Comings and goings: NPR makes changes to its politics team, WKAR appoints two senior managers …

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NPR announced changes to its politics team.

Megan Pratz will sign on as political editor Aug. 22. Pratz most recently worked as political director and EP for Cheddar News in Washington, D.C. She previously produced for CGTN, Al Jazeera America and To The Contrary, a women-led weekly public affairs program for PBS.


Susan Davis, a congressional correspondent and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast, will become a political correspondent. She will continue to work with the Capitol Hill team while focussing on “big-picture political stories,” according to a staff memo from Chief Washington Editor Krishnadev Calamur. Davis joined NPR in 2015.


Deirdre Walsh, who has been acting congressional correspondent for several months, officially dropped the “acting” from her title. Walsh joined NPR as a Congress editor in 2018. She previously held several positions for CNN including as a producer for Judy Woodruff’s Inside Politics.

WKAR in East Lansing, Mich., announced two managerial changes.


Amanda Flores was named senior director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Flores most recently worked in the office of undergraduate research and creative activity for Michigan State University, WKAR’s licensee. Before MSU, Flores worked for Texas A&M University, Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Vermont.


Brant Wells was promoted to senior director of television and digital operations. Wells, who joined the station in 2016 as operations manager, most recently worked as senior director of television production and operations. In his expanded role, Wells will oversee the station’s digital strategy for both television and radio. In 2020, Wells was appointed chair of the PBS Digital Media Advisory Committee.

WVTF in Roanoke, Va., hired two managers to its technology and business teams.


Randall Hisle was named chief engineer. Hisle succeeds Paxton Durham, who retired in May following a 35-year career with the station. Hisle previously worked as an engineer for the American Forces Network in the Marshall Islands. He was also chief engineer for James City County, Va., and a broadcast engineer for Greater Dayton Public Television, now known as ThinkTV.


Wendy Warren became business manager. She previously worked as finance director for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Warren succeeds Mary Grace Bilancia, who left the station in March to become a staff accountant for Protos Security.



Patrick Carpenter joined New England Public Media as senior director of development. Carpenter previously worked as director of institutional advancement for Holyoke Community College. He has also been major gifts officer for Westfield State University, associate director of annual giving for Boston College Law School and director of annual giving for Elms College.



Cher Vincent joined NPR as supervising producer for the content development team and the podcast Louder Than A Riot. Vincent most recently worked as senior producer for Pushkin Industries, where she piloted and produced programs like Some of My Best Friends Are and Well-Read Black Girl. She was also senior editor for Ben & Jerry’s Who We Are podcast, senior producer of Slate’s Thirst Aid Kit podcast and worked on podcasts for Bitch Media.


Ada Limón will step down as host of the poetry podcast The Slowdown, produced by American Public Media in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. Limón, who was recently named the next U.S. Poet Laureate, will continue her hosting duties through the end of the current season. Her last episode releases Oct. 31. During the search for her successor, poets Nate Marshall and Shira Erlichman will guest host select episodes this summer.


Susan Nyakundi became an associate producer for Fresh Air with Terry Gross, produced by WHYY in Philadelphia. She previously worked as development associate for WXPN in Philadelphia and was a producer for The Next 72 Hours, an independent podcast on America’s mental health system.

Michael Fanelli joined Alaska Public Media as host of Morning Edition. He previously worked as a producer for KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. Fanelli takes over for Kavitha George, who became a full-time reporter for the station and will focus on statewide issues like politics, climate change and the economy. George joined the station in 2020.


Callan Tansill-Suddath will cover Maryland for WAMU in Washington, D.C. Her first day reporting for the station is Aug. 8. Tansill-Suddath previously covered Maryland politics for WYPR in Baltimore. “I was born in D.C. to two native Washingtonians (neither of whom are in politics),” she said on Twitter. “I grew up in Silver Spring. … I know the area pretty well but am really excited to learn more!”


Kacie Brown was hired as digital content manager for Interlochen Public Radio in Michigan. One of her first initiatives will be managing the launch of IPR’s new podcast Classical Sprouts and its Instagram page. Brown earned a master’s degree in music performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music earlier this year.


Keyon Harrold, a Grammy-nominated trumpeter and composer, became host for The Next Set: Live from Jazz St. Louis, a weekly jazz program produced by St. Louis Public Radio in partnership with Jazz St. Louis, a nonprofit performance venue. Harrold succeeded Gene Dobbs Bradford, who left the station earlier this year. “To host a show that goes from my hometown all over the world is special to me,” Harrold said in a news release. “I get to introduce all kinds of relevant jazz to new audiences and allow everyone to see the magic that’s happening here at Jazz St. Louis.” In addition to hosting the public radio program, Harrold will continue his role as creative advisor to Jazz St. Louis. His three-year term began in May 2021.


Playwright Roger Q. Mason will host Queerly Yours, a forthcoming four-part series from This Way Out: The International LGBTQ Radio Magazine. As host, Mason will lead conversations with transgender thought leaders in the arts, scienes, politics and religion. “Queerly Yours is a candid portrait of a few trans and gender-expansive pioneers who have found success, fulfillment and joy through their lives and work,” Mason said in a news release. “As someone who has championed queer affirmation through storytelling on stage, screen and public thought platforms, I’m excited by this opportunity to ring shout with my people on the radio.” This Way Out is distributed on multiple platforms and broadcast by 183 radio stations and outlets worldwide.



Kelsie Aguilera was named chair of the community advisory board for Hawaii Public Radio. Aguilera is a professor of anthropology for Leeward Community College. She succeeds Thomas Benedict, a founding partner of the law firm Farm Benedict Sugihara.

Gary Wilson was elected chair of the community advisory board for Lakeshore Public Media in Merrillville, Ind. Wilson works as a courier for FedEx. Bill Karrow was elected vice chair for the advisory board. Karrow is a supply chain consultant for Chevron.

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