Comings and goings: NPR promotes Yolanda Sangweni to VP, Futuro Media Group appoints Julio Ricardo Varela president …

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NPR promoted Yolanda Sangweni to VP of programming and new content development.


Sangweni joined NPR in 2020 as senior director of programming. She has since overseen the launch of The Limits with Jay Williams and the creation of a radio show for the history program Throughline. She is also overseeing changes at It’s Been a Minute following the departure of host Sam Sanders.

She also sponsored the organization-wide NPR Oye initiative, “which is systematically advancing NPR’s service to Hispanic audiences and engagement with Latinx creators, and the re-imagining of our content development and pitch processes,” according to a staff memo from Anya Grundmann, SVP for programming and audience development.

Futuro Media Group announced executive promotions and hires.

Julio Ricardo Varela was promoted to president of Futuro Media Group. Varela previously worked as interim co-executive director after Erika Dilday left the organization to lead American Documentary. Varela joined Futuro in 2015 and was editorial director and VP of new business development for Futuro Studios.

Maria Hinojosa was promoted to president of Futuro Unidad Hinojosa, a special unit for investigative journalism. Hinojosa, founder of Futuro, previously worked as EP and senior correspondent. In her new role, Hinojosa will continue with her existing editorial duties and will continue to serve as host and EP of Latino USA and co-host of In The Thick.


Peniley Ramírez became EP for Futuro Unidad Hinojosa. Ramírez previously worked as an investigative correspondent for Univision and participated in the Pulitzer Prize–winning Panama Papers and Scripps Howard Award–winning Pandora Papers projects with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.


Fernanda Santos joined as editorial director. Santos most recently worked as a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and is also a contributing columnist for the Washington Post. She previously worked as a reporter and Phoenix bureau chief for the New York Times.

Yolanda Moore was promoted to VP of administration and operations. She previously worked as director of administration. Stacy Parker Le Melle became director of development and marketing, having previously worked as development director.

Lindsay Foster Thomas was named VP of WNYC Studios at New York Public Radio.


Thomas will oversee The Takeaway, The United States of Anxiety and Death, Sex & Money,. Thomas’ first day is Aug. 8. She will work alongside Emily Botein, VP of original programming for WNYC Studios.

Thomas most recently worked as content director for WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C., where she also helped create the station’s IDEA Committee, a staff group focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. She previously worked as managing producer for WAMU in Washington, D.C., and has also held producer roles for American Public Media and Georgia Public Broadcasting.



Louise Lee was appointed CDO for Kansas City PBS. Lee joined the station in 2019 as director of annual giving and was named interim chief development officer earlier this year. Before joining KCPBS, Lee worked as VP of development for the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority Foundation. She has received two PBS Development Awards for special achievement.



Clare Roth announced that she is leaving her position as news editor for Louisville Public Media. Her last day with the station is July 8. “I’ll have more on my next step soon. For now, I just want to express my gratitude. My time here was more transformative than I can explain,” she said on Twitter. Roth joined LPM last year. She previously worked as afternoon host of All Things Considered and host of the monthly talk show All Sides Weekend for WOSU in Columbus, Ohio. Before that, she worked as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.


Kevin McDonald left his position as production manager for New Mexico PBS. McDonald tweeted that it was “not an easy decision” to leave “but a necessary one.” He added, “The last two years have been challenging and the station just didn’t feel much like home any more. The only sad part was leaving behind all the talented people I worked with … I will miss you all and am now officially your biggest cheerleader!” McDonald joined the station in 2006 as a public affairs producer and was also EP of public affairs.


Will Walkey was hired as a reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau at Wyoming Public Radio. The bureau, launched in 2018, is a collaboration among stations in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming. Walkey previously worked as a reporter and producer for Jackson Hole Community Radio in Wyoming. “To get a start in radio, many folks need a community to put their faith in a reporter with very little experience or industry knowledge. For me, Jackson Hole is that place, and it’ll always hold a special spot in my heart,” Walkey said on Twitter.



Mike Waruszewski, CFO for WQED in Pittsburgh, was elected board chair for the Public Media Business Association. Waruszewski succeeds JoAnn Urofsky, GM for WUSF in Tampa, Fla. During his one-year term, Waruszewski is tasked with helping launch a new website for PMBA and creating a “Finance 101 course” for public media organizations. Howard Pearl, CEO of Charitable Adult Rides & Services, was named PMBA’s vice chair and succeeded Waruszewski. Megan Davey, assistant GM of business and information for WGVU Public Media in Grand Rapids, Mich., remains as treasurer.

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