NPR afternoon Newscasts Senior Producer Rob Schaefer retired June 13 after more than 18 years at the network.
Schaefer was known for “his leadership qualities, his calming presence on the desk, sharp news instincts and a dry but wicked sense of humor,” Newscasts EP Robert Garcia said in a note to colleagues. “Rob was the unit’s shop steward for many years and was on the front lines of the daily interaction with NPR member stations and NPR’s many desks and bureaus.”
“It was a lifelong dream to work at the radio network I’d been listening to and loving since my teen years,” Schaefer said in a farewell email.
Schaefer said that he “won’t be fully disappearing. I’ll still be involved in SAG-AFTRA on the local board and I hope as a convention delegate.”
NPR will host a farewell party June 27 at headquarters as “an appreciation and celebration of his career,” Garcia said.
Schaefer started work in public radio in 1979 as a volunteer at WBFO in Buffalo, N.Y.
CPB has hired Shana Teehan as VP of communications. Previously she worked in communications in the House of Representatives and Senate, most recently as senior advisor/communications director for Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), former House Ways and Means Committee chair. Earlier in her career she owned a communications firm that specialized in digital strategies for candidates, media personalities and grassroots organizations. Teehan also served on the Alabama State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, appointed by Presidents Bush and Obama.
Jason Bentley, music director at KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., and host of its Morning Becomes Eclectic, will leave Aug. 30 after 10 years at the station, according to a release. Bently told Variety that “intuition” led to his decision to depart. “I sensed it was the right timing,” he said. “It’s not about anything specific, like I didn’t get a promotion. I’d rather go out on my own terms, rather than being one of those guys that hang around too long.”
Mary Field, EP of Chicago Tonight on WTTW, will retire July 12 after 23 years in the position. “It has been a great honor to work with the best journalists in the city over the course of my career at WTTW,” Field said in a statement. Earlier in her career, Field produced for WGN in Chicago and reported for the City News Bureau.
The Association of Independents in Radio hired one staffer and promoted another. Jeanette Woods joined AIR in Boston this week as its storytelling and talent curator. Previously she was a senior producer with WHYY. And Tran Vu rises from director of programs to deputy director, programs and creative. She’s been with AIR since 2017.
WXXI has promoted Todd McCammon to television VP. He joined the Rochester, N.Y., station in 2006 as TV EP and assistant VP. Since then he’s served as EP for many documentaries and programs, including Paley on Park Avenue, WXXI’s first digital series in 2013. In his new role McCammon will be responsible for long-range planning and direction for WXXI’s TV channels and productions across platforms.
Allison Eck has left her position as digital editor of the Nova science unit at WGBH in Boston to work in development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined Nova in 2012 as production assistant, rising to digital associate producer in 2015 and digital editor in 2017.
WFPL-FM News Editor Jonese Franklin and City Reporter Amini Elahi will co-host Louisville Public Media’s new podcast, Here Today, premiering Tuesday. Selections from the podcast, which focuses on development and planning in disadvantaged west Louisville, will also air the station.
Stephen Yasko will serve as interim GM at WMFE-FM in Orlando, Fla., as the board works to replace GM LaFontaine Oliver, now GM of WYPR in Baltimore. Yasko, WMFE’s director of content and audience development, has more than 20 years’ experience in public media, including founding Triple A station WTMD in Baltimore.
Radio Milwaukee has promoted Maggie Corry to development director. Corry joined the station in 2016 as membership manager. Earlier in her career she was a fundraising consultant for local organizations including the Penfield Children’s Center, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and the YMCA. Corry succeeds Francesca Kempfer, who took a position at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation.
Jonathan Epstein, former senior director of digital technology at NPR, is now engineering VP at FiscalNote, a software, data and media company in Washington, D.C. Epstein joined the public broadcaster in 2010 as director of software development and rose to direct digital technology in 2017.
Ernesto Aguilar, program director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, is one of 23 fellows in the second round of the Maynard 200 Fellowship from the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The initiative aims to train 200 journalists of color in five years. Fellows will attend training this month and in October at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles. Curriculum is divided into storytelling, advanced leadership and media entrepreneurship tracks. Aguilar will study advanced leadership.
The Public Media Journalists Association (formerly PRNDI) elected new board members at its meeting Saturday in Washington, D.C. Treasurer is Brent Wolfe, news director at WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C. At-large representative is Gabrielle Jones, digital news editor, Community Idea Stations, Richmond, Va. Small station representative is Johnathan Reaves, news director at KASU, State University, Ark. And large station representative is Shula Neuman, executive editor, St Louis Public Radio.
Members of the Public Radio Program Directors Association elected two new board members. Ele Ellis is PD at WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and Joel Meyer directs programming and promotion at KUER in Salt Lake City.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said that Rob Schaefer left NPR Thursday. He left NPR June 13.
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