Sara DeWitt was named SVP and GM of children’s media and education for PBS.
DeWitt succeeds Lesli Rotenberg, who left the organization this year. DeWitt was interim GM of children’s media and education while PBS searched for a permanent successor.
“Sara is an extraordinary leader and renowned innovator in children’s media,” said PBS President Paula Kerger in a news release. “Over two decades, she has transformed the delivery and distribution of PBS KIDS into a multiplatform experience, ensuring that children across the country have access to resources that prepare them for success in school and life. We are thrilled to have Sara take on this important role, building on our legacy as the most trusted source for educational content and children’s programming.”
DeWitt joined PBS in 1999 and was VP of PBS Kids Digital.
“I am excited to lead this exceptional team as we continue to deliver smart and engaging media experiences that help kids learn, become critical thinkers and develop a sense of possibility for themselves,” DeWitt said in the release. “PBS KIDS has a remarkable legacy of innovation and success; I look forward to working in partnership with our producers and stations to showcase stories and digital experiences that meet families where they are and reflect the lives of children in our audience.”
Three public media executives were elected to their first three-year terms on the PBS board of directors.
The new board members are Amy Shaw, CEO of Nine PBS in St. Louis; Jayme Swain, CEO of VPM in Richmond, Va.; and Ed Ulman, CEO of Alaska Public Media. They take the board seats previously held by Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting; Kliff Kuehl, CEO of Kansas City PBS; and Tom Rieland, GM of WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio.
“We are thrilled to welcome these station leaders to our Board of Directors,” PBS President Paula Kerger said in a news release. “They bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion to PBS, and we are grateful for their commitment to the essential mission of public television.”
Kevin Martin and Deborah Acklin were elected to their second terms on the board. Martin is CEO of Ideastream Public Media in Cleveland, and Acklin is CEO of WQED in Pittsburgh.
Adriene Hill was hired as managing editor for the California Regional Newsroom.
Hill will lead a public radio collaboration that includes KQED in San Francisco, KPBS in San Diego, KPCC/LAist in Pasadena and KCRW in Santa Monica. NPR is the statewide newsroom’s national partner.
Hill, who was managing editor for KPCC/LAist, will be based in Los Angeles. She succeeds Joanne Griffith, who became the collaboration’s leader last year. Griffith became a senior producer for ESPN this year.
Hill most recently worked as the newsroom’s interim managing editor and was senior editor of California Dream, a public radio project. She was also a host on the YouTube channel Crash Course and a correspondent for Marketplace, and she held several editorial roles for WBEZ in Chicago.
“I am truly delighted to have such a seasoned journalist at the helm of the California newsroom collaborative,” said NPR Managing Editor of Collaborative Journalism Kenya Young in a news release. “Adriene Hill is a remarkable leader and has transformed our approach to impactful storytelling and accountability journalism. This addition to the managing editors leading our regional newsrooms elevates our ability to share resources and content and to bolster local journalism and reach communities that are often left out of the story.”
“As the media industry faces increasing economic pressures, working together collaboratively to deliver and share public interest journalism is a smart strategy,” said KQED CCO Holly Kernan in the release. “This collaboration will ensure California citizens have accurate and independent news from across the state so they can be active participants in our democracy and we can reach and serve new audiences.”
Lee Hill will become the first executive editor for GBH News in Boston in November.
Hill previously worked as EP of The Takeaway, produced by WNYC in New York City. He joined WNYC in 2015.
“Over the past year, GBH News has focused on transforming into a cohesive, audience-focused, multiplatform news organization that tells the most interesting and distinctive local stories of the day,” said GBH News GM Pam Johnston in a news release. “Lee Hill is an exceptional leader with significant experience in helping newsrooms navigate this journey. His outstanding journalism credentials will add to the success of GBH News and help us find innovative ways to reach and engage our expanding audience. We are thrilled to have him join the team.”
Before WNYC, Hill was a founding editor of Inside Energy, a Colorado-based journalism collaboration among NPR and PBS stations. In addition, Hill worked as a Public Insight Network analyst and reporter for Colorado Public Radio and was a founding producer of Tell Me More for NPR.
“I am beyond excited to join the powerhouse brand of GBH and its stellar journalists to help an even broader range of Bostonians locate themselves in the stories that shape their world,” Hill said in the release. “We’ll work to bring original, thought-provoking local news stories to audiences wherever they are — across all platforms, including in-person. I’m looking forward to getting started!”
PBS Reno in Nevada hired two employees for its education and marketing departments.
Maria Glanzmann became education manager. She previously worked as a teacher for the Washoe County School District.
“I am grateful to be a part of the Education Team at PBS Reno,” said Glanzmann in a news release. “I was drawn to PBS Reno because of the amazing impact we have in our community. The educational resources we bring to the students in our viewing area have positive outcomes which enhance the lives of those we reach. I hope to utilize my love of teaching and learning at PBS Reno to continue the good work already being done here.”
Megan Lee Aguas joined as a digital marketing assistant. She most recently worked as a director for Around the Stage, a dance company.
“I’m so excited to join the PBS Reno team and can’t thank everyone at the station enough for making me feel so welcome,” said Aguas in the release. “I’m eager to learn from and contribute to not just the digital marketing team, but to the station as a whole.”
Lisa Kettyle was hired as program director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Kettyle most recently worked as COO of Marfa Public Radio in Texas. She succeeds Ernesto Aguilar, who left the organization this year to join KQED.
“We think she is a perfect fit for the work we do with community stations across the country,” said CEO Sally Kane in a news release.
“Community media is a vital resource with a responsibility to amplify local voices and stories. It is a national treasure that I am proud of,” said Kettyle in the release. “I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to support NFCB member stations and help them optimize their impact and reach for the stars.”
NPR Music announced staff changes in a memo by Senior Director of Music and Visuals Keith Jenkins. Jenkins said the changes “will help us continue our work reaching younger audiences with a wide and diverse range of content.” Suraya Mohamed was promoted to senior manager. Mohamed has held several producer roles for NPR Music since 2004. She is project manager for Jazz Night in America and a contributing producer on the Tiny Desk Concert series, and she has produced NPR Music holiday specials. LaTesha Harris also became an editorial assistant, focusing on hip-hop and R&B coverage. Harris joined NPR last year as an intern and has also been a news assistant and production assistant for the NPR podcast Louder Than a Riot.
Debra Lew Harder was appointed host of the Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts. Lew Harder succeeds Mary Jo Heath, who announced her retirement this year. Lew Harder most recently worked as a host and producer for WRTI in Philadelphia, a classical and jazz station. “With a rich background as a host, interviewer, and performer, Debra is a perfect fit for the Met,” said Met GM Peter Gelb in a news release. Lew Harder, a concert pianist, said it was an honor to join the Met. “I’ve loved opera since I was a little girl at the piano, accompanying my tenor dad in his favorite songs and arias,” she said. “Now, to be part of the incredible team that brings the greatest opera house in the world to the world, is a dream come true.”
Max M. Marin, an investigative reporter for WHYY/Billy Penn in Philadelphia, announced that he’s leaving to become a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Goodbyes are terrible. I’ll miss my colleagues & friends. But good things ahead,” Marin said on Twitter. “I’ll end with a love note to @WHYYunion. I’m constantly in awe of the work we did and the impact it will have at WHYY for generations to come. You are all heroes to me,” he added. WHYY’s union approved its first contract with management this year.
Aqiyla Thomas and Miko Lee were selected for the 2021 artEquity BIPOC Leadership Circle. The program, which aims to increase diversity in the arts, works with partners the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. Thomas, an independent filmmaker, is also manager of community engagement for American Documentary/POV. Lee is lead producer for APEX Express, produced by KPFA Radio in Berkeley, Calif.
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