Eight producers sign on as NGL Fellows, Anderson leaves WUCF and other comings and goings in public media

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Next Generation Leadership (NGL) at WGBH in Boston has announced the eight producers in its inaugural class of senior editorial fellows.

The new project to grow diversity in public media is a collaboration with The Partnership, a nonprofit executive-training organization in Boston. The Association of Independents in Radio, a network of independent radio producers, journalists and stations, assisted with recruiting the fellows. Some 90 applicants at more than 50 public media stations and organizations applied.

The yearlong program, kicking off Jan. 25, provides professional development, leadership training, mentoring, coaching and national networking opportunities.

“These eight fellows represent an important investment in a vibrant future for public media,” said Pat Harrison, president of CPB, which is backing NGL. WGBH President Jon Abbott predicted the fellows “will have a lasting impact across our system.”

Fellows will keep their current positions after a week of leadership training in Boston. Each will be assigned to a production project for four separate weeks of field work.

The fellows:

  • Patricia Alvarado Núñez, producer/series producer in local productions at WGBH, embedding at Oregon Public Broadcasting;
  • Shayla Harris, senior producer for digital video at Frontline, embedding at KQED, San Francisco;
  • Lee Hernandez, Morning Edition producer at WNYC in New York City, embedding at NPR in Washington, D.C.;
  • Andrew Ramsammy, director of content projects and initiatives at Public Radio International, embedding at WBEZ, Chicago;
  • Terence Shepherd, radio news director at WLRN in Miami, embedding at WNYC;
  • Cheraine Stanford, producer/director at WPSU in University Park, Pa., embedding at the WGBH documentary series Nova;
  • Kris Vera-Phillips, senior news producer, KPBS in San Diego, embedding in the joint radio-television newsroom at WGBH; and
  • Linda Wei, digital strategies manager at Nashville Public Television, embedding at Frontline.

Throughout the year, NGL fellows will report on their experiences on social media using the hashtag #NGLpubmedia.




Business journalist Micki Maynard joins WBUR’s Here and Now Monday. She’ll be senior editor for the live midday news program, a joint production with NPR. Previously, she was Detroit bureau chief and a senior business correspondent for the New York Times. Maynard also led the public radio project Changing Gears, a regional journalism center that examined the future of industry in the Midwest.

Peter Van De Graff is joining Classical KWAX in Eugene, Ore., as music director and morning host. Van De Graff will continue to host Through the Night on Chicago’s WFMT, which airs on affiliates of that station’s Beethoven Satellite Network.

Cincinnati Public Radio has hired Belinda Cai as assistant producer of Cincinnati Edition, a daily talk show. She had worked as a freelance reporter at the station.

Sara Kehaulani Goo is NPR’s new deputy managing editor for digital news. Goo spent the past three years creating, Fact Tank, a data journalism blog at Pew Research Center covering politics, race, religion and America’s changing demographics. Previously she served as senior news director at the Washington Post, overseeing daily digital news coverage. At NPR, Goo will lead “a newly structured homepage and social team,” according to a Dec. 18 memo to NPR staffers.

And journalist Emily Kopp has joined NPR’s All Things Considered as an editor. Previously she freelanced for outlets including PRI’s The World, Marketplace, Voice of America and WAMU in Washington, D.C. Kopp also reported for and anchored at Federal News Radio in Washington, D.C., and covered state politics and immigration at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Peter Clowney, former managing director of national content development and arts and ideas programming at American Public Media, is now senior editor at Gimlet Media. He’s helping to build the editing team at the podcast network. At APM, Clowney executive-produced The Dinner Party Download and Wits and supervised American Radio Works and The Splendid Table.

Max Nesterak, co-founder of the digital behavioral-science magazine The Psych Report, has joined NPR’s Hidden Brain to work on the show’s podcast. Nesterak was a Fulbright Scholar from 2013–14 in Berlin.




Retired public broadcaster Peter Morrill took over Monday as interim general manager at Boise State Public Radio, replacing John Hess, who resigned last month. Morrill retired in 2013 from Idaho Public Television, where he served as g.m. since 1996. He initially joined Idaho PTV, also in Boise, as a director/videographer in 1979.

Ron Ockert retired Dec. 31 after 30 years in public radio. Since May 1996 he’s directed programming and operations at WAER-FM in Syracuse, N.Y. Before that he spent several years establishing KPRG, a public radio station in Guam. Ockert was also assistant manager and programming director at KHSU in Arcata, Calif., and program director at KSTK in Wrangell, Alaska. “I want to play more music, read more books, take more walks and grow more flowers,” Ockert told Current in an email.



Polly Anderson resigned as executive director of WUCF TV in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 7. “We appreciate her service and wish her well in her future endeavors,” said Chad Binette, spokesperson for licensee Central Florida University, in a statement. In a Facebook post Dec. 11, CPB President Pat Harrison called Anderson “a true leader in public media whose work on behalf of women, community engagement, and diversity strengthens public media.” Anderson had joined WUCF in February 2013 after leading KNME in Albuquerque, N.M. Stepping in as interim executive director at WUCF is Rita Echeverria, the station’s director of finance and accounting since August 2013. Binette said the university is conducting a national search for Anderson’s replacement.

Dual licensee NET in Lincoln, Neb., has hired two new executives to begin work Feb. 1. Rupert Macnee, assistant g.m. for broadcast production, has experience as a writer, producer, director and e.p. for networks including Fox, NBC and Discovery. Chad Davis, assistant g.m. for digital and multimedia, has worked at KNME in Albuquerque, N.M.; WETA in Arlington, Va.; and WGBH in Boston. He was also active in the Public Television Programmers Association. Most recently Davis was senior director of digital media at the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.


Stephen Baum, formerly of WQED in Pittsburgh, is now production and recording engineer at Cincinnati Public Radio. At WQED, Baum produced and hosted Performance in Pittsburgh.


The Boston Yeti roaming the streets of the city during one of last year's many blizzards. (Photo: John Campopiano)

The Boston Yeti roaming the streets of the city during one of last year’s many blizzards. (Photo: John Campopiano)

Campopiano as the Boston Yeti.

Campopiano as the Boston Yeti.

Improper Bostonian magazine has revealed the identity of the Boston Yeti, “a furry ambassador of fun who garnered international attention” during last year’s record-breaking snowfalls in the city. John Campopiano, digital records manager and archivist for Frontline, donned a Bigfoot costume during the monster storms and roamed the streets just for fun. Soon Boston Yeti had his own Twitter account, was featured on the Today show and Good Morning America and was answering radio interview requests from as far away as Japan. “It was a blast,” Campopiano told the magazine.


Swedish podcasting company Acast has hired Sarah van Mosel as chief commercial officer, heading up revenue generation activities. Formerly van Mosel spent five years at WNYC, working her way from director of digital underwriting to senior director of digital underwriting strategy and ad operations to v.p., sponsorship.

Adele Kenworthy is a new development membership assistant at Cincinnati Public Radio. Previously Kenworthy was a development assistant at the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore.




Sesame Workshop has hired Elizabeth Weinreb Fishman as v.p. of strategic communications. Fishman will oversee media relations as well as public relations for the Workshop’s businesses, philanthropic projects and executive team. Fishman previously served as associate dean for communications at Columbia Journalism School for eight years. Earlier in her career she was an associate producer at 60 Minutes on CBS.

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