Comings and goings: Stacey Libbrecht returns to PBS as VP, NPR adds reporters …

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Libbrecht

Stacey Libbrecht rejoined PBS as VP of creative services and will work on campaigns for general audience programming.

Libbrecht started her career with PBS as an intern in 1996 and held several production roles, including senior writer, producer. She left PBS in 2002 to join Starz and later became SVP of creative services.

Libbrecht will report to PBS Chief Digital & Marketing Officer Ira Rubenstein.

“The programming and the people at PBS are what drew me back to the company,” Libbrecht said in a news release. “I’m excited to rejoin a team that is doing great creative work supporting and elevating the PBS brand and programs.”

NPR announced the hiring of three journalists.

Gura

David Gura became a business correspondent. Gura most recently worked as an anchor and correspondent for MSNBC and Bloomberg. He was also a reporter for Marketplace and held several roles for NPR from 2004–10.

“David is uniquely qualified for this job, having reported on business and economics for more than a decade, making complicated financial concepts comprehensible, and telling a good story,” said Chief Business Editor Pallavi Gogoi in a staff note. “David fills an important role at a pivotal time, and we are so thrilled to have him in our team.”

Jonathan Franklin was hired as a reporter, according to a staff note from Senior Director of Digital News & Strategy Justin Bank and Managing Editor Terence Samuel. Franklin most recently worked as a digital reporter and producer for commercial TV stations WUSA and WJLA in Washington, D.C.

Franklin and Yousef

“His real talent — and one we are very, very eager to apply to our network — is his ability to find human-interest and humanity in all kinds of stories,” said Bank and Samuel in the note. “Working for a local affiliate of a national broadcaster, you can scan for his byline and find hundreds of local breaking news stories and always find engaging ledes and well-calibrated anecdotes that center the individuals and communities in service of the journalism he’s pursuing.”

In addition, Odette Yousef is leaving her position as a reporter for WBEZ in Chicago to become a national security correspondent. Her first day with NPR is Aug. 30, according to a staff note. Yousef joined WBEZ in 2010 and has hosted Motive, a station podcast that covered extremism.

Content

Aguilar

Ernesto Aguilar announced that he was hired as director of radio programming for KQED in San Francisco. Aguilar was promoted in February to executive director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and was recently named a fellow for the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Aguilar has also been a news co-director and PD for KPFT in Houston, a fellow for the Maynard Institute, board president for the Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media and helped organize Public Media for All, a coalition led by public media staffers. “It’s been a privilege to support @NFCB stations. So much love to y’all,” Aguilar said on Twitter. “Now, I look forward to crafting the future of public media. I hope to make you who believed in me proud.”

James

Pamela James was promoted to EP of content for WGCU Public Media in Fort Myers, Fla. James most recently worked as the station’s assistant director of membership and communications. She joined WGCU in 2013 as a membership and special events manager and previously worked as a memberships producer for Kansas City PBS.

Maria Diokno joined the investigative series Frontline as director of audience development. Diokno previously worked as executive director of brand and audience development for KQED in San Francisco. She has also been director of social media for Everybody At Once, a brand agency, and was editor-in-chief of My Damn Channel, which developed several YouTube series and was renamed Omnivision Entertainment.

Haynes

Hannah Haynes became a permanent midday host and producer for Wisconsin Public Radio. Haynes called the news “anti-climactic” on Twitter because she’s been filling in for the job for 15 months. “We created the role at the beginning of the pandemic to help fill a midday news hole. It was supposed to be temporary, but the service has been really valuable to our listeners so now it’s sticking around! I’m so happy I get to continue doing this work,” she said. Haynes joined the station in 2018 as a Morning Edition producer and has also been a podcast producer and head of sourcing for tracking diversity.

Benjamin Purper was hired as news director for KCBX in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Purper previously worked as a reporter and Morning Edition host for KVCR in San Bernardino, which he joined in 2017. Before that, he worked as a reporter for Redlands Community News and was a national desk intern for NPR based in Culver City, Calif.

Hamdan

Nadia Hamdan became a producer for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Hamdan most recently worked as a reporter for KUT in Austin, Texas. She joined the station in 2016 as an intern and also worked as a production assistant and on-air host. “I’m so excited for this next step but it’s going to be very hard to say goodbye to @KUT. This place formed me and I will miss working with everyone in the newsroom,” Hamdan said on Twitter. “Good news is I’m staying in Austin — so you guys aren’t rid of me yet.”

Elena Moore was promoted to the role of production assistant for the NPR Politics Podcast. Moore joined NPR in 2019 as an editorial assistant for the Washington Desk and most recently worked as a production assistant for Morning Edition.

Fellowships

Sholtis, Eldridge, Yu and Jones

Four of the nine 2021–22 fellows selected for the Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grant for Mental Health Investigative Journalism work in public media: Brett Sholtis, health reporter for WITF in Harrisburg, Pa.; Ellen Eldridge, health care reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting; Elly Yu, investigative reporter for KPCC/LAist in Pasadena, Calif.; and Liz Jones, editor for KUOW Public Radio in Seattle. The fellowship is a partnership between the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Carter Center U.S. fellows receive training and $10,000 stipends to report on mental-health topics. “These journalists are making important contributions to lifting some of the stigma associated with mental health issues,” said former U.S. First Lady and Carter Center co-founder Rosalynn Carter in a news release.

Governance

Cary Barbor, a host for All Things Considered and the Gulf Coast Life Book Club for WGCU Public Media in Fort Myers, Fla., was elected small station representative on the Public Media Journalists Association board of directors. Barbor began her two-year term in June.

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

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