Comings and goings: Kenya Young promoted at NPR, WBUR announces editorial changes …

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Kenya Young was promoted to NPR’s managing editor for collaborative journalism, effective June 1, according to a staff note from SVP of News and Editorial Director Nancy Barnes. Barnes said Young will oversee the initiative that has created regional newsrooms in California, Texas, the Midwest and the Gulf States and will occasionally run day-to-day news operations.

Young fills the position vacated by Chris Turpin, who was named chief of staff last year. Young will also replace Tamar Charney, who has been serving as acting senior director for collaborative journalism.

Young is currently EP for Morning Edition, a role she has held since 2015. She has also been a director, editor and producer for the network.


In addition, Lauren González was hired as senior manager for Story Lab, an initiative for developing podcasts, programs and segments. Her first day was March 1, according to a note by Senior Director of Programming Steve Nelson. González most recently worked as director of programming for Luminary and was also a senior manager for programming strategy and planning. Before that, she was a program manager and associate producer for The Moth and a consultant and podcast producer for Booz Allen Hamilton.

WBUR in Boston announced editorial changes.


Maria Garcia was promoted to managing editor. Garcia joined the station in 2017. She has been a reporter and senior editor for arts and culture and is also the creator, host and producer of the podcast Anything for Selena, which focuses on the famous singer.

A spokesperson for WBUR said Tania Ralli will continue as acting senior editor for the station’s arts and culture team. Garcia stepped away from daily editorial duties last year to focus on the podcast.


In addition, Todd Wallack joined the station as deputy managing editor. Wallack most recently worked as an investigative and data reporter for the Boston Globe and was a member of its Spotlight team. He was also a reporter for the Boston Business Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Herald. In 2019, he was named a joint fellow for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.



Alex Simpson has been promoted to technical director for American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio. He will replace Corey Schreppel, who joined the New York Times. Simpson joined APM/MPR in 2017 as a master control specialist and has also worked as an on-air host and board operator for Classical MPR.



Ashley Westerman announced that she is leaving her role as a producer for NPR to move to the Philippines and work as a journalist. Her last day with the network is April 2. Westerman most recently worked on Morning Edition but has also been a freelance contributor and production assistant.

Frank Stowers left his position as a classical music host for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Stowers started working for the station part-time in the 1980s after retiring from the human resources department for Union Carbide, a chemical company, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He later oversaw a weekly opera broadcast and served as a fill-in host before working full-time. His first job in radio was as a teenager in the 1940s, working for WHIS in Bluefield. He has also been a teacher, travel agent and life insurance salesman.


Lara Downes was hired as a host and resident artist for KDFC, a classical music station in San Francisco. Downes, a concert pianist and recording artist, starts Monday. Downes is the creator and host of Amplify with Lara Downes, an NPR Music video series about Black musicians. She is also the creator and curator of the Rising Sun Music series, which will release music from Black composers.

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