NPR announced leadership promotions that will take effect July 25.
Vickie Walton-James will become acting managing editor for news. Walton-James joined NPR in 2008 and most recently worked as chief national editor. Before NPR, she was senior editor for Tribune Publishing in Washington, D.C., and was the Chicago Tribune’s Washington bureau chief.
In her new role, Walton-James will work alongside Managing Editor Gerry Holmes. She will report to VP and Executive Editor Terence Samuel, according to a staff memo from Samuel and SVP for News and Editorial Director Nancy Barnes.
Ammad Omar steps up to chief national editor. Omar joined NPR in 2011 as an editor and most recently worked as deputy national editor for NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Before NPR, he was a producer and editor for Chicago Public Media.
Jennifer Strachan, CCO for KUOW in Seattle, has left the station.
“Strachan has left KUOW to accept an exciting new opportunity as CEO of a non-profit (organization to be announced),” said Michaela Gianotti, director of marketing, in an email to Current. “Jennifer has been an exceptional leader at KUOW, and we are sad to lose her — but of course, we are also excited for her as she starts this new chapter.”
Strachan joined the station in 2017. She previously worked as acting VP of marketing and membership for KQED in San Francisco. She was also a consultant for CPB, NPR and Greater Public and held leadership positions with KBTC and KNKX, both in Tacoma, Wash.
Arvid Hokanson announced on Twitter that he has been named interim CCO. Hokanson joined the station in 2000 as a producer and has also been assistant PD, interim PD and director of audience.
Aishah Rashied Hyman was named SVP of development for KERA in Dallas. Rashied Hyman most recently worked as SVP of membership and business development for WABE in Atlanta and has also held fundraising and producer roles for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Last year, Public Media Women in Leadership selected Rashied Hyman as an inaugural CEO/COO Boot Camp fellow. She is also a founding member of Public Media for All, a coalition of public media professionals and organizations — including KERA — that have organized around diversity, equity and inclusion.
Tori Marshall joined WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., as director of development. Marshall previously worked as senior development director for Ohio University in Athens. She has also worked in development for The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Stephanie Schenkel joined the Institute for Nonprofit News as the director of network philanthropy. Schenkel previously worked as director of institutional advancement for Connecticut Public. She has also been a community investment manager for United Way, director of school operations for Achievement First and development director for a literacy organization in Hartford, Conn.
Rachel Poulos joined PRX as director of audience growth and marketing. Poulos most recently worked as group account director at Brainlabs, a marketing agency, where she planned and launched digital campaigns for several NPR programs, including It’s Been a Minute, The Indicator from Planet Money and Tiny Desk Concerts. Poulos has also held marketing roles for Hanapin Marketing, Progrexion and SEO.com.
Anya Kamenetz announced that she left her position as an education correspondent for NPR due to the launch of her new book, The Stolen Year: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where We Go Now. Kamenetz joined NPR in 2014 after working as a senior writer for Fast Company.
Clare Roth was hired as managing editor for the Ohio Newsroom, a collaboration of public radio stations statewide. “I started my career at a statewide station, and it taught me what a difference public radio can make in news deserts,” Roth said in a news release. “It also drove home how good journalism can help create community and connection across county lines.” Last month, Roth announced that she was leaving her role as news editor for Louisville Public Media.
Debbie Truong announced that she left her position as education reporter for WAMU in Washington, D.C., to become the higher education reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she previously worked as an intern. “I’m thrilled for the chance to report in my home state, on the best beat,” Truong said on Twitter. Truong joined WAMU in 2019 after working for the Washington Post.
Erin Wolf joined 88Nine Radio Milwaukee as host and music director. Wolf steps in for Justin Barney, who left the station to join WNXP, a Nashville Public Radio music station. Wolf previously worked as music director and host for WMSE, a noncommercial radio station in Milwaukee. She will host her own speciality program for Radio Milwaukee Sunday evenings and will fill in for other on-air hosts as needed.
Lita Martínez, a reporter and producer for Southern California Public Radio, announced that she’s leaving the station. “I’ll talk about my next move pretty soon. Fortunately, I won’t be going too far!” she said on Twitter. Martínez joined the station in 2017 after working in commercial radio.
Jacob Aloi was hired as an arts reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. Aloi graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this year and has also been a contract reporter for the station. “I am so honored and excited to have this opportunity! Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point,” Aloi wrote on LinkedIn.
The noncomMusic Alliance added five members to its advisory council. The new members are:
- Cheryl Bennett, GM for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee
- John Clare, classical music director for Cincinnati Public Radio
- Frank Dominguez, GM for WDAV in Davidson, N.C.
- Tammy Terwelp, president of KUNC in Greeley, Colo.
- Ernest Walker, GM for KTSU in Houston
Kate Howard, an investigative editor for Reveal, was elected to the board of directors for Investigative Reporters & Editors. In addition, IRE’s contest committee appointed two new members: Elaine Tassy, race, diversity and equity reporter for Colorado Public Radio; and Lily Jamali, a senior reporter for Marketplace.
The University of Southern California Annenberg Center for Health Journalism selected five public media journalists to participate in its 2022 National Fellowship program to investigate challenges affecting children, youth, family health and well-being in the U.S. The program includes five days of training sessions for its 26 fellows and pays grants ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 for reporting projects. Some participants may receive additional community engagement grants and engagement mentoring. The public media journalists selected are:
- Lynn Arditi, health reporter for The Public’s Radio in Providence, R.I.
- Inés Rénique, a producer for Radio Ambulante Estudios in New York.
- Laura Santhanam, health reporter and coordinating producer of polling for PBS NewsHour.
- Amy Silverman, EP for KJZZ in Phoenix, Ariz.
- Jeremy Siegel, co-host of Morning Edition for GBH in Boston.
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