KQED’s Boland to retire, NETA reorganizes, and more comings and goings

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John Boland will retire as president of KQED in September 2019.

Boland took over leadership at the San Francisco station in 2010; he’d previously served as EVP, COO and chief content officer. EVP and COO Michael Isip will succeed him.

“Boland made it his goal to transform KQED from a traditional broadcasting organization into a digital, multimedia service with expanded capacity to provide regional journalism for all of the people of the Bay Area,” KQED’s board said in a statement announcing his retirement. “In the years since, KQED has undergone transformational growth to become one of the largest and most successful public media entities in the country, and an example of how nonprofit journalism and educational services can thrive in the digital media world.”

Boland also spent four years as the first chief content officer at PBS. He began his career as a newspaper reporter.

Isip joined KQED in June 2001 as EP in TV productions. Earlier in his career, Isip worked as an EP at KVIE Public Television in Sacramento.


Isip rose through several senior-level positions at KQED to arrive at SVP and CCO in 2014. He was promoted to his current role last year.

He oversaw much of KQED’s reorganization from radio, TV and interactive to news, science, arts and education. Multidisciplinary teams now produce for online, social platforms and mobile along with TV and radio.

Isip serves on the board of directors for PRI/PRX, Pacific Islanders in Communications, and American Documentary Inc., producers of the PBS series POV.

A reorganization at the National Educational Telecommunications Association combines operations and programming and elevates three staff members.


Gayle Loeber, former director of programming, rises to VP, content. Loeber joined NETA in 1997 from the Independent Television Service, where she led station relations. She has worked at public TV stations and national organizations for over 40 years.

Reporting to Loeber are Greg Tillou, senior director, network operations; and Bob Petts, director, content and digital strategy.

Tillou, formerly director of network operations, was hired by NETA’s precursor, SECA, in 1974. He has “led the organization’s content distribution operations from the days of tape bicycles, through satellites, NRT and now sIX,” the announcement said.


Petts, previously assistant director of content, joined NETA in 2000. He had worked as program manager at WFWA in Fort Wayne, Ind. Petts “is the brains behind the redesigned programming database and its online search,” according to NETA.

“Content, education, and business services are NETA’s three service areas,” said President Eric Hyyppa in an announcement. “This new constellation of content and operations supports the NETA Program Service, which is used by every public television station in the country, and emphasizes our commitment to being a leader in developing new technologies and strategies to bring rich, diverse content to larger audiences.”

The NETA Business Center also announced promotions and a new hire.


Mark Everett, who joined NETA in 2013, rises to senior HR specialist. Franchesca Fomby moves from staff accountant to controller. Maria Rodillo is the new NETA board liaison and executive assistant to Hyyppa and Tim Eernisse, NETA’s VP, education. And Sarah Tennyson-Halliday joined as senior payroll coordinator.

NETA was organized in 1997 to serve public TV licensees and affiliated educational organizations. The organization has member stations in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.


WNET in New York City has appointed Jörn Weisbrodt as artistic director for its new All Arts streaming platform and broadcast channel. Weisbrodt will curate special events, develop an artist-in-residence initiative and develop programming ideas for the platform, which will launch in January. Previously he held the same title at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. Weisbrodt also directed the Watermill Center in New York and served as artistic production director of the Berlin State Opera.

Carroll Spinney, who has performed the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street since it premiered in 1969, will retire from the show this week, according to producer Sesame Workshop. “Big Bird brought me so many places, opened my mind and nurtured my soul,” Spinney said in an announcement. “And I plan to be an ambassador for Sesame Workshop for many years to come.” Spinney began puppeteering as a child and helped pay his way through college with performances. He met Muppet creator Jim Henson at a puppetry festival in 1962. “Carroll has been one of the leading lights of Sesame Street from the very beginning,” said Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of the Workshop.

American Documentary in New York announced several changes. The parent organization of PBS’ POV producer hired Akmyrat Tuyliyev as interactive producer and promoted Theresa Navarro to VP of external affairs and Erika Howard to senior director of station marketing and audience engagement. Most recently Tuyliyev produced an augmented-reality experience about 1968 for A+E Networks/The History Channel and an interactive projection memorial for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 in New York. Navarro joined AmDoc as associate producer for the America ReFramed series before transitioning to program and development in 2016. During her tenure, she has led fundraising activities and launched field-building initiatives including the Knight-AmDoc Patron Fund and Artist Emergency Fund. Howard oversees station partnerships and launched the Our America: Documentary in Dialogue and POV Presents engagement initiatives. Before POV, Howard was marketing manager for the documentary distributor Women Make Movies. She has also served on the production staff for the Documentary Group and Moyers and Company.

Bob Dambach, television director for Prairie Public Broadcasting in Fargo, N.D., since 1996, will retire this month. He joined the station in 1985 as program manager and rose to manager of programming and production in 1991. Dambach has also created dozens of documentaries and series and has appeared in more than 100 television membership drives, according to the station.

Vicky Diaz-Camacho began work this month as a community reporter at Kansas City PBS in Kansas City, Mo., investigating questions submitted through its CuriousKC portal and covering public affairs, faith, public works, education and health. Previously Diaz-Camacho was a data journalist with the Kansas City Business Journal.


WBEZ in Chicago has hired two journalists. Maria Zamudio is covering immigration for the Race Class and Communities Desk, the station’s newest topic-oriented enterprise team. Zamudio previously reported for The Chicago Reporter; The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.; The Associated Press; and American Public Media. Manuel Martinez, a visual journalist, has worked as a photographer and videographer for Crain’s Chicago Business since 2013.

In other WBEZ news, Lakeidra Chavis will leave the station next month after two years as a producer. She has accepted a reporting fellowship at ProPublica Illinois. Her past experience includes reporting stints at two Alaska public radio stations, KTOO in Juneau and KYUK in Bethel.

The new Morning Edition host on Western Kentucky University Public Radio is Colin Jackson. He will also report for the station. Jackson previously reported for WDET in Detroit.

WABE in Atlanta has hired reporter Roxanne L. Scott. Previously Scott covered education for Louisville Public Media in Kentucky.


Producer Elizabeth Ross has been promoted. Previously she was with The Takeaway, the daily national news program from PRI/PRX, WGBH and WNYC. WGBH promoted her to senior producer at its Innovation Hub podcast, distributed by PRI/PRX. She succeeds Matt Purdy, now a producer for Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

Ellen Rolfes has left New York Public Radio, where she produced live performances at The Greene Space, the performance venue shared by WNYC and WQXR. This month she started work as a story editor at Vox Media.


The CPB Board elected leadership at its meeting this week at headquarters in Washington, D.C. Chairing the panel starting next month is Bruce Ramer, with Vice Chair Patricia Cahill. Ramer was first appointed to the board in 2008 by President Bush and reappointed in 2013 by President Obama. Ramer is a Los Angeles attorney and partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, which specializes in entertainment and media. He is current vice chair and previously served as chair from 2010–12. Cahill was appointed to the board in 2009 and was reappointed in 2015, both under President Obama. She is the retired GM of KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Mo. Cahill chaired the board from 2012–14 and served as vice chair from 2011–12.


Larry Calvery is the new CEO/GM of Smoky Hills Public Television in Bunker Hill, Kan. Calvery previously served as corporate support representative for the station from 2004–07. He also worked as GM of commercial KRSL Russell Radio in Russell, Kan. Calvery stepped in as interim GM following the resignation of Dawn Gabel in May.


WDIY, Lehigh Valley Public Radio in Pennsylvania, has hired Gregory K. Capogna as executive director. Capogna has managed multistation operations throughout the South and Midwest and has held executive positions with radio broadcasters including Cumulus Media, Citadel Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications. He succeeds Wagner Previato, who led the station from 2013 until earlier this year.


Rob Gordon, president of Nashville Public Radio, is leaving the Tennessee station next year after more than 25 years. His public broadcasting career began in 1979 at NPR, where he rose to direct its station services department in 1983. In 1988 Gordon took over as GM of WSSU and WUIS in Springfield, Ill.He joined the Nashville station in 1995. Gordon led the station’s transition from a unit of the Nashville Metropolitan Government to an independent community licensee and oversaw construction of new studios and offices in 1998. He has served on boards for NPR, DEI (now Greater Public), Station Resource Group and Eastern Region Public Media.


Joe Moore is Valley Public Radio’s new president and GM. Moore has worked as interim president of the station in Clovis, Calif., since the January death of longtime station leader Mariam Stepanian. Moore previously managed KFSR in Fresno, Calif., and taught a course in audio production at Fresno State. From 2002–04 he worked as a weekend announcer on Valley Public Radio.


Craig Beeby, executive director of the University Station Alliance, will retire in June 2019. Beeby was the founding board president of U:SA in 2001 and rose to ED in 2007 after retiring as GM of KOSU at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. At U:SA, Beeby’s achievements include conducting “over 7,000 station consultations and regional and national training initiatives including virtual on-demand leadership training,” the organization said.

Emergency services

George J. Molnar is now director of the PBS WARN engineering and management team. “It’s a one-of-a-kind system that ties FEMA and the nation’s wireless providers together,” Molnar said. “We will be deploying refreshed technology this year and next to meet new regulations and improve our capabilities.” Molnar was previously director of emergency response at Vegas PBS and also worked as the statewide interoperability coordinator for Nevada’s Division of Emergency Management.

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