KERA’s Alhadeff to retire, Young takes permanent ‘Morning Edition’ role, and more comings and goings

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After a 40-year career in public broadcasting, KERA President Mary Anne Alhadeff has announced her retirement.

Alhadeff has led the Dallas public broadcaster for 14 years and will retire at the end of next year.

A few of the station’s achievements during Alhadeff’s tenure include the launch of Art&Seek, an online service offering listings of cultural events and coverage of arts in the state; the premiere of the call-in talk show Think, which now airs on 22 stations across the state; and the purchase of a religious station in 2009 to relaunch as Triple A KXT-FM.

Previously Alhadeff was president of Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Earlier in her career she was a television producer for programs that aired on PBS, Showtime HBO, BBC London and CBC Canada.

Alhadeff has served on the boards of PBS, the Public Television Major Market Group, the National Educational Telecommunications Association and American Public Television.


Allison Shelley


Kenya Young has assumed the role of EP for NPR’s Morning Edition after filling in as interim since November 2017. During her decade at NPR headquarters, Young has served as editor and producer for programs including News & Notes, Day to Day, Tell Me More and Talk of the Nation.

Chandra Kavati is the new VP of content distribution and partnerships at American Public Media Group. Kavati rises from managing director of development strategy and operations for Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media. Earlier in her career she was development VP at the Family Partnership, a nonprofit offering counseling, education and advocacy for at-risk children and their families in Minneapolis.

From the Top, the public radio series spotlighting young classical performers, has announced guest hosts for this season. They include pianists Peter Dugan, Jeremy Denk and Orli Shaham; Food Network host Molly Yeh; actor/musicians Damon Gupton and Lawrence Gilliard Jr.; violinist Leila Josefowicz; and conductor Yuga Cohler. The program declined to renew the contract of longtime host Christopher O’Riley in July.

Jason Wong / Washington Post


Anne Li, an interactive audio producer at the Washington Post, will join NPR Nov. 26 as the emerging platform lead on the NPR One editorial/personalization and curation team. Li will collaborate with news, programming and digital media “to find new ways for our audiences to get news coverage and public radio content on devices such as Alexa, Google Home and other voice assistant technology,” Tamar Charney, managing director for personalization and curation, said in an announcement. Earlier in her career, Li reported for West Virginia Public Radio and was an intern for Here and Now.

Data journalist Thomas Wilburn has joined the NPR Visuals team. His previous experience includes working as a newsroom web developer at the Seattle Times.

Bill Keller will step down next year as editor-in-chief of the Marshall Project, the nonprofit criminal justice newsroom he helped launch five years ago. Under Keller’s leadership, the Marshall Project collaborated with more than 100 organizations in print, broadcast and online media. Keller previously spent 30 years at the New York Times as correspondent, editor and op-ed columnist.

The George Foster Peabody Awards program has appointed Wonya Lucas, president of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, to its board of jurors. Lucas will help evaluate television, radio and digital media content for the annual Peabody Awards. Peabody also announced that Eric Deggans, TV critic for NPR, will chair the board of jurors. Deggans was appointed to the board in 2013.



Dave Edwards, GM of WUWM-FM in Milwaukee, will retire next May. He joined the station in 1979 to create the news department. Edwards rose to program director in 1983 and GM in 1985. During his tenure, annual community fundraising grew from $60,000 in 1985 to nearly $4 million in 2018 and newsroom staff grew from three to 14. Edwards also served six years on the NPR Board, including two years as chair. He was also on the boards of the University Station Alliance and Public Radio in Mid America.

Fernando Díaz will return to the nonprofit Chicago Reporter Nov. 19 as editor-in-chief and publisher. He previously reported for the organization from 2007–09. Most recently Díaz was managing editor, digital, at the San Francisco Chronicle. He also served as senior editor at the Center for Investigative Reporting.


Taunya English, editorial director at WHYY in Philadelphia, is one of 25 participants in the latest class of the Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media, a partnership between the Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. Selected journalists will “have direct access to top media executives, receive practical advice on career planning and gain a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully lead today’s digital news organizations,” an announcement said. Keith Woods, NPR VP of newsroom training and diversity, is a guest instructor.



PBS has promoted Sharon Philippart to the new role of VP, strategy and engagement for children’s media and education. Most recently she served as senior director, marketing and communications, for PBS Kids. Philippart joined PBS in 2006 to work on its federally funded Ready To Learn early-education project. She previously worked as VP, marketing and corporate communications at KERA in Dallas and began her career in communications at Maryland Public Television.

David Rodriguez has joined the engagement team at KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., as an assistant producer focusing on the 2020 Census. Rodriguez previously interned at the Investigative Reporting Workshop and the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal.



The National Educational Telecommunications Association has promoted Tinia Milhouse to senior director, conference services. Milhouse arrived at NETA in 1999. She plans and supports meetings for the Public Television Major Market Group, the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives, the Affinity Group Coalition and NETA’s annual conference, held in conjunction with the CPB Thought Leader Forum.

Human resources

Ann Dexter will join WGBH in Boston this month as VP of human resources. Her previous experience includes HR leadership positions at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., and Harvard University. Dexter is also a co-founder of Hsu & Dexter LLP, specializing in employment law. She succeeds Fran Sullivan, who retired in September.

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