Comings and goings: Workshop names ‘Sesame’ EP, Futuro Studios hires leader …

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Sesame Workshop named Salvador Perez VP and EP for Sesame Street.


Perez will succeed Ben Lehmann, who has led the program since 2017. Lehmann will stay on for the current production season, working with Perez and others in a consulting capacity, and will continue to direct Sesame Street episodes in the future, according to a news release.

Perez first joined Sesame Workshop in 2006 and worked on international Sesame Street content, including Plaza Sésamo, a co-production in Mexico, and Sesame Amigos, a Spanish-language series for Univision.

Perez rejoined Sesame Workshop in 2015 as a senior producer and has also been senior director and supervising producer. During the pandemic, he oversaw the creation of animated Sesame Street Muppet learning resources.

Perez will report to Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s EVP of creative and production.

“Sal is a strong leader and an incredible collaborator with invaluable production expertise and a deep love for all things Sesame,” said Wilson Stallings. “I look forward to partnering with him and tapping his global perspective as we plan the future of the Sesame Street brand, helping kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder in our increasingly connected world.”

Maria Garcia was named executive editor of Futuro Studios, owned by Futuro Media.


Garcia most recently worked as managing editor for WBUR in Boston. Since joining the station in 2017, Gracia had been a reporter and senior editor for arts and culture. 

She is also the creator, host and producer of the podcast Anything for Selena, co-produced by WBUR and Futuro Studios, which focused on the famous singer.

“Maria Garcia joining Futuro is an absolute dream come true,” said Maria Hinojosa, president and founder of Futuro Media. “She is precisely the kind of journalist and visionary we want on our team so that we can give her deep roots and even bigger wings.”  

Jordan Lee, station director for Radio Milwaukee, is leaving the station to join Paragon Media Strategies.


Lee will become a consultant for Paragon effective Jan. 31. He will focus on multiplatform content and branding for Paragon’s public radio clients. Lee assisted Paragon’s consulting efforts with the Urban Alternative format while still at Radio Milwaukee, according to a news release.

Lee was promoted to his current role last year. He joined the station in 2008. He will continue as a board member for the Public Radio Program Directors Association.

New York Public Radio appointed Kristina Newman-Scott executive director of the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.


The Greene Space is the street-level broadcast studio and performance venue of WNYC and WQXR.

Newman-Scott most recently worked as president of BRIC, a Brooklyn-based arts institution. She has also been director of culture for the state of Connecticut, director of programs for the Boston Center for the Arts and director of marketing, events and cultural affairs for the city of Hartford.

She was also appointed to the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission in 2020 and currently serves on the boards for National Arts Strategies, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts, and the Brooklyn Arts Council.



Brian Benschoter was promoted to VP of regional sales for Market Enginuity. He will oversee the sales strategy for public media stations in Texas, including Austin, Dallas and Houston. Benschoter joined the company in 2009 and previously worked as VP of corporate sponsorships, primarily working with KUT in Austin. Before that, he led commercial stations in Austin and Eugene, Ore., and led programming for a commercial station in Portland.



Alexia Núñez became the software engineering manager for the iOS team at NPR. “As a trans woman of color, this promotion feels extra special to me,” Núñez said on Twitter. “All I can say is…let’s go fix some stuff, build some stuff and have a whole lotta fun.” Núñez joined NPR last year as a senior mobile developer.



Dan Charles is leaving his position as food and agriculture correspondent for NPR. “I’ll leave my staff position at NPR in mid-February and return to freelancing,” Charles said on Twitter. “I’ll still write about climate, food, land, but maybe spend more time on fewer stories. Wish me luck!” Charles first joined NPR in 1993 as a technology correspondent and left in 1999 to write books and freelance. He returned in 2011 for his current position.


Four senior executives in public broadcasting are among the fellows participating in the Poynter Institute’s 2022 Media Transformation Challenge Program, formerly known as the Punch Sulzberger Program at Columbia University. They are Annie Shreffler, audience impact producer for GBH in Boston; Brian De Los Santos, editor of LAist for Southern California Public Radio; Jerome Vaughn, news director for WDET in Detroit; and Kenya Young, managing editor of collaborative journalism for NPR. During the yearlong program, fellows will work with executive coaches and learn about business topics affecting their organizations.

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