Comings and goings: Gerdeman leaves PBS, WGBH awards fellowships …

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Gerdeman (Photo: Les Kamens/The Photo Group)

Betsy Gerdeman left PBS Friday to start an independent consulting service for public media organizations. She had worked at PBS for more than five years as senior VP of development services. 

“My five and a half years at PBS (this time, I was also there 1998-2001) has been wonderful,” Gerdeman said in an email to Current. “The development services team created many successful initiatives to drive station and system sustainability and I am proud of our accomplishments.”

“Betsy has been a strong advocate for the newly aligned station services function, and she is now ready to take on a new challenge,” wrote Paula Kerger in an email to station leaders July 17. “As a development consultant, she will continue to champion station and system success.”

Gerdeman’s new company, BGL Consulting, will focus on “development assessment and strategy, strategic planning and board engagement,” Gerdeman said.

“This has given me the opportunity to move with my husband to northern Michigan at our lake house,” she added. “So all is well!”

WGBH in Boston announced the recipients of five fellowships Tuesday.


Ellen London and Nina Porzucki were chosen as 2020 Becton Fellows. Named after former WGBH president Henry Becton Jr., the Becton Fellowship recognizes “promising WGBH producers and content creators whose work is emblematic of the organization’s public service message,” according to a WGBH release. London is a digital editor at the station, and Porzucki directs podcasting. 

Porzucki records an interview.

Dorothea Gillim and the late Anne Adams will receive the Margret and Hans Rey/Curious George Producer fellowships.  Made possible through a bequest from author Margret Rey through the Curious George Foundation, the fellowship “recognizes WGBH producers who work in areas reflecting Rey’s broad interests, including science, public affairs, arts, health and children’s programming.”


Gillim oversees the WGBH children’s series Molly of Denali and Pinkalicious & Peterrific. She previously served as EP for Curious George and created WordGirl. Adams received the award posthumously in recognition of her “significant contributions to WGBH productions across genres over the course of two decades,” WGBH said. During her time at the station, Adams led the daily public affairs program Greater Boston, local productions and current events specials. She died April 9 at the age of 55.


And Peter Yost was selected as the Peter S. McGhee Fellow. Yost founded the Brooklyn-based production company Pangloss Films and has produced, directed and written dozens of films for Nova, National Geographic, The New York Times, CBS News and others. He is currently working on a four-part series for WGBH about the history of psychiatry and mental health. “Named for WGBH’s former head of national programming, the McGhee Fellowship is awarded each year to a mid-career filmmaker who has shown exceptional promise in non-fiction television production and who adheres to the standards set by McGhee, including excellence, intelligence, fairness, passion and scholarship,” WGBH said.


Daniel Wood has joined NPR as a UX designer. He formerly worked as a data visualization developer with the Urban Institute.

Jill Replogle has moved to the position of housing and homelessness editor for KPCC in Pasadena, Calif. She was previously covering Orange County. Also at KPCC, Priska Neely left her position Friday as a reporter covering early childhood for the station and LAist. She will become a reporter and producer with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.


Casey Kuhn will take the job of associate producer with the new PBS NewsHour Western bureau in Phoenix. She has worked for four years at KJZZ in Phoenix as a senior field correspondent in the West Valley. “KJZZ has been my entire life for the last 4 years and it will be so hard to leave but I’m v excited for the next chapter!” she tweeted.

Julia O’Malley will become an editor next month with Alaska’s Energy Desk, a collaboration on energy reporting among five public media outlets and a newspaper in the state. O’Malley is an editor for the Anchorage Daily News and is working on a book project about Alaska’s foodways in collaboration with the Anchorage Museum. Her story about a whale hunter who was cyberbullied by environmentalists was published in Best American Food Writing 2018.

Molly Dove and Alex Hager are joining the newsroom of Aspen Public Radio in Colorado. Dove, a reporter and Morning Edition host, was most recently a journalist with Wisconsin Public Radio and has also reported for KBIA in Columbia, Mo. Hager, who will report for the station, previously reported for KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.

David Eads joins the Chicago Reporter Monday as senior editor of design and delivery. He was formerly a news applications developer for ProPublica Illinois. From 2014–16 he was senior supervising editor and technical architect for the NPR Visuals team.


PRI/PRX hired Charlotte Cooper as director of audience growth and marketing. Cooper previously worked as senior manager of podcast membership and as audience conversion manager for WNYC in New York City. 


A KQED reporter and a PBS Newshour Weekend producer are among recipients of 2019–20 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. Awarded by the Carter Center in Atlanta, the yearlong fellowships support journalists working on projects related to mental health. April Dembosky is a health correspondent for KQED in San Francisco, and Melanie Saltzman is a field producer for NewsHour Weekend. They will receive training from leading mental health and journalism experts and a $10,000 stipend for reporting on topics of their choice. According to a Carter Center release, Dembosky will report on postpartum psychosis and the movement to reform the insanity defense, while Saltzman will explore the connection between mental health and food. Fellows visit the Carter Center’s campus next month for training and to work with mentors. Among participants in the meeting will be Bill Lichtenstein, president of Lichtenstein Media, which has produced public media programs.

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