Comings and goings: Stevan Smith named CCO for WBGO, ‘NewsHour’ hires reporters for Communities Initiative …

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Stevan Smith is rejoining WBGO in Newark, N.J., as CCO.


“It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we are ‘over the moon’ with the news of Stevan Smith’s acceptance,” said CEO Steven A. Williams in a news release. “Having Mr. Smith at the helm of our content strategies and tactics moves us significantly closer toward what may have, at one time, seemed like lofty goals of greater reach and deeper engagement — now, with him on board, we have those targets in clear view.”

Smith most recently worked as assistant PD for WNYC in New York City. He previously worked at WBGO as a traffic and continuity manager. He has also been an assistant PD, traffic manager and producer of Strictly Hip-Hop for WEAA in Baltimore.

“Returning to WBGO in the role of Chief Content Officer is the culmination of everything I’ve worked for since I was 19 years old,” Smith said in a news release. “Jazz music/radio has remained a constant throughout my journey, and it feels good to come HOME. It’s time to be great!”

PBS NewsHour hired three reporters for its Communities Initiative.

The Communities Initiative was launched in March to hire journalists in areas that have historically lacked national news coverage.

Wang, Chavez and Hays

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang will be based in the Dearborn/Detroit area. Wang has written for NBC News Asian America, PRI’s Global Nation, Mic, the Center for Asian American Media and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. She previously taught Asian/Pacific Islander American civil rights and media at the University of Michigan.

Roby Chavez will work in New Orleans. Chavez, a consultant and freelance journalist, most recently worked as director of communications and public relations for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools. He has also been a reporter and anchor for CNN; WTTG in Washington, D.C.; and several commercial stations in New Orleans.

Gabrielle Hays will focus her journalism on St. Louis. She most recently worked as a reporter and producer for Nine PBS. She has also been a reporter for commercial stations in Knoxville, Tenn., and Columbia, Mo.

The program’s senior editor is Aaron Foley. Another reporter, Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado, will report from Fresno, Calif.


Lucy Kim will join Chicago Public Media as chief advancement officer. Kim is VP of development for the Brookings Institution. She previously held several positions at Harvard University, including deputy vice dean of development for the T. H. Chan School of Public Health and director roles at the Radcliffe Institute. She starts at Chicago Public Media in September.

Lisa Gardner-Springer is leaving her role as senior director of institutional fundraising at PRX to join the Institute for Nonprofit News as CDO, a new position. She has held several development roles for PRX and Public Radio International since 2003.



Jenna McLaughlin will join NPR as a cybersecurity correspondent. Her first day with the organization is Sept. 13, according to a staff memo from Chief National Editor Vickie Walton-James and Andrew Sussman, supervising editor for national security. McLaughlin most recently worked as senior national security and investigations reporter for Yahoo News. She has also been a reporter for Foreign Policy, CNN and The Intercept.

Clennon Reberg

Maggie Clennon Reberg was hired as a morning host for KDFC, a classical music station in San Francisco. Her first day with the station is Oct. 7. Clennon Reberg most recently worked as a host for WFMT in Chicago. She has also been an opera and classical theater performer. “Getting to host the KDFC Morning Show is a dream come true,” she said in a news release. Jennifer Miller, a host for sister station KUSC in Los Angeles, has been filling in while KDFC found a permanent host. “For the last two years, it has been such an honor to join our Bay Area family as the host of the KDFC Morning Show,” Miller said in the release. “Thank you for making those early weekday hours such a blast and I can’t wait for you to begin your mornings with Maggie!”


D. Rashaan Gilmore will host Flatland, a new half-hour current affairs program for Kansas City PBS. The monthly program will premiere Sept. 16. Gilmore is an activist, writer and radio personality for KKFI in Kansas City, Mo. In a news release, he said the program will use a format that borrows from HBO’s Last Week Tonight. “The goal is to dig deeper than traditional news,” said Kansas City PBS CEO Kliff Kuehl in the release. “We’re getting at the nuances and angles that short-form television reporting doesn’t allow.”


Diane Miller joined The Current in St. Paul, Minn., as host and producer of The Local Show, which airs Sunday nights. She succeeds Andrea Swensson, who left the station in April. “A strong connection to the Minnesota music scene and ear for the best new local sound is a must for The Local Show,” said Managing Director David Safar in a news release. “Diane isn’t just aware of what’s happening in local music — she’s also part of it — and we can’t wait to see how she takes her experience and makes the show her own.” Miller co-founded the hip hop band D Mills & The Thrills and was also editor-in-chief of the High Plains Reader in Fargo, N.D. She was also a talent booker for The Aquarium, a music venue in Fargo, and Icehouse in Minneapolis.

Cristina Quinn left her role as a multimedia journalist for GBH in Boston to become an editor at Spotify. “It has been a thrill working with some of the best people in the biz,” she said on Twitter. Quinn joined GBH in 2010 and has also worked as an anchor, reporter and producer.

Jimmy Jenkins, a senior field correspondent for KJZZ in Phoenix, is leaving the station to become a criminal justice reporter for the Arizona Republic. Jenkins joined the station in 2014 as a senior producer.

Quinn Myers left his position as a reporter and producer for WTTW’s Chicago Tonight to become a reporter for Block Club Chicago. Myers joined the station in 2019. “It’s bittersweet to be leaving @wttw — in my mind, ‘Chicago Tonight’ is hands down the most comprehensive TV news program in the city, made by some of the best people I know,” Myers said on Twitter. “I’ll miss them a whole lot.”

Riham Feshir announced that she’s leaving her position as a race and immigration reporter for Minnesota Public Radio to become a senior writer for RBC Wealth Management. Feshir joined MPR in 2015 as a general assignment reporter. “I came here with no radio experience, and it’s here that I fell in love with audio storytelling, connected with many amazing people from my own community as well as communities I was unfamiliar with,” Feshir said on Twitter. “Now I’m excited to dive into a new role and industry (finance!) that will teach me a lot and challenge me in different ways.”


ProPublica selected three public media reporters for its Local Reporting Network. Reporters will collaborate with a ProPublica senior editor, and their work will be co-published with the nonprofit. They are Meribah Knight, a senior reporter and producer for Nashville Public Radio; Tony Schick, an investigative and data reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting; and Brittany Freeman, an EP of investigative journalism for Rocky Mountain PBS.

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