PBS Board elects leaders, KPCC’s Aguirre to join Academy and more comings and goings in public media

Print More

The 27-member PBS Board elected leadership as well as seated new members at its meeting last month.



Donald Baer was re-elected board chair; he is c.e.o. of Burson-Marsteller Worldwide. Returning as general vice-chair is Molly Corbett Broad, president of American Council on Education. New professional vice-chair is Don Boswell, president of WNED in Buffalo, N.Y.

Two station managers  began their first terms as professional directors: Eric Hyyppa, of MontanaPBS in Bozeman and Gary Stokes of KSPS in Spokane, Wash., were elected in August.

The board is made up of professional directors from stations and general directors who are lay members. Directors serve  unpaid three-year terms and can be re-elected for a second term. PBS member stations elect professional directors from a slate of nominees proposed by the board’s governance committee. General directors are elected by the entire board.

KPCC executive Edgar Aguirre is leaving the public radio station to begin work Nov. 21 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He will serve as the as director of talent development and inclusion for the academy, which presents the annual Oscar awards. Aguirre will expand the academy’s diversity work, placing college students for eight-week internships at major studios.

As managing director of external relations and strategic initiatives at the station based in Pasadena, Calif., Aguirre led KPCC’s efforts to diversify its programming and audience, particularly among Latino listeners.

Before joining KPCC in October 2011, Aguirre served as e.v.p. and g.m. at the short-lived Los Angeles Public Media, a CPB-backed radio startup to reach a young Latino audience.


Adriana Gallardo departed the Association of Independents in Radio last month and is working as ProPublica’s first engagement reporter. At AIR Gallardo was network manager for the national Localore initiative.

Brit Hanson is now digital and special projects editor at St. Louis Public Radio. Previously Hanson worked as digital producer at North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y.




Public television executive Dick Pryor takes over as general manager of KGOU in Norman, Okla., Monday. Pryor spent 13 years at OETA, Oklahoma’s statewide public broadcasting network, as deputy director, managing editor and news manager. Earlier in his career he worked as an announcer and public relations director for Oklahoma City’s professional baseball team, as well as chief of staff for the lieutenant governor. He succeeds Karen Holp, who retired Sept. 30.

Veteran journalist Kate Grossman will join WBEZ in Chicago as senior editor for enterprise Dec. 5. Most recently Grossman directed the fellowship program at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. Previously she served as deputy editorial page editor of the Sun-Times.



KCETLink, independent public television in Los Angeles, has promoted Juan Devis to chief creative officer, a new position. He will be responsible for editorial content production and strategy across all platforms. Devis, who has been with the station nearly 10 years, previously worked as s.v.p. of content development and original productions.

Chris Geiger joined WCNY in Syracuse, N.Y., Nov. 1 in the newly created role of e.v.p. and c.o.o. Geiger will focus on an expansion of the station, developing revenue-generating enterprises, growing program production to national levels and working toward creating a more entrepreneurial model for nonprofit public broadcasting. Geiger was previously president of Sinclair Broadcasting’s local WSTM-TV. He was also v.p. at Fox Connecticut Media Group/WTIC in Hartford, Conn.



Nonprofit newsrooms

Fran Scarlett has joined the Institute for Nonprofit News as director of programs and services. Scarlett will oversee INN training, coaching and services for member organizations. Previously she worked as regional director of the Small Business & Technology Development Center at the University of North Carolina. Earlier in her career Scarlett ran her own management consulting firm, Scarlett Ink Media.  She also spent 10 years in advertising at the Plain Dealer in Cleveland.


WQED in Pittsburgh has hired Jui M. Joshi to direct development. Joshi is overseeing major giving, planned giving and engagement. Her previous experience includes directing philanthropic engagement at The Women and Girls Foundation and alumni relations and annual giving at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.



Maryland Public Television hired Jenny Trust as membership director. She leads a team of seven in the development division at the Owings Mills station that plans and executes direct response campaigns, membership activities and viewer relations. Most recently she directed development at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center.

Traci Eckels, former chief development officer at KQED in San Francisco, is now working in fundraising consulting. During her 16-year tenure at the dual licensee, she oversaw a fundraising program that generated $200 million in major gifts, foundation and government grants, planned gifts and campaign commitments.


George Walter, chief financial officer at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., will join the NETA Business Center in Columbia, S.C., as senior controller Dec. 5. Walters, a CPA and CMA, has worked in public broadcasting for more than 30 years and served on the board of the Public Broadcasting Management Association (now the Public Media Business Association).


Public media producer Jak Tichenor took over this month as interim director of Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Tichenor retired in May 2015 as a senior producer at the university’s WSIU-TV after 24 years. At the station he executive produced and hosted the Illinois Lawmakers statewide series. Before joining the television station he worked as news and public affairs director for WSIU Radio for nine years.


New York Public Radio has promoted Jennifer Houlihan Roussel to v.p., corporate communications. The move consolidates all external and internal communications to one department, President Laura Walker announced in an email to colleagues. Previously Roussel served as senior director, publicity. She’s been working in communications with the organization for nearly 13 years. Earlier in her career Roussel was a publicist at POV, PBS’s independent documentary showcase.


Teresa Gorman joined the Public Square Program of the Democracy Fund Nov. 7  as local news associate. She’s working on the Local News and Participation Initiative, which encourages deeper participation in civic life by making news more responsive to the democratic needs of communities. Previously Gorman was supervising producer for the national Localore: Finding America initiative from the Association of Independents in Radio. Earlier in her career she worked on NPR’s editorial training team.

Send People items to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *