Comings and goings: Erika Aguilar named EP at NPR, CPB board officers reelected …

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Erika Aguilar will be EP of NPR’s Morning Edition and Up First.


Aguilar is director of podcasts for KQED in San Francisco. She joined the station in 2017 and has also been a reporter, anchor, producer and editor. Before that, Aguilar was a reporter for KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., and KUT in Austin, Texas.

Aguilar is also an alumni and mentor of NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project. In her new role, she succeeds Kenya Young, who was promoted to managing editor for collaborative journalism this year.

Aguilar’s first day with NPR is Nov. 8, said Sarah Gilbert, VP for news programming, in a staff memo.

Bruce Ramer was reelected CPB board chair during the corporation’s annual meeting Oct. 6.


Ramer, who joined the board in 2008, previously served as vice chair from 2016–18 and was elected chair in October 2018, a position he also held from 2010–12. 

“I am moved and deeply grateful for the honor and the confidence that the board displays in me,” Ramer said, adding that this is his last year on CPB’s board. “I love this board, I love what we do.”

Laura Ross was reelected vice chair for a one-year term. Ross joined the board in 2018. She previously worked as chief of staff to the attorney general for the state of New York and was a trustee for WNET in New York and its sister stations.


Mike Crane became a policy and planning analyst for Wisconsin Public Media. Crane previously announced that he was stepping down as director of WPM’s Wisconsin Public Radio. Crane joined WPR in 2008 as COO and was director for more than 10 years.



Ariel Zirulnick was hired as senior editor of community engagement at KPCC/LAist in Pasadena, Calif., a new position. Zirulnick previously worked for the Media Development Investment Fund as fund director for the Membership Puzzle Project, which ended in August. She has also been a director for the New Tropic, a media company in Miami, and a correspondent and editor for the Christian Science Monitor.


Liam Moriarty, news director for Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Ore., will retire at the end of the year. Moriarty was news director in 2002–05 before becoming an environment reporter for KNKX in Tacoma, Wash. He returned to Jefferson Public Radio in 2013 as a reporter and producer and became news director again in 2019.


Matthew Rand became a reporter for WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio. Rand previously worked as an interim producer for WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher. “Matt had been an invaluable addition to the All Sides team, and we were pleased to keep him on board in this new role,” said Steve Brown, morning news anchor and managing editor. 

Vander Dussen

Tara Vander Dussen was hired as a co-host for Field Work, an agriculture podcast produced by American Public Media. Vander Dussen, a dairy farmer who goes by the New Mexico Milkmaid on social media, joins co-hosts Zach Johnson and Mitchell Hora for the podcast’s fourth season, which will be released in early 2022. “I’ve been a fan of Field Work for a long time and have even guested on the show,” Vander Dussen said in a news release. “Being able to bring my unique perspective as a dairy farmer from the southwest and expertise as an environmental scientist is a really exciting opportunity.”


Eldridge and Mojiz

Taylor Elizabeth Eldridge and Aasma Mojiz were named 2021 journalism fellows for Frontline and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Eldridge worked with Frontline this year as a contract data journalist for Shots Fired, an upcoming documentary in partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune. She previously worked as a data editor for Type Media Center and completed an Ida B. Wells Fellowship with Type, as well as an investigative fellowship with The Marshall Project. Mojiz received her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia in August. Before that, she was a sub-editor and reporter at Dawn, a newspaper in Islamabad.

Public Media Women in Leadership announced its 2021–22 CEO/COO Boot Camp. The seven-month program will provide classes for fellows over three years. The fellows are:

  • Nancy Borjas, COO of Valley PBS in Fresno, Calif.
  • Laura Brandt, VP of operations for Detroit Public Television
  • Rashad Brown, membership director for KUOW in Seattle
  • Sandra Clark, VP of news and civic dialogue for WHYY in Philadelphia
  • Kyle Claude, executive director of content operations for Houston Public Media
  • Megan A. Davey, assistant GM of business and information for WGVU Public Media in Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Vanessa de la Torre, editorial director and executive editor for the New England News Collaborative, co-led by Connecticut Public
  • Elis Estrada, senior director for PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs
  • Stephanie Frazier, assistant GM of South Carolina ETV
  • Karla Hanlon, COO for Rocky Mountain Public Media in Denver
  • Aishah Rashied Hyman, VP of business development and planning for Public Broadcasting Atlanta
  • Nikki Jones, VP of change management and transformation for NPR
  • Kate Kelly, senior director of national project management for WETA in Washington, D.C.
  • Lisa Kettyle, program director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters
  • Michele Murphy, VP of member generosity and audience intelligence for KQED in San Francisco
  • Kerry O’Keefe, VP of philanthropy for Cascade Public Media in Seattle
  • Sara Robertson, SVP of production for Austin PBS in Texas
  • Suzanne Smith, EP of television at WFSU Public Media in Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Thomas Todd, senior producer and director for PBS North Carolina
  • Amy Wielunski, VP of membership for WBEZ in Chicago

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