Comings and goings: WLRN hires VP of news, OETA appoints VP of education …

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Sergio Bustos will join WLRN in Miami next year as VP of news.


Bustos most recently worked as an enterprise and politics editor for USA Today in Florida. Before that he was a regional manager in Miami for Report for America and senior editor for Politico’s Florida bureau. He has also held positions with the Associated Press, the Miami Herald and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“WLRN has ambitious plans to grow its audience throughout South Florida,” Bustos said in a news release. “I am greatly looking forward to joining the team in early January to build on the history of the great journalism WLRN is all about.”

The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority promoted Darrell Strong Jr. to VP of education.

Strong joined OETA in 2015 as a program coordinator and also worked as an outreach manager and program manager. During his tenure he led a summer arts program in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to furthering OETA’s mission to educate and inspire Oklahomans through engaging content that allows everyone an equitable opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their current situation,” Strong said in a news release.

André Robert Lee was hired as EP for Notes From America with Kai Wright, produced by New York Public Radio’s WNYC Studios.


Lee, who starts the job Jan. 23, most recently worked as president and founder of Many Things Productions. He was also a program assistant for the Ford Foundation and a director, writer and producer for independent documentaries, including the 2012 film The Prep School Negro.

“André is a huge fan of Notes From America, and he’s eager to bring his storytelling chops, production skills and community networks to the show and share his inspired vision for expanding its reach on air and on digital platforms,” said WNYC Studios VP Lindsay Foster Thomas in a news release.

Kurt Rongey was appointed assistant PD for WRR in Dallas.


Rongey most recently worked as a sales manager for Park Place Dealerships. He was also a sales rep, concert and artist director for Steinway Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. In the ’90s and 2000s, he was a host for WRR and also served as operations manager.

WRR, a formerly commercial classical music station, was acquired by KERA in Dallas earlier this year. KERA will officially assume management of WRR in January.

“Since returning, I’ve been so impressed by the organization-wide effort that KERA has put forward to ensure WRR’s future, both as a radio oasis for classical music and as a catalyst for the creative arts in North Texas,” Rongey said in a news release.


Sommer Hill announced that she was promoted to social media senior associate for NPR. Hill joined the network’s social media team last year. She has also been an associate production coordinator for CBS and held several roles with NBCUniversal.


Frías and Ceballos

Carlos Frías will host Sundial, a daily public affairs program produced by WLRN in Miami. Frías previously worked as food editor for the Miami Herald. He has also reported for the Palm Beach Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Tampa Bay Times and the Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition, the station hired Joshua Ceballos as local government and accountability reporter. Ceballos most recently worked as a staff writer for the Miami New Times.


Wisconsin Public Radio hired Alex Crowe as Morning Edition host. Crowe previously worked as a PD and news director for WMDC in Mayville, Wis. Before that he was chief operator and PD for KBWS in Sisseton, S.D.


Cheryl Hatch joined The Public’s Radio in Providence, R.I., as Newport bureau reporter. She will cover Aquidneck Island and adjacent areas. Hatch most recently worked as founder and president of the Women’s Education Initiative, a nonprofit based in Middletown, R.I. She was also a photojournalist for the Associated Press.


Brian Venua became a reporter for KMXT in Kodiak, Alaska. Venus most recently worked as a freelance photographer and writer. He has also been a reporter, host, producer and photographer for KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.

Beatrice Forman left her position as deputy editor for Billy Penn, an online news site owned by WHYY in Philadelphia. She will cover breaking news for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Forman joined Billy Penn as a news intern in 2021 and was promoted earlier this year.


Morgan Givens, a developer and consultant for public radio stations, and Thomas Lu, a producer for NPR’s Short Wave, were selected to participate in the third annual Editors’ Bootcamp led by Neon Hum Media in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment. The multiweek training program was created in 2020 to support podcast editors from underrepresented groups. At the end of the bootcamp, one of six graduates will be offered a freelance editing opportunity. Five of the program’s seven instructors work in public media: Audrey Quinn, an independent podcast editor and reporter; Sophia Paliza-Carre, a senior producer and editor for LAist Studios; Antonia Cereijido, EP for LAist Studios; Emanuele Berry, executive editor for This American Life; and Marlon Bishop, VP of podcasts for Futuro Studios.

Firelight Media selected 14 emerging filmmakers for its 18-month Documentary Lab fellowship, which supports Black, Indigenous and other filmmakers of color who are working on their first or second feature-length documentary. Firelight awards a $25,000 grant for each project accepted into the fellowship. The fellows and their films are:

  • Neelu Bhuman, whose film Chiragu (Wing) follows Adam Harry, a young transgender Muslim man who dreams of becoming a commercial pilot.
  • D.A. Bullock, whose documentary Mister Backlash focuses on a Black Minneapolis city council member who leads a movement to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a new Department for Public Safety after the murder of George Floyd.
  • Silvia Castaños & Estefania Contreras, whose film Hummingbirds documents their coming of age on the Texas-Mexico border.
  • Naveen Chaubal, whose film Pinball follows a 19-year-old boy in suburban Louisville, Ky., as he navigates adulthood in the shadow of a war that displaced his family from their Iraqi homeland.
  • Paulina Davis, whose documentary The Co-op: The Kids of Dorie Miller covers a family’s roots in New York City’s first unsegregated housing co-op.
  • Athena Jones, whose feature Sisters’ Keepers is inspired by the filmmaker’s story as a breast cancer survivor diagnosed twice in her 30s. Jones investigates why Black women in America are more likely to die of the disease than white women.
  • Logan Rozos, whose documentary What Will I Become? tells the stories of two trans boys who died by suicide and the trans masculine+ community surviving the suppression and isolation that comes with binary masculinity.
  • Juliana Schatz Preston, whose film Providencia is about the aftermath of a Colombian woman’s brother being killed.
  • Jiayan “Jenny” Shi, whose feature Untitled Scientist Project is about a Chinese American scientist suffering the consequences of being investigated by the FBI for national security concerns.
  • Tsanavi Spoonhunter, whose documentary Holder of the Sky discusses three Native American tribes in Wisconsin battling to reclaim an historic treaty.
  • Lendl Tellington, whose feature …that’s why He made momma follows a brother and sister documenting four generations of their family after the matriarch of the family falls ill and sees her home face foreclosure.
  • Reveca Torres, whose film Untitled (Art and Disability Culture) shows Torres discussing how  Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Matisse lived and created art.
  • Raven Two Feathers, whose documentary Indigenous Genders covers four Indigenous people across the U.S. who live outside the gender binary.

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