Comings and goings: Steve Nelson will leave NPR, WETA hires CTO …

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Steve Nelson, NPR‘s senior director of programming, is becoming head of talk for Religion of Sports, a media company founded by Gotham Chopra, Michael Strahan and Tom Brady.

“I’m already a fan of their work, and can’t wait to be a part of their talented team,” Nelson said on Twitter. “I’ll miss my friends and colleagues at NPR, and am grateful to everyone there for an amazing five years.”

Before joining NPR, Nelson held director positions at American Public Media and was also a producer for WNYC in New York City.

WETA in Washington, D.C., hired Mary Pratt-Henaghan as CTO, a new position.


Pratt-Henaghan most recently worked as SVP of network and technical operations for BBC Studios and BBC America. She has also held technology positions for Discovery and began her career as a production assistant for WETA.

Pratt-Henaghan will report to EVP and COO Jason R. Daisey. Her first day is Aug. 30.

“We are delighted to welcome Mary to WETA, or in this case, to welcome her back,” Daisey said in the news release. “WETA’s success over time has hinged on our best-in-class production and distribution capabilities. Today, as the organization embarks on a significant office renovation and an expansion of our broadcast and digital products, Mary’s strength, leadership and experience will help WETA continue to grow and thrive. She is not only an expert in strategic technology solutions, but a committed mentor and passionate believer in the power of public media.”

Blake Lynch was hired as SVP and chief impact officer for WITF in Harrisburg, Pa.


Lynch will oversee community engagement, fundraising, corporate sponsorship and marketing. His first day with the station is Aug. 30.

Lynch joined the station’s board of directors in October. He most recently worked as director of community relations and engagement for the city of Harrisburg, serving as a liaison between local police and the surrounding area. He has also been director of development for the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg.

“I’ve admired how WITF serves our region for a long time and how the programming influenced my childhood,” Lynch said in a news release. “I’m excited to join the team and add my passion for the community to the already great work they do, and to help impact the region on a larger scale.”

Nashville Public Radio announced changes to WNXP, its music station.


Ayisha Jaffer was hired as an assistant PD. Jaffer previously worked as a host and promotions coordinator for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. She has also been an artist and worked in tour management.

“I firmly believe that music and stories are key to bringing people together , which is where my passion for radio originates,” Jaffer said in a news release. “I look forward to diving into this growing community, adding my experiences and stories as well as hearing from WNXP listeners.”

With Jaffer on staff, WNXP will move midday host Jewly Hight into a full-time role as editorial director, where she will lead music and culture coverage for WNXP and crossover efforts with sister station WPLN News.


Emily Young was promoted to Sonic Cathedral Coordinator. She will work on Sonic Cathedral, a performance and special event space. Young joined WNXP last year and has been a weekend host and social media coordinator.

“Nashville has needed a radio station like WNXP for a long time, and it’s been an honor to be a part of this team,” Young said. “I’m thrilled to continue to introduce new artists to Nashville and beyond, and to help foster our creative community through this event space.”


Seawell Berto

Rebecca Seawell Berto was promoted to director of multiplatform marketing for PBS. She will be responsible for helping to increase adoption of Passport and downloads of the PBS app, according to a memo from Amy Wigler, VP of marketing. Seawell Berto has also been senior manager of social media and senior manager of multiplatform marketing. She will be hiring and managing a new associate manager position that will be responsible for PBS app and Passport campaigns.



Brent Gardner-Smith was named news director for Aspen Public Radio. Gardner-Smith was executive director at the station from 2003–07. He most recently worked as executive director of Aspen Journalism, a nonprofit news organization he founded in 2011. As part of the change, the station will increase collaborations with Aspen Journalism and other outlets like the Aspen Times and the Aspen Daily News, according to Executive Director Breeze Richardson.


Devin Katayama, host of The Bay, a news podcast for KQED in San Francisco, was promoted to editor of talent and development for the station. “My new job will be responsible for improving how we recruit and include new journalists,” Katayama said on Twitter. “On the day-to-day I anticipate having conversations about what our journalists want (or don’t want), and how to get them there. This is something I’m passionate about.” His last episode for The Bay will air Aug. 27. On Twitter, The Bay said the program will use guest and fill-in hosts as they “figure out next steps.”

Justin Kaufmann and Monica Eng, two journalists for WBEZ in Chicago, left the station to join Axios. Kaufmann, an interim host of the daily news show Reset, and Eng, a reporter who covered food, health, culture and environmental issues, will write a Chicago-focused newsletter for Axios.

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