Comings and goings: Shula Neuman resigns as PMJA president, Tonya Harley named PBS VP …

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Shula Neuman stepped down as president of the Public Media Journalists Association.


PMJA announced Neuman’s immediate resignation Monday, which will allow her “to focus on issues within St. Louis Public Radio.” 

Neuman is executive editor for St. Louis Public Radio, where a group of reporters and producers recently went public about “a culture that perpetuates racism” within the station. The staffers said in a Medium post Aug. 7 that Neuman and other station leaders, including GM Tim Eby, have failed to discipline managers and address problems.

In a post on the station’s website Aug. 10, Eby wrote, “I am very sorry that I did not recognize the depth of the problems earlier and that staff have been hurt.” He said that an external investigation of the station’s diversity practices had begun.

In the PMJA release, Neuman said, “This has been a humbling and thought-provoking experience for me. Despite my efforts to educate myself about the problems of white supremacy, I still failed to recognize how my own actions and words have adversely impacted the journalists of color in my newsroom.”

Further, “I have more learning and improving to do. In the meantime, I remain committed to PMJA and to the culture of journalism … something I hope we all keep in mind as we hear and learn more about the problems in public media.”

Neuman was elected to PMJA’s board in 2019 and was elected president in June.

“Per the procedures outlined in the organization’s bylaws, the PMJA board will begin the process of appointing a new president,” the release said. “That person will serve in the post until the next regularly-scheduled election — currently expected to be at the annual conference in 2021. At that time, members will elect a president who will fulfill the unexpired term left open by Neuman’s resignation.”

Tonya Harley was hired as a VP of marketing for PBS.


Harley will focus on customer acquisition and retention strategies for PBS Distribution, which oversees direct-to-consumer content such as Masterpiece, PBS Kids and documentaries for Prime Video Channels. Harley most recently worked as the director of strategic marketing for BCD Travel. She was also a senior consultant for Advito and a manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance. 

“Tonya is an Emmy-award winning marketing professional with a proven track record of successfully delivering results for clients that exceed expectations,” PBS Distribution co-president Andrea Downing said in a statement. “She brings keen analytical skills and experience across a wide range of industries, and her ability to create targeted and efficient media plans to drive acquisition across broadcast and digital platforms will support our key primary initiatives perfectly.”

BirdNote, a radio program based in Seattle, announced two hires.


Jessica Rugh Frantz joined the organization in July as director of development. She replaces Kate Godman, who became director of philanthropy for the Jefferson Land Trust in September. Before BirdNote, Frantz was director of membership and operations for the Public Radio Program Directors Association. She also worked as a membership associate for Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville, N.C.


Allison Jane Wilson​ was hired as a production manager. She previously worked as an independent podcast producer for No Place Like Home​, an environmental podcast sponsored by the Sierra Club, and ​Generation Anthropocene, ​which is affiliated with Stanford University. Before that, Wilson was the chief engagement officer for KDHX in St. Louis and the membership and marketing coordinator for the National Freedom of Information Coalition.


Angie Andresen has left Minnesota Public Radio, where she was managing director of communications, member and audience services. She has joined Ecumen, a nonprofit that helps provide housing services to elderly people.



Sachi Christine Kobayashi was named director of member acquisition for Oregon Public Broadcasting. Her first day will be Sept. 1. She previously served as director of development for WXPN in Philadelphia. She has also been a development manager for KPCC and KXSC in Los Angeles.



Corby Anderson was named executive director of community radio station KDNK in Glenwood Springs, Colo. He replaces Gavin Dahl, who left the station in June to join KVNF in Paonia, Colo., as a producer and on-air host. Anderson has worked as an independent producer, an adjunct at Colorado Mountain College and a producer and host for the Aspen Times newspaper. He also served on KDNK’s board of directors from 2011 to 2013.



Shaylee Ragar was hired as a bureau chief for Montana Public Radio. She will cover public policy, state government and elections while stationed in the statehouse in Helena. Ragar previously served as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She replaces Corin Cates-Carney, who became the station’s news director.


Five public media journalists will participate in the 2020 cohort for the Leadership Academy for Women in Media, held by the Poynter Institute. They are: Jen Beard, a digital senior producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.; Jess Bellville, a digital content manager for Twin Cities PBS in St. Paul, Minn.; Mathilde Piard, a senior project manager for NPR; Amanda Ruggeri, an editor for the BBC; and Tran Vu, director of new voices for the Association of Independents in Radio. The majority of the program will take place online to ensure safety during the pandemic. Participants will also convene for a final workshop in person next year.

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