Comings and goings: NPR makes changes to its Washington Desk, INN appoints COO …

Print More

NPR announced changes to its Washington Desk.

Seipel and Shivaram

Arnie Seipel was named deputy Washington editor. Seipel most recently worked as acting deputy Washington editor. He joined NPR in 2008 as an administrative coordinator and has also been a production and editorial assistant, assistant producer for the Elections Desk and editor for Morning Edition.

Deepa Shivaram will join the Washington Desk as a reporter. Shivaram joined NPR last year as a digital reporter. She previously worked as an associate producer for NBC’s Meet the Press and was a politics and campaign reporter for NBC News.



Soraya Membreno was named COO for the Institute for Nonprofit News. Membreno most recently worked as publisher for Bitch Media until January. The publication announced this month that it would cease publication in June. Membreno graduated this year from the executive program in news innovation and leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.


Lisa Nalbandian was promoted to senior regional manager for Wisconsin Public Radio. Nalbandian joined the station in 2002 and most recently worked simultaneously as Southeast regional manager and director of major and planned giving.


Tim Eby, former GM for St. Louis Public Radio, announced in his “Three Things” newsletter that he has been hired as executive director for the Special Education Foundation, a nonprofit that works with students with disabilities in St. Louis. “This role fits well for me in many ways,” Eby said in his newsletter, which he plans to stop writing. “As you may know, two of our adult daughters living with us are on the autism spectrum, and our oldest daughter is a special education teacher in Ohio. So this position with the Foundation will fit nicely into my passion for helping kids with similar disabilities.”



Alison Swain became major gifts officer for New England Public Media in Springfield, Mass. Swain previously worked as senior director of alumni relations for the University of Connecticut Foundation. She has held additional development positions with Hartford Hospital, the Village for Families & Children, Miss Porter’s School, the Forman School and The Cobb School Montessori.


Jad Abumrad, creator and former host of Radiolab, will join Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., as a Distinguished Research Professor of Cinema and Media Arts and of Communication of Science and Technology. He will also have an advisory role with the university’s communications and marketing team and will help start a podcast institute tentatively scheduled to launch in summer 2023. Abumrad, who founded Radiolab in 2002, announced his departure from the program earlier this year.


Jonathan Peck joined PRX as senior director of broadcast and podcast marketing. Peck previously worked for WAMU in Washington, D.C., as director of station relations for audience development, working with programs including 1A and Through the Cracks. He also worked as syndication sales manager for WBUR in Boston.


Bob Perkins will retire as a full-time host for WRTI in Philadelphia in June. Perkins, who currently hosts nightly jazz programs Monday through Thursday, will continue to host Sunday Jazz Brunch. Perkins has worked for WRTI since 1997. “Bob’s contributions to jazz are innumerable. He’s introduced thousands, if not millions, of listeners to this music over the course of his career, delighted young and old with his signature sound, and been a tireless advocate for jazz appreciation and education,” said WRTI GM William Johnson in a news release. “I’m thrilled he’ll continue to host Sunday Jazz Brunch after he retires, because we all need some GM (good music) with our toast and jam!”


Daisy Nguyen will be a reporter covering early childhood learning for KQED in San Francisco. “I’m excited to cover this crucial beat as families, educators and caregivers dig out of the pandemic,” she said on Twitter. Nguyen previously worked as a reporter for the Associated Press for more than 20 years covering the food industry, the environment and breaking news in California.


Precious Fondren was hired as a culture and arts reporter for WNYC in New York City. Her first day with the station is May 3. Fondren most recently worked as a general assignment reporter and fellow on the metro desk for The New York Times. She has also been a music and features reporter for the Toledo Blade in Ohio.



Anpa’o Locke was named graphic designer and digital assets specialist for New England Public Media and will work remotely from Albuquerque, N.M. She previously worked as a part-time communications co-director for Earth Guardians in Boulder, Colo.



Seyma Bayram was selected as a Reflect America Fellow for NPR, according to a newsroom note from Chief Diversity Officer Keith Woods. She starts the yearlong program Aug. 15 and will complete four rotations. Bayram is a Report for America reporter at the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio and was also a reporter for the Jackson Free Press in Mississippi.

Send news of “comings and goings” to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *