Comings and goings: Bruce Ramer reelected CPB board chair, Chicago Public Media names new interim CEO …

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Bruce Ramer was reelected CPB board chair Tuesday during the corporation’s annual meeting. Ramer, who joined the board in 2008, previously served as vice chair from 2016–18 and was elected chair in October 2018, a position he also held from 2010–12.

Laura Ross was elected vice chair. Ross joined the board in 2018. She previously worked as chief of staff to the attorney general for the state of New York and was a trustee for WNET in New York and its sister stations.

Ross succeeds Patricia Cahill. Cahill joined the board in 2009. She was board chair from 2012–14 and vice chair from 2011 to 2012 and since 2018. Cahill previously worked as GM of KCUR in Kansas City, Mo., and GM of KMUW in Wichita, Kan. She has also served on the NPR board of directors.

Chicago Public Media’s board of directors appointed Matt Moog interim CEO, effective Oct. 8.


Moog, a board member and past board chair for the station, is founder and CEO for the technology company PowerReviews. He has also been a leader at other tech firms, including Pocket Casts, the developer of a podcast app owned by a consortium of public radio stations.

“Matt is committed to prioritizing a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture that values learning, excellence and professional development,” said CPM Board Chair Bryan Traubert in a note to staff. “Importantly, as Matt steps into his new role, it’s our hope that he also will foster deeper connections between the Board and the staff.”

Moog stepped in to lead the station after Andi McDaniel, previously slated to fill the role permanently, withdrew from the job last month. McDaniel previously worked as chief content officer for WAMU in Washington, D.C., where concerns arose about management’s handling of employee misconduct.

“As you know, we are in the midst of reviewing our search process to learn from the experiences of the past and to ensure our efforts to find the next CEO are successful for the organization,” Traubert wrote. “We don’t expect our search to recommence until this time next year, and it will likely be some time after that before we’ve identified a permanent replacement.”


Steve Edwards, the previous interim CEO who assumed the role when Goli Sheikholeslami left for New York Public Radio last year, will resume his role as VP and chief content officer. In addition, Kassie Stephenson will return to her role as chief marketing officer at her request after serving as interim COO.

“Both Steve and Kassie have held their interim roles for a year now on top of their regular responsibilities as senior executives of Chicago Public Media. This is a long time for any leader to be in an interim capacity, and especially so in these times,” Traubert wrote. “The Board of Directors is very grateful to both of them for the strong and steady leadership they have provided in this unprecedented past year, and welcome Matt aboard in his interim CEO position.”

Emanuele Berry was promoted to executive editor of This American Life.


Berry joined This American Life as a producer and editor in 2019. In the past year, she’s reported and co-produced episodes about protests in Hong Kong, a hospital in Detroit dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and school reopenings.

She was previously an editor and producer for Gimlet Media, where she worked on several programs like The Nod, Undone and StartUp. She has also worked as a race and culture reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and was a producer and host for WKAR in East Lansing, Mich. She was a 2014 Association of Independents in Radio New Voices Scholar.

Melissa Wright was promoted to chief content officer for TPT in St. Paul, Minn.


Wright most recently worked as SVP and general counsel. She joined the station in 2014 and has also worked as director of legal affairs and as VP and general counsel.

“Melissa’s breadth of experience, community relationships, portfolio of national PBS Kids programs and keen business insights are ideally aligned to this key strategic position. I’m excited to continue working with her in this new role,” said TPT CEO Sylvia Strobel in a news release.

Before joining TPT, Wright was executive director for the William Mitchell College of Law, senior counsel for Wells Fargo and the assistant attorney general for the Minnesota state attorney general’s office.

Angela Zanelli was promoted to VP of policy and advocacy for Lehigh Valley Public Media in Bethlehem, Pa. 


Zanelli previously worked as a campaign director for Lehigh Valley Reads, a literacy program created by the station. She has also worked as VP of development and communications for Allentown Art Museum, a manager for corporate and foundation relations for the National Hemophilia Foundation, a development manager for the New-York Historical Society and a development associate for Mount Sinai Medical Center.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Angela steering this ship and expanding the lens of how we can impact funding, resources and initiatives for our local districts and educators,” said CEO Tim Fallon in a news release. “It became clear that between the Lehigh Valley Reads initiative and much of our work with the Intermediate Units to provide equitable distance learning curriculum, there was an obvious correlation.”


Stephen Wolfe was promoted to CTO and SVP of information technology for CPB. Wolfe previously worked as VP of information technology.


Eugene Sonn is leaving his position as news director for WHYY in Philadelphia. He is joining Resolve Philadelphia, a nonprofit journalism organization. He will work on the Broke in Philly project, which covers poverty and economic mobility, according to his announcement on LinkedIn. Sonn joined WHYY in 2010. He has also been a reporter for WBGO in Newark, N.J., and a reporter and producer for WRVO in Oswego, N.Y.


Tory Starr was promoted to director of digital and social content innovation for GBH in Boston. She previously worked as director of social media, as digital content producer for The Takeaway and as a production assistant for American Experience.

Joe Wertz was hired as a climate and environment editor for Colorado Public Radio. Wertz will leave his position as senior environment reporter for the Center for Public Integrity. He has also worked as a reporter and editor for NPR and as a correspondent for KGOU in Norman, Okla.


Manola Secaira was promoted to Indigenous Affairs reporter for Crosscut, a digital news site operated by Cascade Public Media in Seattle. Secaira joined Crosscut as an emerging journalist fellow in 2018 and has also worked as an environmental justice and regional reporter.

Suzanne Rust was named a permanent host for The Moth Radio Hour. Rust joined the program 2018 as the senior curatorial producer. She previously worked as a lifestyle editor for the now defunct Family Circle magazine, and was also a contributing editor for The Grio and Essence.

Four radio personalities joined The Vibe, an Urban Alternative digital station and web stream programmed by KTSU in Houston. Rob G The General, who previously mixed KBXX’s Madd Hatta Morning Show, will host the morning show. Amir Diamond, previously a radio personality for KBXX and KROI in Houston, will host afternoons. Michele McKnight, previously a radio personality for KKHH in Houston and KZWA in Lake Charles, La., will host evenings. And Steve Nice, a DJ who worked for WSPK in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and the D.L. Hughley Show, will be a mixer.



PRX instructor Karen Given is in the inaugural cohort of the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in New York. The group of 20 media entrepreneurs will start the virtual 100-day program Tuesday “to develop newsletters, podcasts, local sites, and other niche news products serving their audiences and communities,” according to a news release. Given has also held several roles at WBUR in Boston, including EP, reporter, producer, technical director and interim host for the sports program Only A Game.

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