Chicago Public Media announced executive changes.
Tracy Brown was promoted to CCO for WBEZ. Brown joined the station in 2019 as managing editor. She previously held several editor positions for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Dallas Morning News.
Brown succeeds Steve Edwards, who first joined the station in 1999 as a host and has held other leadership roles. Edwards will become managing director for Koya Partners, part of the Diversified Search Group, an executive search and advisory firm.
“Over the last few years Tracy and Steve have built a strong partnership to lead our newsroom and content efforts, and together they have built one of the largest and most respected newsrooms in the city. While we will greatly miss Steve, we are in extremely capable hands with Tracy and her leadership as she starts her new role,” said interim CEO Matt Moog in a news release.
Ian MacSpadden was named CTO for Arizona Public Media.
MacSpadden previously worked as CTO for Arizona PBS in Phoenix. Before that, he was a studio operations manager for a YouTube content creator initiative and held other engineering and technology roles for NBC Universal, Thomson Reuters and ABC News.
In an email, MacSpadden told Current that he helped set up Arizona PBS’ ATSC 3.0 signal and the PBS NewsHour bureau in Phoenix. “I am looking forward to helping AZPM with their ambitious plans for ATSC3, new broadcast facilities and broadening the reach of NPR in Arizona,” he said.
Sesame Workshop shuffled global media positions.
Ed Wells was promoted to EVP and global head of media and education. Wells joined Sesame in 2017 as SVP and head of international media and education. He previously worked as EVP and head of international for World Wrestling Entertainment and held several roles for ViacomCBS in Japan and Singapore.
“I’m confident in Ed’s ability to further our child-first mission, broaden our global impact, and evolve the ways families everywhere connect with Sesame Workshop,” said CEO Steve Youngwood.
As part of the change, Scott Chambers left his role as SVP and GM of North America media and licensing. Chambers joined the organization in 2002 as VP of book and magazine publishing. He has also been VP and GM for publishing, home video and audio and SVP of worldwide media distribution.
“My position was eliminated in mid-February, but after 18+ years at Sesame Workshop my heart is filled with nothing but pride and gratitude,” Chambers told Current in an email. “Over the years I was fortunate to have managed teams that drove significant success across a spectrum of businesses at the Workshop,” he said, adding, “I am taking advantage of this rare opportunity to thoughtfully explore my next chapter, and am already having some interesting conversations.”
Cindi Lash was appointed executive editor for Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation, the parent organization of WESA and WYEP.
Lash most recently worked as regional editor and editor-in-chief for Missouri Lawyers Media, a subsidiary of BridgeTower Media. She has also been editor-in-chief of Pittsburgh Magazine and regional editor for Patch.com, and she held several roles with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Lash’s first day with PCBC is May 12. “Cindi is already a well-known name in Pittsburgh journalism, and we are thrilled to welcome her back to take up this newly-created role within our organization,” said CEO Terry O’Reilly in a news release. “She has been honored with regional and national awards and is recognized widely not just as a terrific journalist, but for her ability to grow and lead teams of reporters and editors across legacy and new media platforms.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting hired Marcos Nájera to lead the station’s new arts and culture reporting unit.
As the unit’s inaugural executive editor, Nájera will lead an eight-person team working on programs including Oregon Art Beat and Oregon Experience.
Nájera previously worked as a producer for The Frame, an arts program produced by KPCC in Pasadena, Calif. He was also a contributor for AirTalk, LAist and Latino USA. Before that, he was a reporter for KJZZ in Phoenix and a producer for Horizonte, produced by Arizona PBS.
“I’m very pleased that an experienced journalist and artistic talent like Marcos will help OPB build our arts and culture coverage,” said SVP and CCO Morgan Holm in a news release. “Under his leadership, we aim to increase our engagement with the incredible diversity of creative talent in the region and play an important role in sharing their stories.”
Brittany Cheng was hired as a digital analyst for NPR.
The position is part of an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative was created “to bring metrics-based intelligence to the way we approach our work in news gathering and news presentation,” wrote Senior Director for Digital News and Strategy Justin Bank and Senior Director of Audience Insights Steve Mulder in a staff memo.
“Brittany will have a broad remit,” they wrote. “We anticipate her becoming a strong voice at the daily news meetings to offer analytic insights. She’ll regularly brief newsroom and programming leadership to inform content strategies for digital platforms.”
Cheng previously worked for Vox Media as an audience analyst. She joined Vox in 2016 as an intern for its sports vertical SB Nation and has also been a social media producer and programming analyst for the organization.
“Excited to work at a nonprofit and serve their mission of creating a more informed public,” Cheng said on Twitter, She also said she was “swayed” to join NPR because of its “transparency and meaningful metrics.”
Appalshop, which owns WMMT in Whitesburg, Ky., announced editorial changes.
Benny Becker became a story trainer and co-producer for the station. In 2016, Becker became a reporter and producer for WMMT and the Ohio Valley ReSource Journalism Collaborative. He left Appalshop in 2018 to become a Abrams Nieman Fellow for Local Investigative Journalism at Harvard University, then returned to Appalshop last year as an educator and later as interim GM for WMMT.
Katie Myers was hired as a reporter for WMMT and the Ohio Valley ReSource Journalism Collaborative. She will cover local economics, environmental issues and energy companies. Myers previously worked for Black in Appalachia, produced by East Tennessee PBS, and Inside Appalachia, produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
Brendan Daly was named VP of communications for CPB. He succeeds Shana Teehan, who left the corporation to become chief of staff for Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.). Daly most recently worked as op-ed placement director for National Security Leaders for Biden, a group of retired military officials who supported Joe Biden for president. He has also been EVP of Ogilvy Public Relations, chief communications officer for the Recording Industry Association of America, senior director of communications for Save the Children Action Network and communications director for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Sydney Cameron became a publicist for WETA in Washington, D.C. Cameron previously worked on the communications team for PBS NewsHour, produced by the station. She previously worked as a publicity coordinator for PBS and as a sales and marketing coordinator for the Jefferson Hotel.
Samantha Matsumoto announced she will become a producer for MPR News with Angela Davis, produced by Minnesota Public Radio. “I’m excited to join a team that is doing meaningful work on mental health, racism, police accountability and so many other important issues in Minnesota,” she said on Twitter. Matsumoto previously worked as a producer for Think Out Loud, produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. She has also been a breaking news reporter for the Oregonian/OregonLive.com.
Gabrielle Healy will join New Hampshire Public Radio as a digital editor. Healy most recently worked as a digital editor for 1A, produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C. She joined the station in 2018 as a digital producer.
James Hill left his position as audience editor for Colorado Public Radio. On Twitter, Hill said he’s taking “a small break” before seeking his next position. Hill joined the station in 2016.
Timothy Wilkins was appointed board chair for New York Public Radio. Wilkins, who was vice chair, will replace Mayo S. Stuntz Jr. Wilkins is global partner for client sustainability for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. “Tim has been extremely active in pushing for diversity & inclusion on the boards of NYC cultural institutions,” the station said in a news release, citing his board work for The Public Theater and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
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