Comings and goings: Hires at Arizona PBS, WTTW shifts program duties …

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Arizona PBS in Phoenix has hired two directors.

Andrew Ramsammy directs audience development. He is the founder of the public media consulting firm UnitedPublic Strategies. Ramsammy also directed content projects and initiatives for Public Radio International in Minnesota and was EP for The Daytripper, which aired on PBS stations in Texas.

Jody Gottlieb directs content. Most recently Gottlieb was chief creative officer and producer for Rainstream Media Inc. in Seattle, which produces first-person documentary films, podcasts and TV programs. She also spent 11 years at CNN as executive director and director of long-form programming and documentaries.

“Both Jody and Andrew are forward-thinking leaders capable of looking around the corner to drive success,” said Arizona PBS GM Mary Mazur in a July 2 announcement.

Window to the World Communications, parent nonprofit of Chicago’s WTTW and WFMT, reorganized TV programming roles and hired a new CFO.

Baer (Photo: WTTW)

Oversight of TV production and programming is now split between Geoffrey Baer, a producer, writer and host of local and national programs who rises to VP of original content production for television; and Lisa Tipton, senior director of programming, who steps up to head of programming and pledge.

Baer is the talent behind many of WTTW’s feature-length local specials, including Chicago’s Lakefront and Chicago’s Loop: A New Walking Tour. He also hosted the PBS series 10 That Changed America.

Jitin Garg, previously a consultant with the station, has signed on as VP and CFO. Most recently he was VP, finance, at GCM Grosvenor and Victory Park Capital Advisors.

In another change, Anne Gleason, SVP of marketing and digital media, takes on additional responsibility for creative services, graphics and audience insights and research for WTTW and WFMT.



In other WTTW news, Angel Idowu joins the staff of Chicago Tonight Monday as arts correspondent. Most recently she’s worked as a reporter/producer for WJTV 12, the CBS affiliate in Jackson, Miss. Earlier in her career she was a digital correspondent for Pretoria News, South Africa, and a Capitol Hill reporter for Medill News Service in Washington, D.C.

The new EP of The Takeaway is Deidre Depke, currently managing editor of Marketplace. Depke joins The Takeaway Aug. 12. Earlier in her career she reported for BusinessWeek and Newsweek, where she helped launch 


The Independent Television Service in San Francisco has hired Royd Chung as production VP. He will lead all co-productions, including the upcoming season of Independent Lens, as well as cross-platform business development. Most recently Chung was executive director of TV and video at OZY Media, where he oversaw the PBS series Breaking Big and Take On America.

Also at ITVS, Keri Archer Brown is now directing content and initiatives. Her background includes production, development and management roles at Discovery Communications, ITV and Sirens Media.

KQED in San Francisco has hired Saul Gonzalez as co-host of its daily radio news program The California Report. Previously Gonzalez worked at KCRW in Los Angeles as a reporter and producer. He also hosted the podcast There Goes the Neighborhood. Earlier in his career Gonzalez was Los Angeles producer for NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and produced for KCET’s weekly magazine series California Connected and SoCal Connected.


Niala Boodhoo has stepped down as host of The 21st at Illinois Public Media to become a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow for the 2019–20 academic year. The call-in show airs four days weekly on five public radio stations across the state.


Programmer Scott Williams retired from KJZZ/KBAQ in Phoenix, Ariz., June 28. He joined KJZZ in 1989 and helped launch classical KBAQ in 1993. Williams has also been a board member of the Radio Research Consortium since 2007. He led the Public Radio Program Directors Association’s PD Workshop for decades and was a founding member of the Morning Edition Grad School. “Williams made a lasting impact on the public radio industry,” a statement from the stations said.

Paula Mejía has joined Texas Monthly as culture editor. Previously Mejía was a digital producer for WNYC’s Gothamist.


Wisconsin Foodie will get a new host next season, with chef Luke Zahm joining the program. Zahm is owner and head chef of Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, Wisc. Chef Kyle Cherek, who has hosted since the premiere in 2008, is leaving to focus on “my extraordinary new role as father to my newborn daughter,” he said in an announcement. The weekly show, which has aired for 10 years, runs on Wisconsin Public TV, Milwaukee PBS, WTTW in Chicago and Twin Cities PBS in St. Paul, Minn.


The board of Black Public Media has three new members. Antonia Carew-Watts is general counsel for WLIW21 on Long Island and a senior attorney for the station’s parent organization, WNET in New York City. Deniese Davis is producer of the HBO comedy series Insecure and COO of ColorCreative, which provides opportunities for diverse and emerging writers. And Valerie Williams-Sanchez, author of the “Cocoa Kids” book series for children of color, is also a strategic communications consultant. Leaving the board is Lesley Norman, EP of national programming at WNET.

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