NPR named a chief international editor and appointed a Washington investigative correspondent.
Didi Schanche was promoted to chief international editor. Schanche, who joined NPR in 2001, has served as deputy international editor since 2012. She replaces William Dobson, who stepped down in December to become co-editor for the Journal of Democracy.
“Whether it is editing a story for character driven narrative or thinking about the distinct challenges a correspondent faces in the field or how to meet the myriad needs of shows, Didi has deep insight into the way to solve the challenge,” said Edith Chapin, the executive editor of NPR News, in a press release announcing the promotion. “Didi has [led] the international teams collaborations with science on both Ebola and COVID-19, knowing how to blend the two sets of expertise for the best news report.”
Schanche began her career as a freelance correspondent for the Jerusalem Post in Cairo. She was later hired by the Associated Press and covered East Africa and the Middle East. She also served as an assistant foreign editor at the Washington Times before moving to public radio.
And Tim Mak is the new Washington investigative correspondent. He will focus on political investigations and take a step back from daily reporting, he said on Twitter. Mak joined NPR as a reporter in 2018. He has also been a senior correspondent for the Daily Beast, a congressional correspondent for the Washington Examiner and a breaking news and defense reporter for Politico.
WTVP in Peoria, Ill., promoted William Baker to station manager and hired a leader of philanthropy.
Baker will continue serving as the station’s EP. More than 40 years ago, he joined WTVP’s student production crew when he was a junior in college. After graduation, he became the station’s master control operator and operations manager. He later became a producer and director who wrote every episode of the station’s long-running series Illinois Adventure.
Marcia Bolden becomes director of philanthropic relations. She previously served as executive director of Align Peoria, a community organization that assists students. She also served as a consultant for Caterpillar Inc., diversity manager at Illinois Central College and career counselor for the City of Peoria Workforce Development.
“We are extremely fortunate to have both of these professionals on our team,” said President and CEO Lesley Matuszak. “Their deep experience and talents will allow us to further advance WTVP’s mission, particularly our emphasis on children and education, and continue forming valuable community partnerships that bring quality public media to all of Central Illinois.”
KUER in Salt Lake City made changes in its newsroom and hired an editor and a communications staffer.
Andrew Becker will step into the role of executive editor for special projects. He will lead a KUER-based investigative reporting initiative that expands on the station’s statewide bureau project launched last year. Becker previously served as news director. He has also been an investigative reporter for the Center for Investigative Reporting and the public radio program Reveal.
Elaine Clark will be the news director. She previously served as managing editor and was a producer of RadioWest, the station’s flagship interview program hosted by Doug Fabrizio. Clark and Becker will both report to Station Manager Joel Meyer.
“KUER is at an inflection point. We’re committed to providing rich, relevant daily journalism for all Utahns. We’re also compelled to answer the call for in-depth, watchdog reporting that this state so urgently needs,” Meyer said in a release. “Elaine and Andy will draw upon their respective wealth of skills and experience to elevate KUER and our listeners to new heights.”
In addition, KUER announced that Ross Terrell is joining KUER News as editor, a new role. Terrell previously worked as a reporter and producer for Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. He has also worked for Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee and KBIA in Columbia, Mo.
Katherine Ellis will become KUER’s communications specialist March 6. Ellis previously worked as a content strategist for news analytics firm NewsWhip in New York and as a program associate for the American Press Institute in Arlington, Va. In 2017 she was one of five fellows chosen for NPR’s Next Gen Radio, a week-long digital journalism training project.
The NPR board elected Maria O’Mara, executive director of KUER in Salt Lake City, as a member director Friday to fill a vacancy. O’Mara replaces Sylvia Strobel, who left the board Feb. 13 when she moved from her position at WCPN in Cleveland to lead Twin Cities PBS. O’Mara’s term will expire in November 2021.
PRX appointed four new members to its board of directors this month. Claudia Palmer is COO at WGBH in Boston; Jene Elzie, chief growth officer for Athletes First Partners, a marketing company; Rima Hyder, VP of external communications at FactSet, a financial data and technology company; and Tanya Jones, president of Aya Global, a philanthropic advisory group. WGBH President and CEO Jon Abbott is leaving the board after a tenure of eight years.
“PRX believes public media is strongest when anchored in journalism, strengthened with diverse voices, and amplified by innovative technology,” said Ashton Peery, chairperson of PRX’s board. “We champion this mission whole-heartedly and are thrilled to be joined by Jene, Rima, Tanya, and Claudia at this incredible time of growth in audio. We’re grateful for Jon’s time with us, his outstanding contributions to our team, and for his vision of what public media can be.”
Travis Mitchell was named SVP and chief content officer at Maryland Public Television in Owings Mills. He had previously served as chief content officer for UNC-TV in Research Triangle Park, N.C., since 2017. He was also president of Communities In Schools of Wake County, N.C., and EVP and COO for the Atlanta-based Black Family Channel.
WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill, N.C., hired Cindy Howes as the first live host for WUNC Music, its streaming music discovery station. Howes started Monday in the 12–6 p.m. shift Mondays through Saturdays. She previously served as morning host at WYEP-FM in Pittsburgh and will continue working as a host for Folk Alley and of the podcast Basic Folk.
Ashish Valentine was chosen as NPR’s second Reflect America fellow. He starts the yearlong program March 16 and will complete four rotations, the first being with Weekend Edition. Valentine is a former on-air reporter and producer at Chicago Public Media, where he worked on the local news show Reset and the station’s global affairs program Worldview. He also interned at the Chicago-based documentary studio Kartemquin Films.
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