Comings and goings: Austin PBS names CCO, Connecticut Public promotes host to VP …

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Sara Robertson was promoted to CCO for Austin PBS in Texas.


Robertson most recently worked as SVP of production. She joined the station in 2005 as a marketing producer and has also been director of on-air marketing, creative director and VP of production and technology.

“In addition to my work in content and production, I now have the honor of working more closely with the amazing teams overseeing programming and Austin City Limits,” Robertson said on LinkedIn. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and to all those who have helped me realize this role!”

Lucy Nalpathanchil was promoted to VP of community engagement for Connecticut Public.


“We created this position to better connect Connecticut Public’s work with expanded and more diverse audiences and community organizations to help advance our mission of linking citizens to their communities,” said CEO Mark Contreras in a news release.

Nalpathanchil most recently worked as host and EP for Where We Live, a morning public affairs on-air program and podcast. She joined the station in 2006 as an assignment editor and was also a reporter and host for All Things Considered.

Frankie Graziano, a reporter, and Walter Smith Randolph, an investigative editor, will serve as interim hosts for Where We Live until a successor is hired.



Mallory Mbalia was hired as director of learning and education for Fred Rogers Productions. Mbalia most recently worked as director of education for PBS North Carolina. She first joined the station in 2007 as an educational outreach trainer and was also an assistant principal for the Wake County Public School System and a teacher for Durham Public Schools.



Saeed Ahmed is leaving his position as director of digital news for NPR to become head of digital journalism in the U.S. for BBC News. On LinkedIn, Ahmed said he is a longtime fan of the BBC and wants to “spearhead the growth of the BBC here — at a time when it’s desperately needed.” Ahmed joined NPR last year after working for CNN for 13 years in production and editing roles, including assistant managing editor of CNN Digital.


Elaine Cha was named host and producer for St. Louis on the Air, a daily public affairs program produced by St. Louis Public Radio. Cha succeeds Sarah Fenske, who left the program in July. Cha most recently worked as senior manager of external communications for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. She previously worked as an associate producer for Southern California Public Radio and Nine PBS in St. Louis.

​​Nayion Perkins was hired as an engagement producer for WAMU in Washington, D.C. Perkins previously worked as co-founder and director of design and strategy for The Pack, a clothing and photography company. He was also a creative director for the Washington City Paper and a legislative correspondent for New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.


Bianca Martin announced that she became a co-host for City Cast Madison, a podcast on the City Cast Network. Martin most recently worked as senior producer for Our Body Politic, a podcast that also airs on public radio stations. Martin joined the program in January and has also been a producer for WBEZ in Chicago and 1A, produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C.


Arjun Thakkar was hired as a politics and civics reporter for WKAR in East Lansing, Mich. Thakkar, who graduated from the University of Michigan earlier this year, previously worked as a data reporting intern for the Detroit Free Press and was also a special project fact-checking intern for Rest of World.


Mark Salinas was hired as a columnist for Arts Views, a weekly online publication owned by PBS Reno in Nevada that launched in April. Salinas is senior project manager for Forecast Public Art and is also curator for The First Lady Presents, an arts education initiative. He previously worked as founding director of arts and culture for Carson City.

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