Comings and goings: PBS hires Douglas Chang as senior director, WETA appoints diversity officer …

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Douglas Chang joined PBS as senior director of programming and development.

Chang

News of his appointment was first reported by Realscreen. In a statement, PBS Chief Programming Executive Sylvia Bugg said Chang will help with PBS’ arts and culture strategy.

Chang most recently held freelance positions, including producer of an arts series for Montclair State University in New Jersey, producer for Scrap Metal Media and senior producer for Snap Snap Productions’ Carnegie Hall 130th Anniversary Virtual Gala.

He has also been a programming director for KCET in Los Angeles, supervising producer for AmDoc/POV and segment producer for City Arts, produced by the WNET Group in New York. Chang was also a producer for Live from Lincoln Center, distributed by PBS.

WETA in Washington, D.C., announced changes to its human resources department.

Iris Drayton-Spann became chief diversity officer and will retain her title as VP of human resources. Drayton-Spann joined the station in 2018. She previously worked as VP of human resources for Goodwill Industries International.

And Shakira Munden was hired as director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Munden most recently worked as reentry services program senior program specialist for Goodwill Industries International. She has also been a project coordinator and criminal justice planner for James City County in Williamsburg, Va.

Ngoc-Tran Vu is leaving her role as director of New Voices for the Association of Independents in Radio.

Vu

“I want to thank Tran for all of her contributions to the AIR community and notably, her leadership of New Voices,” CEO Ken Ikeda said in a newsletter. “She has been the most visible and accessible member of AIR for years, through programming, conferences and her role as a trusted facilitator for new relationships and collaborations that span the audio industry.”

Tran joined AIR in 2017 as director of programs and has also been deputy director of programs and creative. In the newsletter, Ikeda said the New Voices program “will proceed with Elena Rivera as its fearless captain and Lynn Casper as the program coordinator.” Casper became AIR’s communications coordinator last year, and Rivera was recently hired as a health reporter for KERA in Dallas.

Code Switch EP Steve Drummond announced new hires in a note to staff.

Cala

Christina Cala joined the program as a producer. She previously worked as a producer for TED Radio Hour and in several production roles for All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 2015 and starts the new role June 28.

Drummond also announced two mid-career fellows who will work with Code Switch on a long-term project. They are:

  • Kamna Shastri, an independent journalist, is a content manager for the Washington Environmental Council. She has also been a headlines producer for KBCS in Bellevue, Wash., and a fellow for KUOW in Seattle and the American Press Institute.
  • Isabeth Mendoza, a podcast engagement producer for Truth Be Told, an advice show produced by KQED in San Francisco. She was also an intern for NPR and Georgia Public Broadcasting and participated in NPR’s Next Generation Radio program.

Also, Sam Yellowhorse Kessler started his six-month assignment as the program’s first fellow.

Juliet Fromholt was promoted to music director for WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Fromholt

Fromholt became a volunteer for the station in 2006 and joined as an employee in 2009. She has worked as a music host and director of digital and programming strategy. 

Her first day in the new role is July 1. She succeeds Niki Dakota, who resigned from the station, according to a WYSO memo.

“Few people have as well-rounded an understanding of this station, its audience and its mission,” said GM Luke Dennis in a news release. “She has earned the respect of the local music community because she recognizes and knows how to spotlight emerging and veteran musicians. She also has strong relationships with public radio music stations across the country, always learning from what they’re doing and bringing great ideas back to WYSO.”

Paragon Media Strategies, a consulting firm, promoted two researchers.

Sara Schueller will be VP of research. Schueller joined the company in 2002 and most recently worked as research services director. Simone Lowin succeeded Schueller as research services director. She joined the firm in 2000 as marketing director and presentation specialist.

Four staffers for America Amplified: Election 2020 left the journalism collaborative.

Managing Director Donna Vestal retired. She previously worked as executive director for Harvest Public Media and was also director of content strategy for KCUR in Kansas City, Mo. Jennifer Tufts, project manager, is working as a community engagement project manager for the Kansas City Public Library. Kathy Lu, digital and social media editor, founded Audiencibility, a consulting firm. And Andrea Tudhope, coordinating producer, is working as a podcast producer for Literary Hub.

Technology

The Society of Broadcast Engineers named its first group of ATSC 3.0 specialists who have been certified by the organization. The specialists who work in public media are Vicki Way Kipp, a broadcast engineer for PBS Wisconsin, and Wayne Pecena, director of engineering for KAMU in College Station, Texas.

Content

Beras

Erika Beras left her role as a reporter for Marketplace to become a reporter and host for the NPR podcast Planet Money. Beras joined Marketplace in 2017.

Susan Davis became a senior producer for Minnesota Public Radio. Davis most recently worked as a consultant for podcasts and programs, including On Second Thought, produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting. She has also been a senior supervising producer for WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C., and a producer for NPR.

Sofia

Madeline Sofia is leaving her role as a co-host for Short Wave, a science podcast produced by NPR. Sofia joined the network in 2016 as an intern and has also been an assistant producer and associate producer. Before Short Wave, she also hosted Maddie About Science, a program that interviewed science researchers.

Ann Marie Awad joined the audio innovations unit for Colorado Public Radio and will work as a community producer. Awad was hired by the station in 2017 as a reporter and host for On Something, a podcast about marijuana legalization.

Fellowships

The Online News Association announced the 2021 MJ Bear Fellowship class, a program for digital journalists under age 30. Fellows receive training from the organization and a three-year membership and will participate in a virtual conference June 22–25. Natalie Van Hoozer is one of six fellows selected. She is a freelance journalist and part-time Spanish and English reporter and community engagement coordinator for Reno Public Radio in Nevada. She is also developing a Spanish-language WhatsApp newsletter for the station.

Governance

Dargan

Jennifer Brown Dargan, assistant director of the Ideas Network for Wisconsin Public Radio, was named deputy director of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, effective July 19. The board is a state agency that partners with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to operate WPR and PBS Wisconsin. “I’m thrilled to bring my passion for public service, employee relations, and inclusivity to the Educational Communications Board,” Dargan said in a news release. “It’s a bonus that I’m able to stay in public media and continue to serve the people of Wisconsin.”

Send news of “comings and goings” to people@current.org

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