Comings and goings: Kimberly Adams named co-host for Marketplace’s ‘Make Me Smart,’ Lemonada Media hires public radio veterans …

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Kimberly Adams joined Kai Ryssdal this month as co-host for Make Me Smart, a news podcast produced by Marketplace.


Adams succeeds Molly Wood, who left the program last year. 

Adams joined Marketplace in 2015 as a reporter and has also been a senior reporter, correspondent and fill-in host for several programs, including Make Me Smart

Make Me Smart listeners have always appreciated Kimberly’s presence on the podcast. In fact, many requested that she assume the permanent role months ago,” said Neal Scarbrough, VP and GM of Marketplace, in a news release. “She is a top talent in this business and making her a permanent host was an easy decision for us. Kimberly’s depth of knowledge spanning politics, technology and the economy gives her a great perspective to be tackling these complicated issues alongside Kai.”

Lemonada Media, a podcast network, hired three public radio veterans.

Nelson, Neel and Shiely

Steve Nelson became VP of content and production. Nelson left his position as NPR’s senior director of programming last year to become head of talk for Religion of Sports. Before joining NPR, Nelson held director positions at American Public Media and was also a producer for WNYC in New York City.

Rachel Neel is leaving her position as senior supervising producer of The Limits for NPR to become senior director of new content. Neel joined NPR in 2018 as supervising producer for Ask Me Another and was also senior supervising producer for Louder Than a Riot. She has also worked for WNYC and WQXR in New York City and KUT in Austin, Texas.

Kyle Shiely will be senior producer of In the Bubble, Lemonada’s news series. Shiely most recently worked for Minnesota Public Radio, a station he joined in 2017, as a producer for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Jo Ann Allen, All Things Considered host for Colorado Public Radio, will retire Friday.


Allen joined the station in 2015 and previously held host positions for WHYY in Philadelphia, WNYC in New York City, KPBS in San Diego and Wisconsin Public Radio.

“I figured I’d have to be dragged out of the newsroom kicking and screaming when the time came to hang up my microphone. But to my pleasant surprise, I am looking forward to spending my time not having to pay close attention to the news every day,” Allen said in a news release. Allen will continue to host her independent podcast Been There Done That, which focuses on the baby boomer generation. So far, she has interviewed media hosts Rachel Maddow and Maria Hinojosa, among others.


Nathan Heffel will succeed Allen as All Things Considered host. Heffel most recently worked as station manager for KRVG in Glenwood Springs, Colo. He has also been a host and producer for Colorado Matters, a program produced by Colorado Public Radio, an editor for NPR and a reporter for KUVO in Denver.



Alana Wise will join the Race and Identity team on NPR’s National Desk. Wise joined NPR in 2020 as a politics reporter. She previously worked as a Guns & America fellow for WAMU in Washington, D.C., and as a correspondent for Reuters. “I’ll be covering stories that run the expanse of the human experience — not just the trauma of what it means to be ‘other’ in America,” Wise said on Twitter. “I can’t express enough how exciting this opportunity is, and I hope you all will follow along with me through my reporting. As sad as I am to be leaving the amazing team at @NPRPolitics, I don’t think there’s been a better time to explore Race and Identity in a meaningful way.”


Heidi Glenn became digital editor for NPR’s politics team. Glenn joined NPR in 2007 and has been a national producer for digital news and editor for digital content. Before NPR, she worked as a reporter and editor for Tax Notes, a magazine. “I began my journalism career on the Hill, so it feels a bit like returning home. This desk is smart, and I’m excited to do some fun things here,” Glenn said on Twitter.


Gabe Bullard was hired as managing producer for Here & Now, a nationally distributed radio program produced by WBUR in Boston. Bullard became interim news director for WAMU in Washington, D.C., in January. He joined the station in 2016 as a senior producer for 1A and has also been director of digital content for 1A, senior editor and deputy news director of audio. Before WAMU, Bullard held editorial positions for Louisville Public Media and National Geographic.


Elizabeth Román was hired as managing editor of news for New England Public Media. Román most recently worked as a reporter for The Republican in Springfield, Mass. She was also a reporter for the newspaper’s Spanish-language publication, El Pueblo Latino. Román has previously appeared as a panelist for NEPM’s public affairs programs The Short List and Connecting Point.


Sierra Reed was hired as director of podcasting for WABE in Atlanta. Reed, an Atlanta native, most recently worked as senior manager of station services for PRX. She has also been business development manager for WXNV-LP, a Christian radio station in Loganville, Ga. “Atlanta has long been a center of innovation and cultural change, paving the path for progress for the entire country. I am energized by this opportunity to highlight my hometown’s stories and the people behind them,” Reed said in a news release.


Bradley George will join WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C., as an early morning reporter next month. George is leaving his job as a reporter for WUSF in Tampa, Fla., a station he joined in 2019. George has also worked for Georgia Public Broadcasting, Nashville Public Radio and WBHM in Birmingham, Ala. “This was a hard decision. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my colleagues at @wusf and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had here. But after my stepdad’s death in October, I realized I’ve spent too much time away from my family,” George said on Twitter.

Slater and James

88.5-FM in Los Angeles hired two hosts. Julie Slater will take over the weekday midday slot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. She succeeds Marc “Mookie” Kaczor, who will focus on his duties as the station’s PD. Slater previously worked as an anchor for KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., and as a DJ for commercial music stations in New York City and Los Angeles. Lesley James will anchor the station’s Saturday lineup with a show from noon to 4 p.m. James previously worked as a host for a commercial music station in Ohio.


Lee, Cheng, Adel and Rivera

Four public media employees are in the 2022 cohort for the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator. The yearlong program provides management training for women in digital journalism. The public media employees participating are Brianna Lee, engagement producer of College Pathways for Southern California Public Radio; Britt Cheng, senior digital analyst for NPR; Shereen Adel, editorial operations manager for KALW in San Francisco; and Stephanie Rivera, audience editor for Colorado Public Radio.

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