Comings and goings: PBS adds two VPs, Neary prepares to retire from NPR …

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PBS promoted Maximilian Duke and Jill Patrone to its executive team. 

Duke, senior director of PBS’ station products and innovation team since 2016, stepped up to the newly created role of VP of station strategy and development. He is in charge of creating and executing strategies for building station capacity, as well as supporting leadership development for station staff members.


At PBS’ quarterly meetings in December, Jim Dunford, SVP of station services, said Duke will lead several key initiatives, including the Digital Immersion Program, an initiative created in 2017 to help stations improve their digital content. The CPB-funded program provides 10 months of professional development and networking.

Duke began his 20-year public media career at WPBT in Miami, now part of South Florida PBS. There, he managed interactive media from 1999 to 2008. He joined PBS as director of station products and innovation, then returned to Miami to serve as VP of content and community partnerships.

As VP and deputy general counsel, Patrone has been charged with developing strategies to improve  the efficiency and effectiveness of PBS’ legal services. She reports to chief legal officer Katherine Lauderdale.


Patrone has worked at PBS since 2000, starting as assistant general counsel and later moving up to associate general counsel & labor and employment counsel. In 2007 she was promoted to managing corporate counsel. Prior to PBS, she worked at and as an associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Lynn Neary will retire from NPR this month, signing off after nearly 40 years as a host and correspondent.

Neary started as an NPR newscaster in 1982 and later hosted Weekend All Things Considered from 1984 to 1992. Since then, she’s guest hosted every single NPR News program, from Morning Edition to Talk of the Nation.

Neary (Photo: Allison Shelley/NPR)

As a host, Neary covered major news events including the 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square and the aftermath of 9/11. In reporting on the arts, she interviewed Toni Morrison about her novel Beloved and Margaret Atwood on the publication of The Handmaid’s Tale.

As NPR’s first religion correspondent, Neary reported on the Dalai Lama, Muslims in America and two papal visits to the United States. She won an Alfred I. DuPont award for her coverage of the role of religion in the debate over welfare reform. She also won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Chief Arts Editor Ellen Silva called Neary an “NPR legend” in announcing her retirement. On Twitter, Neary said she is retiring “because I want to do something new while I still have the energy.”



WXXI Public Broadcasting Council in Rochester, N.Y., hired Erin McCormack as EP, responsible for television production and distribution across all platforms. McCormack also leads the Move to Include Initiative, a multimedia project developed with the Golisano Foundation to cover disability issues. Before joining WXXI in August, McCormack was EP at WCNY in Syracuse, N.Y.. Earlier in her career, she worked in Los Angeles for NBC, HBO Films, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Authentic Entertainment. She won a Daytime Emmy Award as a producer on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Made.


The Public Radio Association of Development Officers, a membership organization for public radio development professionals, announced six new members joining its board of directors: Danielle Abramson Swartz, associate director of major giving for WXXI in Rochester, N.Y.; Sarah Alger, director of major and planned gifts for New Hampshire Public Radio; Brian Flath, assistant director of corporate support for WSIU in Carbondale, Ill.; Kris Fox, membership director for KLCC in Eugene, Ore.; Sachi Kobayashi, director of individual giving for WXPN in Philadelphia, Pa.; and Sarah McDaniel, membership director for Northwest Public Broadcasting in Pullman, Wash. McDaniel, who previously served as president, is now PRADO’s treasurer.


Louisville Public Media hired Jess Clark to cover education for its news station WFPL. She  will start the position in January. Clark previously covered K-12 education for WWNO in New Orleans and WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C. Clark earned a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina, WUNC’s licensee. 

April Baer will sign on in January as host of Stateside, a weekday talk show produced by Ann Arbor-based Michigan Radio. Baer replaces Cynthia Canty, who is retiring this month. Baer departs Oregon Public Broadcasting, where she  hosts the weekly show State of Wonder. She previously hosted OPB’s local broadcasts of Morning Edition.

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