some 50 films broadcast on public television. Her most recent title at ITVS was senior production manager. Her job at PIC includes oversight of the Media Fund, which supports nonfiction public TV productions, and is series producer for Pacific Heartbeat.

“As our team grows, we are looking to explore and create strategic partnerships in order to bring Pacific Islander stories to an even wider audience, especially with stations” and strands of PBS’s National Program Service,” Ferrer said in the announcement.

KCETLink in Los Angeles has promoted three top managers as part of a staff reorganization.



Juan Devis, previously v.p., arts and culture programming, is now s.v.p., content development and production. Devis has been with the station since 2005. He is now responsible for all original television and online content for KCET, Link TV, and the KCET and Link TV websites.

Bohdan Zachary, who was v.p. of broadcasting, programming and syndication, moves up to s.v.p. with the same portfolio. He is responsible for acquisition and scheduling of KCET and Link TV programs, as well as BBC World News, and syndication of programming KCETLink produces or acquires. Zachary has been with the station since 1997.

Devis and Zachary report to Mary Mazur, KCETLink’s c.o.o.

Palencia Turner is chief development officer, promoted from v.p. of development. Turner is now responsible for all areas of fundraising for KCET and Link TV, including major gifts, planned gifts, membership, foundation underwriting and corporate underwriting. She reports to Al Jerome, c.e.o. of KCETLink.



NPR international correspondent Louisa Lim, usually based in Beijing but just finishing a Knight-Wallace Fellowship in Ann Arbor, Mich., has a book coming out June 4, The People’s Republic of Amnesia. The Oxford University Press offering examines the June 4, 1989, massacre of unarmed civilians in Tiananmen Square by People’s Liberation Army soldiers, and its lingering effects on Chinese society. The book is the first account to uncover details of a similar crackdown in a second Chinese city. Lim draws on eyewitness accounts, U.S. diplomatic cables and official Chinese records.

Former Wyoming Public Radio journalist Irina Zhorov is now working for WESA-FM in Pittsburgh. Zhorov is reporting for the two-year Keystone Crossroads collaborative news initiative, focusing on challenges and opportunities facing Pennsylvania cities. Other stations in the project are WPSU, University Park; WITF, Harrisburg; WHYY, Philadelphia; and WQED, Pittsburgh. At WPR, Zhorov worked as a reporter, multimedia producer and host, covering environmental and energy-related issues as well as homelessness and education.

Nonprofit news

The Investigative News Network has hired one staffer and promoted two others. News app developer Ryan Nagle previously worked at the Chicago Tribune on multiplatform news products including the Spanish-language Viveloloy. At INN, he’ll develop, deploy and support software for network members, focusing on Project Largo, a responsive WordPress theme tailored for news organizations. Lisa Williams, who previously directed digital engagement, is now INN’s director of revenue and g.m. of Impaq.me, an online service combining funding with social sharing. Williams also is handling INN’s revenue-generating opportunities such as syndication through distributors Newstex and Newsbank. And Shelby Ilan, who has worked as INN’s executive assistant, is now the network’s first membership coordinator, overseeing membership programs, data collection and member benefits.



KCRW and its foundation have hired two development staffers in Santa Monica, Calif. Joining the KCRW Foundation is Development Director Jill Smayo. She is overseeing capital campaigns as well as efforts to expand its 50,000-donor base and $15 million annual operating budget. Smayo also supervises the development team. She has more than 13 years of experience, including directing development for Invisible Children, which assists young victims of war violence in East and Central Africa. Smayo created its major gifts program and built its development program from the ground up. And at the station, Micah Greenberg is the new director of business development. Greenberg previously spent five years as marketing director for National Public Media, the sponsorship sales team for NPR programs and stations, PBS stations and digital content on NPR and PBS.

Louisville Public Media has promoted two staffers. Layla George, development officer, moves to development director, and Kelly Wilkinson, membership assistant and volunteer coordinator, rises to membership manager. Both work for LPM’s three pubradio stations and its Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.


Marc Allon Pultuskier has joined Public Media Platform to direct deployment and marketing. He’s handling business relationships with PMP partners, stakeholders, stations and content producers and managing daily operations. Previously he worked for NPR’s member partnership division, assisting public radio stations with programming, station management, marketing, fundraising and other activities.


Jeremy Bowers, an NPR news app developer since October 2012, is joining the New York Times’s interactive news team, he revealed on Twitter, working from Washington, D.C. Prior to NPR, Bowers spent a year developing news apps at the Washington Post. He also contributed code to the Pultizer Prize–winning PolitiFact site.




Micheline Maynard, former senior editor of the two-year “Changing Gears” Local Journalism Center that launched in 2010 in the Midwest, has been selected as director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She will lead business-journalism training efforts at the center in Phoenix. Last year Maynard launched a crowdfunded journalism venture, “Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around,” to explore why people are turning to alternative types of transportation. Her e-book, Curbing Cars: America’s Independence from the Auto Industry, was published in April by Forbes, and she writes the “Voyages” blog on transportation and reinvention topics for Forbes.com. Maynard has also worked for the New York Times, USA Today and Reuters News Service.

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Correction: KCRW is located in Santa Monica, Calif., not Pasadena, as an earlier version of this article stated.

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