Sickora takes helm at UNC-TV, Hanratty to retire from EPS and other comings and goings in public media

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Brian Sickora is the new director and general manager of UNC-TV, the 12-station public television network licensed to the University of North Carolina system.



Since 2007, Sickora has been president of WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, N.Y. Previously he spent four years at CPB as v.p. for system development and station grants administration.

Earlier in his career he was president of Infinite OutSource Inc., a Florida-based station fundraising collaborative backed by CPB. Sickora also served as e.v.p. for operations and administration at Oregon Public Broadcasting and finance director for Penn State Public Broadcasting. He has served on the PBS Board since 2013.

Sickora succeeds Gail Zimmermann, interim g.m. at UNC-TV since February 2014.

Dick Hanratty, co-founder of public television distributor Executive Program Service, will retire in July after nearly 43 years in pubTV.

His founding partner, Alan Foster, EPS president, will take over the operation in Rocky Mount, Va., one of the largest distributors to stations in annual hours of programming.

Dick Hanratty, right, with his EPS co-founder Alan Foster.

Dick Hanratty, right, with his EPS co-founder Alan Foster.

The two former PBS programming executives created EPS in 2001. At PBS, Hanratty headed PBS Syndication Services (PBS Select and PBS Plus). Earlier in his career he directed broadcasting at WNED/WNEQ in Buffalo, N.Y., and managed broadcasting at KCTS in Seattle. Hanratty has operated EPS’s West Coast office since 2003.

“Dick will be missed,” Foster said. “His knowledge of — and relationships with — station programmers across the nation were instrumental in quickly establishing our success when we began this entrepreneurial journey.”

“As of July 1st,” Hanratty told Current, “I’m off to see the world with my lovely wife of 44 years while I can still get out of a chair and onto my motorcycle.”




John Dankosky, v.p. of news and longtime host at Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, will start Monday as executive editor of the New England News Collaborative. Dankosky will oversee reporting from all eight news bureaus of the CPB-backed Regional Journalism Center. The collaborative will produce content for the partner stations as well as national programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Here & Now. Dankosky will also launch and host a radio show and podcast about New England issues, set to premiere this summer on CPBN’s WNPR. Replacing Dankosky as host of Where We Live on WNPR will be reporter and midday host Lucy Nalpathanchil.

Doug Tribou takes over local hosting duties June 6 for Morning Edition on Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. Tribou previously spent seven years at WBUR in Boston as a reporter and producer for the sports show Only a Game, as well as a news anchor and on-air host at the station. In 2015 he was awarded a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Reporter Rebecca Sananes has joined Vermont Public Radio. She previously worked at WBUR in Boston as a news producer, as well as a writer and producer for local Morning Edition. She also recently traveled to Cuba on a fellowship from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.



Kevin Gordon is the new host of Afternoon Drive on WRTI-FM in Philadelphia. Gordon previously spent 15 years as host at classical music station WQXR in New York City. Earlier in his career he also hosted at Classical South Florida, NBC News and RKO Radio Network. Gordon replaces Kile Smith, who has been promoted to director of content.


Glenn Kleiman is the new executive director of listener-supported rock station 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. Kleiman’s previous experience includes working as a reporter and then managing editor at local NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV, winning four Emmys and a Peabody. Kleiman was also the founder of the Milwaukee digital marketing agency Fullhouse and taught writing and content strategy at Marquette University.



Phil Hoffman takes over May 23 as executive director of WUCF TV in Orlando, Fla. He’s currently director of broadcasting services and g.m. at KMOS-TV in in Warrensburg, Mo. Earlier in his career he worked as g.m. of Z-TV, a student-run television station at the University of Akron, and interim g.m. and assistant g.m. of WZIP-FM, the university’s student-run public radio station.

The new g.m. at KZUM-FM, the community radio station in Lincoln, Neb., is Kerry Semrad, who began work this month. Semrad has spent the past five years in management at the local Liberty First Credit Union, where she also handled grant writing and event planning. Much of the content on the music and talk station is produced and hosted by some 90 volunteers.


Meghann Farnsworth, managing director of distribution, operations and engagement at Reveal and the Center for Investigative Reporting, begins work this month as engagement editor at Re/code, a tech news, reviews and analysis website. Earlier in her career she was associate editor of online forums at PBS NewsHour.

Bill Irwin, former senior marketing manager at New York Public Radio, has joined podcast platform Midroll Media as director of audience growth. Midroll, owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., is parent company of the Earwolf and Wolfpop podcast networks.




Sonya Green, news and public affairs director at KBCS in Seattle, Wash., has been selected as one of 19 Knight-Wallace Fellows at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Green will study the impact of white privilege on how news is covered. Fellows receive a $70,000 stipend and participate in customized studies, twice-weekly seminars and international news tours.

Nonprofit news reporters, editors and innovators are among the new class of John S. Knight Journalism Fellows at Stanford University, which fosters journalism entrepreneurship and leadership. They are:

  • Dustin Bleizeffer, a reporter at WyoFile in Casper, Wyo., will study how nonprofit online news can use technology to reinvigorate journalism and democracy in the rural West;
  • Heather Bryant, director of Project Facet in San Francisco, will research how small or rural newsrooms can develop collaborative relationships to improve coverage;
  • Brian Edwards-Tiekert, host and producer of UpFront on KPFA Radio, Berkeley, Calif., will look at how new platforms for audio distribution and geography-based networking can bolster local journalism;
  • Clara Gonzalez Sueyro, director of user experience at Radio Ambulante, Oakland, Calif., will examine how to improve the user experience of podcast journalism on mobile smartphones with visual and interactive media; and
  • Gabriel Spitzer, assistant news director, KPLU, Seattle, will focus on how public radio journalists can transform locally produced broadcast content into sustainable podcasts or other high-impact digital audio.

Correction: An earlier version of this post reported that Phil Hoffman had been elected chair of the Small Station Association. He will no longer be part of that board. The new chair is Monica Reese, g.m. of WLJT in Martin, Tenn.

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