Comings and goings: NPR announces National Desk changes, CPB hires director for Next Generation Warning System …

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NPR announced staffing changes to its National Desk.


Cheryl Corley became Midwest bureau chief, stepping up from an acting chief role she took on last year. Corley joined the network in 1995 as a criminal justice correspondent based in Chicago. Prior to joining NPR, she was news director for WBEZ in Chicago and also worked as city hall reporter for the station.


Jason DeRose became religion and belief correspondent for NPR on a temporary assignment until the end of September as part of a grant-funded position. He succeeds Tom Gjelten, who left NPR in 2021. DeRose joined NPR in 2008 as Western bureau chief and senior editor. He previously worked as senior editor for WBEZ in Chicago and was a reporter for KNKX in Tacoma, Wash., and WUSF in Tampa, Fla.


Eric Westervelt, a San Francisco–based correspondent, takes over for DeRose as acting Western bureau chief until mid-June, at which point Ravenna Koenig will take over the position from Seattle. Koenig first joined NPR as a Weekend Edition intern and was also a production assistant, assistant producer and editor for several NPR desks.

CPB appointed Faisal Khan executive director of the Next Generation Warning System.


Khan will lead CPB’s work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in implementing the grant program “to create a more resilient and secure public alerting system through our nation’s public media system,” according to a news release.

Khan will lead a staff of four to implement the program. He most recently worked as executive director of Islamic Relief USA. Before that he was regional VP for PSF Investments and a financial strategy manager for KPMG.

Gilbert Bailon left his position as executive editor for KERA in Dallas.


Bailon tweeted May 11 that he “will be taking a break to consider the next options.”

He joined the station in February 2022 after working as editor-in-chief of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He had also been an editor for Al Día, a Spanish-language newspaper, website and sister publication to the Dallas Morning News.

Sue Cross will step down as executive director and CEO for the Institute for Nonprofit News.


Cross plans to leave INN by the end of the year. She will continue supporting news-related projects through part-time and project roles while completing a personal project over the next two years, according to a news release.

Cross joined INN in 2015 after holding leadership roles for the Associated Press. During her INN tenure she oversaw the NewsMatch program, a collaborative fundraising initiative that has helped raise more than $270 million for newsrooms since its launch in 2016. (Current is an INN member.)

In June, the INN board of directors will launch a national executive search for a successor with help from Koya Partners.

The EP of Almanac, a weekly public affairs program produced by TPT in St. Paul, Minn., retired from the station.


Brendan Henehan, managing director of public affairs, joined TPT in 1982 as an associate producer and started working for Almanac in 1984.

In addition to Almanac, Henehan produced the state’s first TV special devoted to AIDS; at the time, only two people in Minnesota were known to have it. He also worked on Minnesota’s first TV program examining global warming and the greenhouse effect in the 1980s. He produced quiz shows and a live opera for the station.

Kari Kennedy, associate producer of Almanac and series producer of Almanac at the Capitol, will permanently take over production duties. She joined the station in 1990 and started working for Almanac in 1994.


Lawrence Szabo was named EVP of U.S. content distribution for BBC Studios. Szabo previously worked as senior executive for the global content acquisitions group at Paramount. He was also EVP of North American television and SVOD sales for Lionsgate and held management positions for MGM.


Brendan Byrne announced on Twitter that he was promoted to assistant news director for WMFE in Orlando, Fla. Byrne joined the station in 2013 as assistant producer and most recently worked as space reporter and host of Are We There Yet?, a weekly podcast covering the space industry. He’ll continue to host the program and has plans to revamp the station’s college internship program.

Tom Banse, a regional correspondent for the Northwest News Network, a public radio collaboration among stations in Washington and Oregon, announced on Twitter that he retired. Banse started his public radio career in 1986 as an intern for KUOW in Seattle.


Stewart Ledbetter, moderator for Vermont Public’s Vermont This Week, is stepping down from the program. His last day is Friday. Ledbetter started moderating the public affairs program in 2007. “For a variety of reasons, it felt like time for a change now. It’s been an honor working for such a loyal viewership, with an exceptional production crew, on a show I love,” he said in a news release. The program will have a rotating group of hosts starting June 2 as Vermont Public searches for a permanent successor.


Candice Lim, a former assistant producer for the Pop Culture Happy Hour on NPR, was hired as co-host of ICYMI, an internet culture podcast produced by Slate. Lim joined NPR in 2019 as an intern for How I Built This and later worked as a news assistant for the program. She was a production assistant for the Pop Culture Happy Hour.


Cydney Grannan announced on Twitter that she left her position as producer of The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi, produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C., to pursue a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She joined the station in 2019 as an intern for The Kojo Nnamdi Show. Matt Blitz succeeds Grannan as producer of The Politics Hour. Blitz most recently worked as a journalist for Arlington Now in Virginia and has also been a freelance writer for WAMU.


Alison Craiglow, former EP for the Freakonomics Radio Network, was hired as EP of Fresh Produce Media. She will lead a podcast about national security called In the Room with Peter Bergen, distributed by Audible. She joined Freakonomics in 2015.


PBS announced the 12 members of its inaugural 2023 cohort for the Ignite Mentorship for Diverse Voices, a yearlong program that will provide professional development to early-career filmmakers from underrepresented communities. The individuals will receive $10,000 to participate in the program and can pitch and potentially receive funding for a 10-minute episode of content for PBS Digital Studios. They are: Siyi Chen, Katsitsionni Fox, Brit Fryer, Mariana Góngora, Isabel Guayasamin, Ciara Ingram, Theo M. Moore II, Benita Ozoude, Eugenia Renteria, Fernando Rocha, Cai Thomas and J. Faye Yuan. More information on the filmmakers can be found in a PBS news release.

Three public media journalists were chosen by the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma as Ochberg Fellows to participate in weeklong programming that will help them improve their reporting about traumatic events. The class of 2023 includes Larry Kaplow, Middle East editor for NPR; Bobbi-Jeanne Misick, justice, race and equity reporter for the Gulf States Newsroom, a public radio collaboration; and Sammy Caiola, gun violence prevention reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia.

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