Announcing the Public Media Honor Roll of 2022

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Who’s been named to the Public Media Honor Roll of 2022?

Each year, we invite our readers to donate to Current in honor of someone they’d like to acknowledge in some way. Here’s who got nominated to the Public Media Honor Roll and why.

I nominated Judy Woodruff, as did several others, including Jon Abbott, Vinnie Curren and Ghada Mashamoun. Jon wrote, “Judy’s extraordinary leadership and exemplary commitment to journalism with integrity is an example to us all of what public media should affirm and achieve.” Ghada said, “I am honoring Judy Woodruff because not only is she simply a good and kind human being, she inspires us all in her commitment to public service.” Vinnie said, “It’s impossible to let [her] transition from Newshour to pass by without thanking her and recognizing her as a beacon of commitment, talent, and dedication to the best of journalism.”

Judy Woodruff wrote, “I am pleased to nominate Sharon Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA-TV-FM, to the Public Media Honor Roll. For decades she has dedicated her time, energy and passion to strengthening public media in this country. She’s done this based on her belief that it is an essential element in educating, enlightening and lifting up Americans, to be the best citizens they can be. I’m in awe of all she has done on behalf of public television and radio.”

Jonathan Abbott was nominated by Neal Shapiro, Elizabeth Cheng, Michal Heiplik, Erin Moran and David Brugger. Erin named him “in recognition of Jon’s leadership and contributions to public media over his many years in service to the system.” Michal noted that Jon was “always advancing station collaboration to improve public media.” David wrote, “He has done so much for public media and exhibited extraordinary prescience when needed. Above all, he is simply the kindest and most giving person for what has to be one of the more stressful and important positions in public media.”

Jarl and Pamela Mohn donated to honor “all the small market NPR member stations who serve their communities with small resources but huge personal commitments.”

Anita Sims was nominated by Maryanne Schuessler, who wrote that “in 1999, Anita invented the NETA Business Center, which over the last two decades has saved public TV and radio stations and other public broadcasting-related organizations millions of dollars in operating costs, as she and her talented staff provided accounting, payroll, HR, SAS and SABS reporting and grant management services for their clients. She is a remarkable, tireless woman of sterling integrity and deserves to be admired.” 

Gregg McVicar was named by Jacquie Gales Webb: “For 17 years, Gregg McVicar has produced and hosted UnderCurrents, the daily music service that provides an eclectic mix of Native, rock, folk, blues, and reggae to Native and Triple-A audiences on over 200 stations from Alaska to Florida. Upon his retirement, I wish to thank him for his dedicated service to public media and the American communities we serve.”

Tom Thomas and Terry Clifford named CPB Senior VP for Government Affairs Anne Brachman, “who has shepherded meaningful increases in federal support for all of public media — basic appropriations, special funding to address COVID disruptions, and a new chapter in funding for shared system infrastructure.”

Elisabeth Perez-Luna named Marty Moss-Coane, “who is retiring this month after 35 years of hosting her daily interview show Radio Times at WHYY in Philadelphia.”

Josh Shepperd said he “donated to celebrate Wick Rowland‘s contributions to PBS and Colorado Public Television.”

Michael Marcotte wrote, “I nominate Judith Smelser, the newest general manager of WMFE in Orlando, where Judith went from consulting on leadership to taking on leadership. Our past collaborations in training and consulting have helped many leaders in the system. Now Judith is putting that experience and knowledge to work at WMFE where she is reinvigorating the staff, the mission, and leading for long term success.”

Michael Couzens was named by John Crigler and Adi Gevins. John wanted to honor him for “a career dedicated to establishing noncommercial radio stations and defending them from the wolves.” Adi called Michael a “pugnacious promoter of priorities for local, rural and diverse ownership, participation and control of licensed radio and TV stations.”

Mark Fuerst donated to honor “the staff of WSLU-FM, North Country Public Radio, for all that they have done to serve rural communities across the northern parts of New York State in and above the Adirondacks.”

Steve Robinson donated to honor Bill McGlaughlin and John Nasukaluk Clare. “In 2023, Bill McGlaughlin will celebrate his 20th year as host of Exploring Music. … Few people in the history of classical music radio broadcasting have been as committed, passionate and skilled as Bill McGlaughlin.” And “John has been a classical music announcer/producer/manager for over 25 years and wherever he’s gone, from Austin to West Lafayette to St. Louis and, now, to Cincinnati, he’s brought a wave of innovation and creative approaches to programming that have greatly improved each station at which he’s worked. … I can’t think of anyone working in public radio music programming who brings as much creativity and passion to the job as John and he deserves wide recognition for what he’s accomplished over the last 25 years.”

Amy Shaw named Susan Scott, president of the Public Television Major Market Group, calling her “the real deal.” And Susan Scott named Laura Kielor, CMO and interim CCO at PBS North Carolina. “Her contributions to public media include her thorough, strategic focus on what is important in relationships and in growing a digital media business.”

Bill Kling named Terry Clifford; Valerie Arganbright, “for championing the sustaining member concept”; Garrison Keillor, “for single handedly raising the profile of public radio while entertaining four million listeners each week”; Minnesota Public Radio’s Tom Kigin “for his 50 year role in building MPR”; and Tom Warnock, “a strong leader as a CPB Director of Radio and an advocate for funding and building the public radio satellite system.”

The late Larry Josephson was honored by Jay Allison, who wrote, “Larry was important for public media because he defended its ideals and insisted it honor them. He was a champion for independent producers. He treated radio as an art form.”

Bree Bishop Bove donated “in memory of Cynthia Jackman Dwyer (WNED and WCET). She served as a leader in fundraising and mentored many public media fundraisers in her career. Her joyous laugh is very missed.”

Carlos Barrionuevo donated in honor of Kerry Mickelson, “who in his various technology leadership roles pulled NPR forward into a more modern, efficient operation. Kerry passed away this year, way too young, but he always told me his one need in every job was to make a true positive impact on the company and at NPR he did, and he never stopped trying to replicate that sense of mission. Rest in Peace Kerry.”

Maryanne Zeleznik named late NPR editor Ken Barcus to the Honor Roll.

Dennis Haarsager wrote, “I’d like to nominate David Liroff, who died this year after a great career in public media, especially for his contributions to the transition to digital distribution.”

Jay Campbell gave in memory of Jack Galmiche, “one of the public television community’s best advocates who mentored and helped anyone he encountered. (Jack passed away in 2019 as President of KETC in St. Louis).”

Jack Conely remembered the late Susan Howarth. “Thanks for all she did for public media, particularly as an example for women within our industry.”

Cameron Risher donated to honor the late Fred Rogers. Gary Knell donated in honor of the late Bruce Christensen.

Allison Scholly nominated Carlos Barrionuevo “for his longstanding support of local independent media and his ongoing mentorship of the next generation of public media.”

Cynthia Fenneman named Neal Shapiro, CEO of WNET, and Rob Dunlop, CEO of Cascade Public Media, to the Honor Roll. She wrote that Neal is an “excellent leader, vision, creative with new content and initiatives, committed to public media,” and about Rob, she wrote, “forward thinking, digital first priorities, strategic.”

Laura Taylor named Maxie Jackson “for his leadership in organizations from small community radio stations, NFCB, and Pacifica to New England Public Media and his new post as Executive Director at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.”

Susan Harmon was named by John Crigler “for her lifetime commitment to public media and public service.”

John Crigler was honored by Melodie Virtue, who wrote, “John Crigler was a tremendous champion of community radio stations, finding ways to advance their sustainability through collaboration and mentorship and through his advocacy for noncommercial stations at the FCC.”

John Barth was named by Bill Siemering, who wrote that “John is a program and talent developer, smart strategist, mentor, excellent reporter/producer. When I was manager at WHYY, he was news director for an award-winning team.”

Bill Siemering also donated to honor Danny Miller, who “has been with Fresh Air for 44 years, most as Executive Producer. This year the program itself was given the Peabody Institutional Award, the highest award in broadcasting. Danny has maintained a core staff and been the anchor for the program. This year FA celebrated its 35th year as a national program.”

Avery Hutchins was named by Vinnie Curren, who wrote, “Following icon Becky Magura, Avery has stepped into leading what is one of the smallest yet most dynamic public television stations in the system without missing a beat. WCTE continues to be a model for local service and real community.”

Sarah Wardrop was nominated by Chuck Singleton, who wrote, “I’m donating in honor of Sarah Wardrop, WFUV’s Production Director, and former producer and Assistant Program Director. Thank you, Sarah for exemplifying public media at its best!”

Coco Keevan was named by Rebekah Radisch for being “a talented writer and thinker whose belief in public media and its potential is most commendable.”

Cynthia Fenneman was named by Elizabeth Cheng and Linda O’Bryon. Linda wrote, “This gift is being made in honor of Cynthia Fenneman, President and CEO of American Public Television. Cynthia’s outstanding leadership has led the way in distribution of programs that have touched the lives of millions of viewers across the country. We are grateful for Cynthia’s passion for public media, her creativity and her dedication.”

Stuart Zuckerman was named by Carol Masius, who wanted to honor his impressive track record of securing tens of millions of dollars in major corporate sponsorship for various public TV programs over the course of his successful career.

Sara Robertson named Public Media Women in Leadership. Christina Kuzmych donated to honor Angela Mariani, host of the early-music program Harmonia. Patricia Aufderheide named Sally Fifer, CEO of the Independent Television Service, and Kevin Martin, CEO of Ideastream Public Media. Diana Lady Dougan was named by Robert Avery.

I named Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, “for her tireless commitment to giving voice to the unsung everyday heroes fighting for social justice and making positive social change.”

An anonymous donor gave to honor WUSF GM JoAnn Urofsky, “who has grown the station from a smaller player in the Tampa Bay market to a national model of public media excellence on all platforms.”

Would you like to name someone to the Public Media Honor Roll of 2022? You still can. Just donate $100 or more to Current. We’ll add their name and let them know of your gift in their honor. Thanks!

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