APM retools upper ranks, WGBY gets new GM and other comings and goings

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American Public Media has reorganized some of its leaders and hired several new staffers, including a chief marketing officer.

“These changes will help us achieve our goals in expanding and diversifying our audiences,” said Dave Kansas, EVP and chief operating officer of the organization in St. Paul, Minn.

Johnson

Joining the staff is Carmen Rodriguez Johnson as SVP, audience development and chief marketing officer. She’s spent the past 14 years at General Mills, most recently directing consumer insights, innovation and core brand renovation.

Nick Kereakos retains his role as chief technology officer for APM and adds the title of SVP and GM of Minnesota Public Radio’s regional services.

Shona Koester steps up to VP of content distribution and partnerships, a role she has filled as interim since late last year. She’s held several titles at APM including director of national distribution.

Mike Reszler, VP and chief digital officer, adds business planning and project management to his responsibilities. He currently oversees APM’s podcast network, digital platforms, the Public Insight Network, The Splendid Table and Dinner Party Download.

Attorney John Kavanagh rises to managing director for public and regulatory affairs. Kavanagh oversees MPR’s government relations and regulatory compliance efforts. Now he’ll also work with national stakeholders including CPB to ensure continued funding.

Content hires include Rehman Tungekar, associate producer. Most recently he was a producer at Wisconsin Public Radio for the national program To The Best of Our Knowledge. And Parker Yesko joins as a reporter/researcher. She previously reported from Skid Row in Los Angeles for the Guardian, which is producing a virtual-reality film on homelessness in California.

The new general manager at WGBY in Springfield, Mass., is Anthony V. Hayes.

Hayes

Most recently Hayes was SVP for engagement at Connecticut Public Broadcasting in Hartford, with responsibilities for fundraising and sponsorship initiatives.

Earlier in his career he oversaw sponsorship sales at WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., and managed corporate marketing at WETA in suburban Washington.

At WGBY, licensed to WGBH in Boston, Hayes will lead strategic planning, editorial operations and community engagement.

Hayes succeeds Rus Peotter, who retired last year after leading the station for 15 years.

Content

WNYC has hired Rhyne Piggott as editor for data news and interactive journalism. Previously Piggott ran USA Today’s first multiplatform visual journalism desk. He also worked at Current TV, helping to create multiplatform tools for the channel’s 2012 election coverage. Piggott was also part of the launch teach that built Al Jazeera America.

Hein

Sommer

Two public broadcasting veterans have retired from KLCC in Eugene, Ore. Don Hein joined the station in 1977 and rose to program director in 1988. And Tripp Sommer started as a volunteer in 1981; he became news director in 1988. Sommer has also served as host of Morning Edition, Northwest Passage and News at Noon.

Steve Mencher has joined KRCB in Sonoma County, Calif., as news director. Most recently Mencher was a producer for the Association of Independents in Radio’s Localore project. Earlier in his career he was part of the team at NPR’s Justice Talking and produced arts commentary and criticism for Performance Today. At KRCB he succeeds Bruce Robinson, who announced his retirement. Robinson will continue to host the Flashback music program twice monthly.

The Institute for Nonprofit News has hired Sherry Skalko to lead its new Amplify News project. The news distribution, placement and partnership hub aims to expand the reach of news coverage from 20 nonprofit partners in Midwestern communities. Previously Skalko worked as an editor at the Online News Association, central zone editor for Patch and managing editor at the Chicago Reporter.

WPR/J. Gill

Dunn

After 44 years in broadcasting, Kathleen Dunn will retire from Wisconsin Public Radio in August. She’s hosted The Kathleen Dunn Show on WPR for 24 years. She was inducted into the Milwaukee Media Hall of Fame in 2014 and named a distinguished broadcaster by UW-Extension in 2010. Over her career, she has conducted more than 10,000 interviews, including with Maya Angelou, Ken Burns and Studs Terkel. Dunn’s final program will be Aug. 10.

Governance

The board of Public Radio News Directors Inc. elected two new directors at its June meeting. Johnathan Reaves of KASU in Jonesboro, Ark., is small station representative, and Alicia Zuckerman of WLRN, Miami, is at-large representative. Also in the election, treasurer Rachel Lindley of KERA in Dallas and Teresa Collier of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, large station representative, were both re-elected.

Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, has joined the board of the Institute for Nonprofit News. Re-elected at the June meeting were directors Laura Frank, president and GM of news and content at Rocky Mountain PBS, and Anne Galloway, editor of VTDigger and the executive director of the Vermont Journalism Trust.

Education

WNET in New York City has promoted Amanda Granger to associate director of education. Previously Granger served as project manager for American Graduate Day. In addition to that work, Granger will manage a range of programs, activities and resources created by the station’s education department. Her previous experience includes managing content marketing at StoryCorps.

Finance

Jason Daisey joins WETA as chief financial officer in August. He will oversee the finance, facilities and human resource departments as well as provide executive-level fiscal and operational counsel. His background includes serving as EVP and chief financial officer at KERA in Dallas and VP of finance and planning at PBS.

The new senior director for finance and administration at KET in Lexington, Ky., is Todd Coleman. Previously he was the controller for Kentucky Retirement Systems, which serves state employees.

Technology

Sabra

Shadi Sabra begins work as chief technology director at ideastream in Cleveland July 24. Sabra is VP of broadcast and technology at KVPT in Fresno, Calif., responsible for management of ValleyPBS’s content distribution and broadcast operations. His previous experience includes media content and broadcasting consultant for Asia TV, Beirut; GM of MASS Com Media and Satellite Services; the senior technical consultant for Media Business Iraq; and a senior engineer for Arabian Broadcasting Services.

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