Comings and goings: Neal Scarbrough to lead ‘Marketplace,’ Kerry Lenahan leaves NPR …

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Neal Scarbrough was named VP and GM for Marketplace.

Scarbrough

Scarbrough most recently worked as VP and executive editor of Fox Sports, where he was also founding co-chair of the Fox Sports Inclusion Council. Scarbrough has also held leadership positions with the New England Sports Network, Al Jazeera America, Comcast’s Versus Sports Network, AOL, ESPN and the Denver Post.

He starts the role at Marketplace in late September or early October, according to a news release.

“We are excited for Neal to come on board as Marketplace’s new Vice President and General Manager. He has an extensive background in media, broadcast journalism and a strong track record when it comes to innovation, program development and building audiences,” said American Public Media President David Kansas in the news release. “In addition, Neal is a proven culture leader, with a deep devotion to diversity and inclusion. We are excited to have him joining the APM leadership team and look forward to adding his gifts and talents to all that we do at Marketplace and APM.”

“What we thought we knew about our economy changes every day, and Marketplace has established a gold standard using interviews and storytelling to make real sense of it to real people,” Scarbrough said in the release. “It’s a big win for me to be able to work with such a dynamic collection of talent, producers and editors. Our job is to package this essential information for new audiences in new places and to keep introducing our followers to the emerging voices that are shaping our ever-changing economy.”

Kerry Lenahan left her position as VP of product for NPR.

Lenahan

Lenahan is leaving NPR for a leadership role with Bloomberg Government, according to a staff memo from Liz Danzico, NPR’s VP of design. Lenahan joined the organization in 2018.

“Kerry has brought committed and able leadership over these past several years,” said Danzico in the memo. “During her tenure, NPR’s digital team has kept NPR on the forefront of innovation, working closely with teams across NPR and at Member stations to reach and engage record-breaking digital audiences, better serve current audiences, and fulfil our mission. Our ability to develop and steward new and innovative platforms for audience engagement have greatly benefitted from her technical insights and her multi-platform vision for public media’s public service.”

“NPR’s work on the transition to the Grove CMS, the NPR Podcast Subscriptions initiative, and other key network projects will continue as planned in the months ahead,” Danzico added. “For now, please join me in thanking Kerry for her leadership, and wishing her well on her next steps this fall.”

Jay Williams will host a weekly interview podcast for NPR that will debut in December.

Williams

Williams is a sports personality, commentator and former professional basketball player. His sports career ended after a motorcycle accident, which led to drug addiction and subsequent recovery. The podcast was announced Sept. 9 during the 2021 IAB Podcast Upfront.

The podcast will feature Williams interviewing “icons from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and pop culture to see if he can get at the strategies and mindsets people need to grow empires out of their personalities,” according to a news release. “From rappers-to-moguls, to talk show hosts-turned-CEOs, listeners will learn the ways that people play the game in order to win — and stay winning — in a world that asks you to fight.”

“I’m thrilled to partner with NPR for this new podcast,” Williams said, adding that he grew up listening to NPR with his parents. “As someone who has had to reinvent himself, I look forward to exploring how the most successful thought leaders also challenge the status quo and win — and what those winning playbooks look like. Our new show will lean in and share that incredible insight with our listeners.”

Anya Grundmann, SVP for programming and audience development, said Williams’ life story “has so much to say about resilience and overcoming momentous challenges. His passion, enthusiasm and ability to spark meaningful conversations make him an incredible partner for NPR as we deepen our commitment to telling dynamic and diverse stories.”

The podcast will be executive produced by Williams, independent producer Karen Kinney and Yolanda Sangweni, NPR’s senior director of programming. The podcast’s senior supervising producer will be Rachel Neel, who has also worked on NPR’s Louder Than a Riot and Ask Me Another.

Cristy Meiners became station manager for KUER in Salt Lake City.

Meiners

Meiners most recently worked as interim station manager. Before that, she was EP of the station’s RadioWest

“KUER is a remarkable station with a dedicated and gifted staff,” Meiners said in a news release. “I am thrilled to be able to continue working with this talented group as we push to discover how to best serve Utah and the West. I’m ready to do a lot of listening, learning — and digging into the work.”

“Cristy will also be leading our audience development efforts,” said KUER Executive Director Maria O’Mara in the release. “Central to our success in the future will be attracting new, diverse audiences and serving parts of our community we haven’t in the past. I have such confidence in Cristy. She is poised to meet this moment in the station’s history with enthusiasm and optimism.”

Louisville Public Media in Kentucky added three employees to its development team.

Marquel Lett joined the station as director of donor relations. Lett previously worked as the development and public relations manager for Louisville Central Community Centers. She has also held donor relations roles for the Salvation Army of Memphis and the West End School in Louisville.

Cara Hicks was hired as digital membership manager. She previously held several roles for design company Solid Light and also worked for the Louisville Ballet, the Kentucky Humane Society, the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Opera and the Peace Corps.

Katherine Six was named grants manager. She most recently worked as executive director for Educational Justice after working as director of program management.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these three new members of our development team at Louisville Public Media,” said Ellen Oost, LPM’s VP of development and marketing, in a news release. “This added capacity will enable us to better steward donors and foundations that make our work possible, and to experiment with new and innovative ways to fund our mission to inform, inspire and empower our community through news and music. When we grow support for LPM, we’re able to grow our public service.”

Lett, Hicks and Six

An American Journalism Project grant helped the station create the new positions, according to the release.

“Louisville Public Media is expanding their newsroom and playing a leading role in addressing the news crisis in their region,” said Michelle Srbinovich, VP of portfolio support at the American Journalism Project. “The American Journalism Project is investing in these new hires because we believe they will enable LPM to serve more communities, now and in the future. Kentucky residents deserve access to high quality local journalism and we encourage others to join us in supporting this essential civic institution.”

Content

Limón

Ada Limón will host the third season of the poetry podcast The Slowdown, produced by American Public Media in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. New weekday episodes premiere Sept. 21. Limón is the author of six poetry collections, including 2018’s The Carrying, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her new collection, The Hurting Kind, will be published in May. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry, Limón was born and raised in California and lives in Lexington, Ky. Limón succeeds Tracy K. Smith as host. “I want to focus on how useful poetry can be in our daily lives,” Limón said in a news release. “Perhaps more than ever before, these uncertain times require the humanity that poetry offers.”

Charlene Buckles and Dan Wu will co-host Where Y’all Really From,  a new podcast produced by Louisville Public Media. The program was developed through the organization’s Podcast Incubator program. The podcast, which debuts Sept. 21, focuses on the perspectives of Asian American and Pacific Islanders living in Kentucky. Buckles is a development director for the ACLU of Kentucky. Wu is a restaurant owner. The show is co-created by Kentucky State Rep. Nima Kulkarni, an immigration attorney, and Mae Suramek, a restaurant owner. “After the rise of anti-Asian hate during the pandemic, particularly the horrific Atlanta Massacre that targeted Asian women, it was necessary to connect and give a voice to AAPI Kentuckians who often feel isolated and unseen,” said Buckles in a news release. “We want to make sure that every single AAPI Kentuckian who listens to this podcast knows that you’re not alone in your experience, you belong here, this is our home too.”

Brenneman and Barajas

KPCC/LAist in Pasadena, Calif., hired two journalists. Ross Brenneman became an education editor. Brenneman previously worked as director of media relations for the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. He was also an assistant editor for Education Week. Julia Barajas announced that she joined the organization as a reporter. Barajas previously worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She has also been a reporter for Cannabis Wire and a writer for La Opinión.

Brian Munoz joined St. Louis Public Radio as a photojournalist. He previously worked as a visuals fellow for USA Today and a multimedia coordinator for the Southern Illinoisan. He was also a reporting fellow and guest contributor for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and has also been an intern for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Arizona Republic.

Esmy Jimenez announced that she left her role as a reporter for KUOW in Seattle to become a mental health reporter for the Seattle Times. She joined the station in 2019. “I am honored and excited,” she said on Twitter. “I will hugely miss my team at KUOW but am ready for this next chapter.”

Governance

The California Public Television Board reelected Darren LaShelle as board president. LaShelle is CEO for Northern California Public Media. The board also reelected PBS Reno CEO Kurt Mische as VP, PBS SoCal CEO Andy Russell as secretary, and David Lowe, president of PBS KVIE in Sacramento, as treasurer.

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

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