Comings and goings: Shereen Marisol Meraji leaving ‘Code Switch,’ Holly Edgell to lead Midwest Newsroom …

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NPR’s Code Switch announced that Shereen Marisol Meraji will leave her role as co-host and senior producer.

An NPR news release said Meraji’s last day with the program is in August. She was named a Nieman fellow last month. As a fellow, she will research ways public media can attract and retain Latino audiences. After that, she will work as an assistant professor of race in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

“She’s promised to come back to Code Switch with special projects and series — so she’ll always be our founding mother and part of the Code Switch familia,” the release said. “We’ll be here with updates in the weeks to come about the future of Code Switch, so stay tuned.”

Holly Edgell will be managing editor for the Midwest Newsroom, a public radio collaboration.

The managing partners are KCUR in Kansas City, Mo., the lead station, and Nebraska Public Media, Iowa Public Radio, St. Louis Public Radio and NPR. It is the fourth regional news hub, joining the Texas, California and Gulf States Newsrooms. Edgell’s first day is July 6.

Edgell most recently worked as a project manager and assistant editor for Side Effects Public Media, a health and medical news collaboration led by WFYI in Indianapolis. She has also been an editor for Sharing America, a project focused on race, identity and culture, led by St. Louis Public Radio.


“The addition of the Midwest Newsroom to the collective with Holly at the helm ensures our mission to plan shared coverage and create stories that reach local, regional, and national audiences,” said NPR Managing Editor for Collaborative Journalism Kenya Young in a news release. “Holly will be an agent of change in the Midwest region and I look forward to seeing how she shapes collaborative journalism within our network.”

TPT in St. Paul, Minn., appointed two executives.

Pederson and Ekeren

Kristin Pederson was promoted to VP of education. Pederson joined the station in 2001 as a manager of public relations and community outreach for DragonflyTV, a science education series. She was also senior manager of promotion and most recently worked as director of STEM project development and communications.

And Deb Ekeren was hired as VP of human resources. Ekeren most recently worked as director of human resources for the Center for Victims of Torture. She has also been human resources manager for the Council on Crime and Justice and director of human resources and administration for Chrysalis, a center for women.

PRX promoted an employee and announced a retirement.

Nesbitt and Pfeifer

Sean Nesbitt stepped up to senior director of industry partnerships, a new position on the station services team. Nesbitt previously worked as director of station services and station relations. He was also a manager and associate of trade marketing for Public Radio International.

And Michael Pfeifer will retire July 15. Pfeifer most recently worked as associate director of station services. He held several positions for PRI from 1994–2018.

“It’s been an awesome and sometimes wild ride. I truly cherish the wonderful, long lasting friendships I’ve made with so many people around the country,” Pfeifer said in a news release. “Now I’m ready to embark on new adventures, focus on my health, travel more, explore the country and the world, listen to my record collection, and most of all, sing as much as possible. I will miss working with my beloved colleagues, but I’m excited to seek out new opportunities. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.”

Iowa PBS announced two promotions.

Shore and Weber

Taylor Shore stepped up to director of emerging media. Shore joined the station in 2015 as digital content manager. In addition, Tonya Weber was named deputy director of communications. She joined the station in 2014 as communications manager.

“Both these managers have elevated Iowa PBS’s brand and our relationship with our viewers through their innovation and dedication to our mission,” said GM Molly Phillips in the release. “These promotions help to fulfill our network strategic plan objectives and will better prepare Iowa PBS to serve the future needs of our network and those of our viewing public.”

The station eliminated both of the previous positions held by Shore and Weber, according to a news release.

Connecticut Public hired two journalists for The Accountability Project, the station’s investigative reporting team.

Rabe Thomas and Haddadin

Jacqui Rabe Thomas will be an investigative reporter. Rabe Thomas most recently worked as a reporter for the Connecticut Mirror. She has also been an assignment documents editor for Congressional Quarterly. “I see this as a wonderful continuation of the work I’ve been doing at the Connecticut Mirror and a way to dig deeper into the important issues that we face in our state,” Rabe Thomas said in a news release.

Also, Jim Haddadin joined as a data reporter. Haddadin previously worked as an investigative producer for NBCUniversal in Boston. He has also been a multimedia journalist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. “CT Public is investing in the journalism that matters most. Local investigative reporting strengthens communities and holds power to account. I’m thrilled to join this team, and humbled by the opportunity to do this work,” said Haddadin in the release.

Minnesota Public Radio announced two new programs and changes to its lineup.

Kerri Miller, a host for MPR News, will become host of an hourlong weekly interview program featuring authors. The program debuts Sept. 10.

Miller and Davis

Miller will end her role hosting MPR News with Kerri Miller Aug. 6. Angela Davis will succeed Miller as host of the weekday 9 a.m. news hour, effective Sept. 7. Davis, who currently hosts the 11 a.m. news hour, joined the station in 2018.

“Kerri has built a devoted audience at 9 a.m., and I’m looking forward to building on that and inviting more Minnesotans to join the conversation about our lives as Minnesotans, as many of us resume our morning routines and commutes,” Davis said in a news release.


Also, Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer will continue in that role and create a daily news program for the noon hour. The newsmagazine debuts Sept. 7 and will focus on topics that relate to Minnesota. “What a gift to be given an hour to create a show that reflects all of Minnesota and goes beyond the day’s news to include segments on arts and culture, music, history and life in our state,” Wurzer said. “Listen at noon, and you’ll learn things about Minnesota you didn’t know before.”

“We are here not only to connect with Minnesota, but also to better connect Minnesota with itself,” said MPR President Duchesne Drew in a news release. “We’re being intentional about putting our resources behind the news programming that helps us achieve that goal.”



Fred Rogers Productions promoted Matthew Shiels from director to VP of business and legal affairs. Shiels, who was hired in 2017, will also oversee licensing for the organization and its brands. “I feel privileged to work with such a talented and dedicated team who is committed to advancing our mission of providing quality, meaningful content for children and their families around the world,” Shiels said in a news release.



WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio, launched a weekly podcast hosted by author Hanif Abdurraqib. Small Joys with Hanif Abdurraqib debuted this month, featuring interviews with writers and artists. “I saw this podcast as a unique opportunity to talk to and learn from artists with local roots,” Abdurraqib said in a news release. “I also saw it as an opportunity to have open and candid conversations with people that didn’t feel like traditional interviews — getting to the heart of what has kept people going in the past year. WOSU was the perfect platform for this, as a station that is tapped into the community here and has been serving it for many years, and I’m glad they offered me this opportunity to collaborate.”

Alison Saldanha was hired as a data journalist for public radio’s California Newsroom. Aaron Glantz, senior investigations editor, said on Twitter that Saldanha “will help us confront the existential threat of wildfires fueled by climate change.” Saldanha said on Twitter that she will continue in her role as a reporter and news assistant for the New York Times. She has also been an associate editor for IndiaSpend.

Phil Ponce, a host and correspondent for WTTW in Chicago, will shift to special assignments for the station, including guest appearances for the weekly program Latino Voices. Ponce, who joined WTTW in 1992, has scaled back his duties since 2018.


Naina Rao announced that she’s leaving her role as a reporter and Morning Edition host for Wyoming Public Media. “I have 60 days aka until Aug 13 to leave the country or get a new full time job or change my visa status,” Rao said on Twitter. “So if you know of any FT job openings thats *ready* to hire a badass, talented and empowered immigrant, slide into my dms.” Rao joined the station last year.


Hassan and Misick

Type Investigations announced its 2021 Ida B. Wells Fellows, who will participate in a yearlong program. Each fellow receives a $20,000 stipend plus funds to cover reporting costs for an investigative project. The fellows in public media are:

  • Lila Hassan, a Tow Reporting fellow for Frontline, who will report on ICE arrests and accountability. Hassan has also contributed to Reuters, the Guardian, ProPublica and Kaiser Health News.
  • Bobbi-Jeanne Misick, a reporter for WWNO in New Orleans and WRKF in Baton Rouge, La. Misick covers health, criminal justice and social justice issues. She will report on immigration asylum and parole policies in the Deep South.


Colorado Public Radio announced that Brad Greenwald was elected vice chair and Michelle Sobel was named secretary. Greenwald is founder and managing partner for Hilltop Venture Partners. Sobel is COO for Unify America. Philip Johnson and Diane F. Reeder remain as chair and treasurer, respectively, for fiscal year 2022.

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