Comings and goings: The Current names first managing director, NPR’s Schmitz heads to Berlin …

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Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current in St. Paul has appointed David Safar to the role of managing director. The new position is now the primary leadership role at the station, according to MPR spokesperson Kelly Reller. The role of program director, held by Jim McGuinn, previously held that status.

Safar (Photo: Nate Ryan)

“The addition of the managing director role aligns The Current with MPR’s other regional services, which have a similar structure of both program director and managing director working on day-to-day and long-term strategic planning and portfolio growth, respectively,” Reller wrote in an email to Current. Safar will report to Nick Kereakos, senior VP and GM of MPR’s regional services.

Safar was promoted to the new role of head of music, artist and label relations in January after serving as The Current’s music director for seven years. He previously served as co–music director and assistant music director. Safar joined the station in 2006. 


NPR’s Rob Schmitz has relocated to the network’s Berlin bureau to work as Central Europe correspondent. He was previously based in Shanghai. Rotating correspondents had been reporting from Berlin since January, when Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson stepped down from daily reporting to write a book and become a special correspondent for breaking news.

Two of three new hires on the New York Times’ audio team come from public media. Among hires and changes announced Aug. 26, the Times said that Monika Evstatieva will work as senior editor, a new role focused on launching series and shows. Evstatieva was previously a line producer for Weekend Edition at NPR, where she worked for 13 years. The Times also hired Sayre Quevedo as an associate producer for radio. Quevedo has been reporting for Latino USA and is also podcaster in residence at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Dorothy Parvaz is joining NPR’s Weekend Edition as an editor. She was previously a global politics reporter for ThinkProgress in Washington, D.C., and also worked as a senior producer and digital special projects editor for Al Jazeera.

Investigative reporter Annie Gilbertson left KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 15. She tweeted that she plans to work on freelance audio and journalism projects.

Ashley Winters and Jia Lian Yang will co-host the fifth season of We Live Here, a podcast co-produced by PRX and St. Louis Public Radio. Winters formerly served as a news intern at St. Louis Public Radio. Yang is the co-founder of Who Raised You, a St. Louis–based podcast that focuses on stories about family and culture from the perspectives of people of color. Kameel Stanley, who previously co-hosted We Live Here, joined USA Today’s podcast The City in April as senior editor. The show’s other former co-host, Tim Lloyd, has been promoted to senior producer of on-demand and content partnerships at St. Louis Public Radio. In that role he oversees production of We Live Here. The new season will be released in October.

WAMU in Washington, D.C. hired Mary Tyler March as a digital news producer. March was previously an associate editor at The Hill.

Pete Rightmire is retiring from his job as a producer for Cincinnati Edition at WVXU-FM. He has been with the station since 2008, according to his LinkedIn page.

Erin Jones is the new host of HumaNature, the podcast produced by Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was previously a senior producer and fill-in host with the show. Jones replaces Caroline Ballard, who joined KUER in Salt Lake City in August as local All Things Considered host. HumaNature’s fifth season debuts Sept. 11.

Dr. Justin Clark and Dr. Jillian Woodruff are joining the Alaska Public Media program Line One as hosts. Both have extensive experience in medicine and will facilitate on-air discussions on the weekly show, which focuses on health issues. Clark will make his first appearance Wednesday, while Woodruff will join starting Sept. 25.

Erik Neumann has joined Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Ore., as a reporter. He previously reported on health for KUER-FM.

Leslie Datsis tweeted Aug. 21 that her position at PBS Digital Studios was eliminated. 

Datsis served as associate director, audience development. She worked at PBS for almost four years.


PBSMary Ann Frank has returned to retirement. She was working as an executive assistant.

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