NPR named Veralyn Williams EP of the podcast and radio show Code Switch. Williams succeeds Steve Drummond, who had served as EP since 2017.
“Everything I’ve done in my career has prepared me for this role,” Williams said in a memo to NPR staff. “In my journey from newsroom intern to reporter-producer to executive producer, I’ve always asked hard questions about race and identity. … I’m extremely excited to get a chance to lead journalists who find fresh and nuanced ways to tell stories that explain how we live together.”
Williams joined NPR in June as EP of It’s Been a Minute and The Limits with Jay Williams. She will continue in those roles.
Drummond will continue working on Code Switch as editor-at-large, providing mentoring and editorial support, according to the memo. He will “focus on his work as head of NPR’s Education Desk,” the memo said.
“After five deeply rewarding years with Code Switch, I’m eager to get to work on some new projects with the Education Team and with some broader initiatives within the newsroom, while still having the opportunity to be involved with Code Switch,” Drummond said.
WMFE/WMFV in Orlando, Fla., created a content leadership team consisting of a new hire and three current employees.
The station hired Rebecca Fernandez as director of community collaboration. Fernandez previously worked as neighborhood relations coordinator for the city of Orlando for nearly six years. Fernandez will “support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives by building and nurturing genuine connections between WMFE and the diverse Central Florida community it serves,” the station said in a release.
The station named Brad Waldo director of audio content. He joined WMFE in September after serving as program manager at WUCF-FM in Orlando for nearly five years.
Digital Director Ryan Ellison was promoted from digital manager in July and has worked for the station for more than 13 years. And News Director LaToya Dennis has led WMFE’s news department since July 2021.
“These four leaders are experts in their distinct but overlapping fields, and I’m eager to see what they will accomplish for WMFE’s current and future audiences by working collaboratively as a team of co-equals,” said GM Judith Smelser.
Ken West was hired as brand manager for WERS in Boston. West most recently worked as programming, music and marketing director for commercial stations WROR and WBOS, both in Boston. He previously worked as a producer and assistant music director for WZLX in Boston.
Dara Kerr joined NPR as a tech reporter based in Washington, D.C. Kerr most recently worked as a reporter for The Markup, where she covered labor and misinformation issues at tech companies including Uber, Lyft and Facebook. Before that she worked as a reporter for CNET.
Poet and writer Major Jackson will become the new host of The Slowdown, a poetry podcast produced by American Public Media in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. Jackson starts in the role Jan. 23, taking over from Ada Limón, who is leaving to become the U.S. Poet Laureate. Jackson has written six books of poetry, including Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems, published this year. He also serves as poetry editor of The Harvard Review.
Jonas Adams was named director of All Things Considered for NPR. He first joined the organization last year as a temporary associate producer for Weekend All Things Considered. He previously worked as an executive editor for Westwood One and an EP for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and for commercial stations in Jackson, Miss.
Briana Garrett announced on Twitter that she joined Chicago Public Media Monday as a podcast producer. She previously worked as an associate producer for Magnificent Noise and has also produced for Dope Labs Podcast, Fertile Ground Factory and Pineapple Street Media, according to her LinkedIn page.
Christie Taylor is leaving her position as a producer for Science Friday, a program that has a partnership with WNYC Studios in New York. “I’m going the way of a lot of journalists I’ve respected — no new gigs in sight just yet, excited to rest and uncoil some of the knots that *waves hands*, especially the pandemic, has made in my brain. And privileged to have scraped some savings to rest my head on while I do,” Taylor said on Twitter. She joined the program in 2016.
Two senior executives in public broadcasting are among the fellows participating in the Poynter Institute’s 2023 Media Transformation Challenge Program. They are Brendan Kinney, SVP of development for Vermont Public, and Karen Marshall, EP for GBH’s Morning Edition in Boston. During the yearlong program, fellows will work with executive coaches and learn about business topics affecting their organizations.
Andrew Schneider, a politics and government reporter for Houston Public Media, is among 19 journalists chosen as 2023 Kiplinger Fellows at Ohio University. The theme for this year’s fellowship is “Covering Political Discourse and Saving Democracy,” according to a university release. The weeklong program “will examine reporting of political campaigns as well as issues like extremism and violence, culture wars, election finances, social media influence, polling, social justice influence and free speech.”
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