Comings and goings: NPR unveils host changes for ‘Embedded’ podcast and appoints brand director …

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NPR announced changes to its Embedded podcast, hosted by Kelly McEvers.


McEvers will scale back her full-time role as host and transition to a part-time position as founding host and presenter of Embedded, according to a memo from NPR’s top programmers Anya Grundmann and Neal Carruth. The change, announced Friday, will take effect this summer after the release of the limited-run series’ forthcoming collaboration with The Marshall Project.

“This new role will allow Kelly to maintain a connection with the show she founded and created, with her colleagues at NPR, while also pursuing other projects,” said Grundmann, SVP for programming and audience development, and Carruth, senior director of on-demand news programming. McEvers is preparing to launch a podcast production company, they added.

NPR also plans to build Embedded into “NPR’s showcase property for deeply-reported and well-told limited-run series” each year, Grundmann and Carruth said. They cited On Our Watch, a podcast produced in collaboration with KQED in San Francisco last year, as a preview of the new approach. McEvers introduced the podcast and episodes were presented on the Embedded feed.

McEvers created Embedded at NPR in 2016. She is a former international correspondent and was host for All Things Considered.


Wanyu Zhang stepped up to brand director for NPR.

With the promotion, Zhang leads NPR’s Creative Team in launching new brands and designing marketing campaigns. She will also work to grow NPR’s brand globally, said Kristin Hume, senior director of brand and marketing, in a staff memo.

Zhang most recently worked as senior lead of branding, marketing strategy and international business. She joined NPR in 2014 as an e-commerce intern. She has also been a marketing and photography specialist, creative producer and strategic marketing manager.

American Documentary hired two senior staffers.

Anna Graizbord became director of marketing and communications for the nonprofit media arts organization that produces PBS’ POV. Graizbord previously directed public relations for The American Prospect. She has also worked at Quartz as associate director of creative strategy and was managing editor for branded editorial and interactive for Vice Media.


Jessica Brown joined as development director. Brown led fundraising for VOCAL-NY, a nonprofit supporting low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, drug use, incarceration and homelessness. She has also managed resource development for TruFund Financial Services, and institutional giving for Year Up.

WUSF Public Media in Tampa, Fla., hired two hosts.


Craig Kopp returns to the station as host of Morning Edition. Kopp previously directed news at WEKU in Richmond, Ky., and managed Tampa’s community radio station WMNF. In his earlier stint at WUSF, he worked as an anchor and reporter from 2011–2015.

Matthew Peddie will host Florida Matters, WUSF’s weekly public affairs program. Peddie most recently worked for WMFE in Orlando, Fla., where he has held several roles since 2012 including senior reporter, assistant news director and public affairs host.



John Clare was named classical music director for Cincinnati Public Radio’s WGUC. Clare previously worked as CEO and GM for Classic 107.3 in St. Louis and as classical program manager for Nevada Public Radio. He’s also been a host for Texas Public Radio; a host and music programmer for WITF in Harrisburg, Pa.; and music director for WBAA in West Lafayette, Ind.


Joni Auden Land will be a reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting covering the central part of the state. Land departs the Idaho Statesman, where they reported on Boise City Hall. Land has also reported for the Albuquerque Journal and the Rio Grande Sun, two newspapers in New Mexico.

Katherine Hafner will report on the environment and sea-level rise for WHRO Public Media in Norfolk, Va. Hafner most recently worked for The Virginian-Pilot, where she covered the environment, Chesapeake City Hall and breaking news.

The Current in St. Paul, Minn., hired fill-in hosts, including Barb Abney, who rejoined the stationJessica Paxton, a former host for KYMN in Northfield, Minn.; and Chaz Kangas, a former DJ, writer and editor-in-chief for Go Media in Minneapolis.



Anne Hosler was named development director for Montana Public Radio. Hosler joined the state network in 2012 as membership manager and moved up to director of membership and interim director of development. She previously was a membership coordinator for the University of Montana, which owns the station.


Natasha Padilla, director of audience engagement for the WNET Group in New York, announced that she left the organization to become director of communications of federation engagement and impact for Planned Parenthood. Padilla previously worked as a communications associate and editor for WLIW in Long Island, N.Y., a station owned by the group. She has also been a senior publicist and associate director of audience engagement for WNET.



Jordan Smith was hired as the manager for network digital and business services for the Institute of Nonprofit News. Before working for INN, Smith was manager of technology and multimedia for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.



Juanita Anderson joined the board of directors for American Documentary this month. Anderson is a senior lecturer and head of the media arts and studies program at Wayne State University in Detroit. She previously worked as producer, director and production manager for WSIU in Carbondale, Ill., EP of cultural affairs and special projects for Detroit Public TV and senior producer for GBH in Boston. She is also co-founder of the National Black Programming Consortium, now known as Black Public Media, and was on the board for the Independent Television Service.

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