Comings and goings: Kelly McBride to serve as NPR public editor, network adds news staff …

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Kelly McBride will replace Elizabeth Jensen as NPR’s public editor. McBride will keep her role as SVP at the Poynter Institute in addition to her new duties. She is also chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership.


McBride joined Poynter in 2002 and has held multiple positions focusing on ethics and the journalism industry. She began her career as a reporter for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. 

“During this period when rigorous, fact-based and context-rich journalism has never been more important, NPR’s newsroom is delivering trusted information to audiences across the nation as never before. With Poynter we are making an investment in continuing to support that important work on behalf of the American people and NPR during this national crisis and beyond,” NPR CEO John Lansing said in a news release. “Kelly is one of the most admired media ethicists in the United States. We are eager to have her focus on the work of our newsroom and, through Poynter, bring even more resources to bear on this important role. She will continue to build transparency in our journalism and advocate for audiences on every platform.”

NPR added several news staffers.

Neela Banerjee was named head of the network’s Science Desk last month, said Andrea Kissack, chief science editor, in a note to colleagues. She starts April 27. Banerjee was previously a senior correspondent for InsideClimate News. She was also a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Brian Mann will be NPR’s first correspondent covering addiction, said senior national editor Vickie Walton-James in a memo. He will start next month. Mann previously served as a reporter for North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y., for more than 20 years. “My family has been deeply damaged by addiction,” Mann said in the memo. “I lost my father and my step-brother to substance abuse. I’m excited by the challenge of breaking down some of the stigma around this part of our lives and helping people talk about addiction more factually.”

Alana Wise was also hired as a politics reporter for NPR last month. She previously covered the firearms industry as part of the Guns & America team based at WAMU in Washington, D.C. She has also been a correspondent for Reuters and an intern for the Dow Jones News Fund and the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C.

Susan Woosley, COO of KCRW Berlin, is leaving this month. Woosley oversaw the station’s launch in October 2017 and was previously VP of operations for Friends of NPR Berlin. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was also promoted to program director and full-time host at the station. Nelson was previously co-host for Studio Berlin, a news show. The station in the German capital is operated by KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif.  


Todd Zwillich has become Vice News’ deputy D.C. bureau chief after leaving his role as interim host of 1A. Zwillich began anchoring the program after Joshua Johnson left for MSNBC. Zwillich was previously an interim host for WNYC’s The Takeaway. Sasha-Ann Simons will host the show for most of April.


Ted Capener, host of Utah Conversations for PBS Utah since 2006, retired from the station Sunday. Capener has been with the station for more than 35 years. He also served as VP of university relations for the University of Utah and as board chair of PBS.

Erika Mahoney was named news director at KAZU in Pacific Grove, Calif. She previously served as a reporter and host for the station and has been working as interim news director. She has also been a reporter and producer for CBS affiliates in Binghamton, N.Y., and Monterey, Calif., and a producer for the Distillery, a marketing company in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Madeline Fox was hired as an education reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison. She previously served as a reporter for WLRN in Miami, occasionally filling in as a digital editor. She was also a reporter for KCUR in Kansas City, Mo., covering foster care, mental health and military and veterans’ issues.



Tina Sharkey was appointed to the PBS board of directors Tuesday. Sharkey was the co-founder and former CEO of Brandless, a now defunct e-commerce company.

Sharkey has also served as chairwoman and global president of Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter and was SVP of network programming, social media and instant messaging for AOL. She also created the online brands for Sesame Workshop.

Sharkey replaces Allan Landon, who will join the PBS Foundation board.

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