Gharib heads to ‘Fortune,’ O’Connor bound for WFAE, and other comings and goings in public media

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Susie Gharib, longtime Nightly Business Report co-anchor, exited Dec. 31 for a new role at Fortune magazine.

Gharib told viewers Dec. 23 that she will “spearhead a major initiative tied to the Fortune 500,” the business magazine’s annual list of top-grossing American companies. She remains a contributor to NBR.

Gharib joined NBR in 1998, when the weeknightly business show was produced by WPBT in Miami.

Sue Herera, a frequent NBR guest host, joined Tyler Mathisen as co-anchor Jan. 5.

CNBC took over production of the show in March 2013.

Joe O’Connor, g.m. of Rhode Island Public Radio, will leave at the end of this month for the same position at WFAE-FM in Charlotte, N.C.

O’Connor replaces Roger Sarow, who announced his retirement last spring after leading WFAE for 26 years.

O’Connor arrived at RIPR in 2006. He brokered the station’s 2008 sale by Boston University to a Rhode Island philanthropic nonprofit for the launch of an independent, statewide NPR News network in Rhode Island. He also negotiated a partnership with the Spanish-language Latino Public Radio Network, for live-event coverage and fundraising opportunities.

During O’Connor’s tenure, RIPR’s newsroom won 52 journalism awards and the station’s budget grew from $800,000 in 2006 to the current $2.6 million.

Earlier in his career, O’Connor produced for ABC News Nightline and was a senior producer for Peter Jennings at World News Tonight.

RIPR is undertaking a national search for O’Connor’s replacement. Susan Greenhalgh, c.o.o., will serve as interim g.m.



The Vermont PBS Board has appointed telecom attorney Holly Groschner as the station’s new president.

She takes over in mid-February. Most recently Groschner worked as general counsel for the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, a nonprofit created by the legislature to oversee Web and cellular services.

Her previous experience includes serving as v.p., legal, for Crown Castle International, a wireless infrastructure firm in Pittsburgh, where she helped establish a tower climbers’ safety program.


President Obama nominated Patricia Cahill Jan. 8 for another term on the CPB Board of Directors. Cahill chaired the board from 2012-14. She led KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Mo., as g.m. from 1987 until her retirement in 2012. Cahill is a past president of Public Radio in Mid America and a former member of NPR’s board.



Sally Garner has returned to NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, as an executive producer developing new programs and overseeing production of town hall meetings and other specials. Garner previously worked as senior producer of NJTV’s nightly news program and live specials. She also was e.p. of MetroFocus, a weekly newsmagazine from sister station WNET in New York.

The new host for the new season of AfroPop: The Ultimate Exchange is actress Yaya DaCosta. She plays the title role in Lifetime’s upcoming I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story. The pubTV documentary series on African-American art, life and culture debuts its seventh season in American Public Television distribution with a Jan. 19 premiere on the World Channel.

Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland has hired two radio staffers. John Sepulvado has signed on as local Weekend Edition host, and Kate Davidson will host All Things Considered. Sepulvado was a consulting producer for American Public Media’s Marketplace Weekend and previously worked as the Ireland correspondent for PRI’s The World. Davidson reported for Marketplace. She has also worked as an associate producer for NPR, where she researched, produced and edited host interviews and field pieces for Weekend All Things Considered.




Duane Smith has joined Oregon Public Broadcasting as v.p. of engineering. He comes to the Portland station after serving as v.p. and c.o.o. at JCT Services, a subsidiary of pubcaster WJCT in Jacksonville, Fla., that provides master-control services to 11 public TV stations. Smith is also a member of the PBS Engineering and Technology Advisory Committee.


NPR has hired Tasneem Raja as senior digital editor in its Identity and Culture Unit. She starts Jan. 26. Raja leaves Mother Jones magazine, where as a senior editor she focused on data journalism and led a team of digital reporters and producers. Previously she helped launch the Bay Citizen, a nonprofit newsroom in San Francisco.



The director of television at Wisconsin Public Television, James Steinbach, has announced his plans to retire in July. Steinbach has been involved in public television for more than 40 years, working with virtually every aspect of production and programming. He has led WPT in Madison since 2006. Previously, he was director of programming and production there for 16 years. Earlier in his career he was senior executive producer at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn. He also field-directed Studio See, a groundbreaking PBS children’s magazine show produced at South Carolina ETV from 1977-79.

Sally Eisele, a 30-year radio veteran, has been named g.m. of Interlochen Public Radio in Michigan. Since 2005 Eisele served as managing editor of WBEZ in Chicago, where she helped lead its transformation from a traditional broadcast model to a multiplatform media organization. In Chicago she oversaw a staff of some 40 editors, reporters, hosts, producers and interns. Previously, Eisele worked at KQED in San Francisco as founding senior producer of California Report.

Alice Recore, president at Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh, N.Y., retired late last month. She joined the station in 1997 as business manager, rising to president in 2003. Under her leadership, Mountain Lake produced more than a dozen local documentaries, including Flowers in the Desert: Cirque du Soleil and Dead Reckoning: Champlain in America, both of which aired nationally on PBS stations.

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