Comings and goings: APMG hires SVP/CFO, Southern California Public Radio appoints VP of LAist Studios …

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Barry Gisser was named SVP and CFO for American Public Media Group in St. Paul, Minn.


Gisser succeeds Morris Goodwin, who will leave the organization to join Greater MSP as Forge North managing director and executive financial advisor. Gisser’s first day is Sept. 6.

Gisser previously worked as CFO for the Science Museum of Minnesota. He was also SVP of finance for Conagra Foods and VP of finance for Ecolab, and he held finance management positions at Procter & Gamble.

“Barry has deep experience stewarding financial resources for organizations in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors in the greater Twin Cities area and across the Midwest,” said APMG CEO Jean Taylor in a news release. “… I am excited about the perspective, energy and acumen that he will bring to the APMG team as we work to add more digital channels and broaden our audience.”

Southern California Public Radio announced two managerial hires.

Krochmal and Chap

Shana Naomi Krochmal was named VP of LAist Studios. Krochmal previously worked as editorial director and head of digital for Entertainment Weekly. She was also editor-in-chief of Entertainment Tonight Online and a supervising producer of digital for Al Jazeera America.

Sophie Chap was named director of marketing and communications for SCPR. She previously worked as senior manager of media and marketing partnerships for the Los Angeles Times. She joined the newspaper in 2015 and has also worked for Tribune Publishing and held several roles with commercial television stations.

The hires were first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.



Barry Nelson closed his consulting company Nelson & Associates Fundraising, which worked with the Contributor Development Partnership. He became copy director for Carl Bloom Associates, a direct marketing agency. “This move will allow me the ability to remain a strong advocate for colleagues and stations in public media that Carl Bloom serves, while expanding the scope of my fundraising work to other non-profit sectors, which has long been a desire of mine,” Nelson told Current in an email. Nelson started his company in 2014. He previously worked as director of on-air fundraising for GBH in Boston and was senior director of fundraising for WQED in Pittsburgh.



Bob Beck will retire as news director for Wyoming Public Radio in October. “My plan is to retire and move to the Syracuse area of New York,” Beck said on Twitter. “Thanks to our listeners, reporters, interns and everyone who made this such an enjoyable ride.” The Casper Star-Tribune reported that Beck is relocating with his fiancee, who has accepted a position with the State University of New York. Beck joined Wyoming Public Radio in 1988 as a newscaster.


Sarah Lehr was hired as a reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio. She most recently worked as a politics and civics reporter for WKAR in East Lansing, Mich. She joined WKAR last year after working as a city government reporter for the Lansing State Journal. “Sarah came to WKAR from a background in print, but quickly adapted to the workflow of public radio. The fact that in her time here she was featured numerous times on NPR nationally and garnered statewide awards is a testament to her great work,” said WKAR News Managing Editor Karel Vega in a news release. “She will be deeply missed at WKAR, but the team is very excited to follow her future coverage.”


Rachel Kurzius left her position as host and reporter for WAMU in Washington, D.C., to become a reporter for the Washington Post’s new lifestyle initiative The Home You Own. Kurzius formally joined WAMU last year after working as an editor for DCist, which was acquired by the station in 2018. “Helping breathe new life into DCist at WAMU and becoming an on-air voice for the station have been true honors,” she said on Twitter. “I will treasure my time at WAMU, thanks to the talented, passionate colleagues who comprise the station. I’ll always be a reader and listener. <3 local news 4eva.”


María Inés Zamudio joined the Center for Public Integrity as an investigative reporter who will focus on inequality. Zamudio previously worked as an immigration reporter for WBEZ in Chicago, a station she joined in 2018. She was also an investigative reporter for American Public Media in St. Paul, Minn.



Ariel Zirulnick, senior editor of community engagement for KPCC/LAist in Pasadena, Calif., was selected to participate in the executive program in news innovation and leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. Zirulnick is one of 23 journalists selected in the third cohort, which will run online from September to June next year with some in-person residencies scheduled. Zirulnick joined the station last year and previously worked as fund director for the Membership Puzzle Project. She was also an editor and correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.


Caitlin Hernández, a reporter for KPCC/LAist in Pasadena, Calif., was selected as one of six 2022 MJ Bear Fellows by the Online News Association. The fellowship is focused on digital journalists under age 30 and will support work on a digital project. Hernández, who built Southern California Public Radio’s public-facing participatory style guide, wants to increase transparency and improve the public’s ability to hold the newsroom accountable.


Phillip Martin, a senior investigative reporter for GBH in Boston, was selected as a Harvard Shorenstein Fellow for the fall 2022 semester. “I will be working on a four month research project addressing ‘Media Myths and False Balance in the Coverage of anti-fascist and The Black Lives Matter Movement,’” Martin said on LinkedIn. “I’ll be assisted by a small group of student researchers, sifting through content and data relative to this topic.” Martin was hired by the station in 2018. He is also a panelist for the station’s Basic Black public affairs program and was an editor for NPR.

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