Comings and goings: NPR appoints ‘ATC’ EP, longtime correspondent John Burnett will retire …

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Sami Yenigun, executive producer for NPR's All Things Considered

NPR promoted Sami Yenigun to EP for All Things Considered and Consider This.

Yenigun most recently worked as acting EP for ATC. He joined NPR as a music intern in 2010 and has also worked as a production assistant, producer, editor, supervising editor and acting EP for Weekend All Things Considered.

Yenigun takes over for Cara Tallo, who was acting VP of news programming before becoming director of newsroom development.

John Burnett, a Southwest correspondent on the National Desk for NPR, will retire from the network.

NPR correspondent John Burnett

Burnett joined NPR in 1986 and has covered a wide variety of subjects. In recent years, he reported on political and cultural polarization in the U.S. and immigration.

Burnett briefly worked as an East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi in 2012 and also had a stint as a religion reporter the following year. Additional reporting projects over the years include coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the invasion of Iraq and the drug trade.

Before NPR he was based in Guatemala City for United Press International covering civil wars in Central America. From 1979–83, he was a general assignment reporter for several Texas newspapers.



Brooke Matson joined KSPS in Spokane, Wash., as director of education. Matson previously worked as executive director for Spark Central, an education nonprofit. She was also an English teacher for Spokane Public Schools and a teacher for the Mead School District, where she spent several years mentoring youth at the Mead Alternative High School.


Tasha Gibson left her position as the community engagement specialist on the education desk for WFYI in Indianapolis to become a senior program manager for the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Gibson joined WFYI in 2021.



Kerry Shaw joined WNYC in New York City as assistant day-of editor. Shaw previously worked as a contributor to The Trace, a nonprofit that reports on guns and gun violence. Before that, she worked for the New York Times’ Paris bureau. In addition, David Brand joined the station as an economics and equity reporter and will cover housing and development. Brand most recently worked as deputy editor for City Limits, a nonprofit publication. He also co-hosted a weekly politics program for WBAI in New York. Both Shaw and Brand start the new jobs in January.


Samantha Guzman became an editor for Arts Access, an editorial partnership between KERA in Dallas and the Dallas Morning News that launched this year. Guzman most recently worked as executive editor of Decibel, a journalism project led by Austin PBS, but previously served as associate producer of KERA’s Think midday talk show. In addition, Michelle Aslam is joining Arts Access as a reporter. She most recently worked as a Kroc Fellow for NPR and was an intern for KERA in 2019 and a fellow for the Dallas Morning News in 2020. Guzman and Aslam join Elizabeth Myong, who has been reporting for the Arts Access partnership since it launched.


Bob Dorr is leaving his position as host of Backtracks, a weekly rock ’n’ roll history program produced by Iowa Public Radio. Dorr will continue to host the weekend programs Beatles Medley and Blue Avenue. He started his career with the organization in 1972 as host of EVAH, a rock and roll show.

Tina Sawyer was hired as Morning Edition host for WCMU in Mount Pleasant, Mich. Sawyer most recently worked in the development office for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Clare, Mich., and was a commercial radio host in the central and northern parts of the state. She succeeds Mike Horace, who became the program’s local host in 2015 and was named radio program and operations manager in 2018. He will stay on in his managerial role.


The Public Radio Program Directors Association announced new board leaders. Ele Ellis, content director for WUWM in Milwaukee, was elected secretary. She succeeds Ben Adler, director of programming and audience development for CapRadio in Sacramento, Calif., who is leaving the board. Jeff Ramirez, former VP of radio for KERA in Dallas, retained his seat as board chair. Matt Martinez, producer for The Assignment with Audie Cornish, continues as treasurer. In addition, Ernesto Aguilar, director of radio programming for KQED in San Francisco, and Lindsay Kimball, PD for The Current in St. Paul, Minn., were elected to the board to serve three-year terms starting in January. As well as Adler, the directors rotating off PRPD’s board are Matt Abramovitz, GM for New England Public Media in Springfield, Mass., and Jacqueline Cincotta, PD for WNYC in New York City.


Christine Fey was appointed board chair for PBS Reno in Nevada. Fey succeeds Mark Herron, who will serve as past chair. Fey previously worked as a city planner, historic preservation officer and other roles for the City of Reno. In addition, Sara Lafrance was named vice chair. Lafrance co-founded and served as president for Century Analysis, a software manufacturer. Donald Kowitz, a retired CEO for Saint Mary’s Health Plans, was named treasurer, and Stacey Montooth, executive director of the State of Nevada Indian Commission, was appointed secretary.

Daria Gaines was named board chair for WXPN in Philadelphia. Gaines is a manager for TruMark Financial Credit Union. She succeeds Larry Ceisler, who announced on LinkedIn that he will be chair emeritus.

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