Comings and goings: NPR appoints VP, longtime WQXR host retires …

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Julie Parr was hired as VP of development for NPR


Parr, who joined the network May 15, will report to CDO Leora Hanser.

Parr most recently worked as senior director of development for the Yale School of Medicine. She was also CDO for the University of Pennsylvania Health System and senior major gifts officer for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“My very first apartment as a grownup in Philadelphia was in a basement. The day I moved into my apartment I realized I had no radio reception. Before I unpacked a single box, I set up an antenna so that I could listen to NPR while I unpacked,” Parr said on LinkedIn. “I can’t believe all these years later, I am in the fortunate position to make a contribution to this wonderful organization.”

Robert Sherman announced plans to retire from classical music station WQXR in New York.


Sherman is a producer and host of the Young Artists Showcase, a weekly program that launched in 1978. The program will continue with guest hosts while WQXR searches for a successor.

Sherman, who previously worked as a music critic and columnist for the New York Times and was on the graduate faculty for The Juilliard School, also hosted other WQXR programs, including The Listening Room and Woody’s Children.

“The end of Bob’s presence on WQXR is truly the end of an era,” said Ed Yim, CCO for the station, in a news release. “He has been part of New Yorkers’ lives for generations and words cannot express how grateful we are for the wit, wisdom and grace he has shared with us as a colleague and as a pillar of our musical community.”

Bob Waugh joined Paragon Media Strategies as a consultant.


Waugh most recently worked as PD for commercial station WRNR in Annapolis, Md., until it was sold earlier this year. He joined WRNR in 2004 as music director. Before that he worked as music director and assistant PD for WHFS in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve admired Bob’s work for decades since we both started in progressive rock radio in the late 1970s,” said Paragon CEO Mike Henry in a news release. “His path is legendary, from WLIR to K-Rock to WHFS to WRNR. Bob brings decades of hands-on programming experience and a well-earned reputation as an industry leader to Paragon.”

WFYI in Indianapolis announced two hires.

Antron and Cassel

Kendall Antron joined as a digital news producer for WFYI and Side Effects Public Media, a Midwest health reporting collaboration based at the station. He was previously host of Made in Indy, a podcast about artists and entrepreneurs in Indianapolis.

Zak Cassel became a data journalist for WFYI and Side Effects Public Media. His work has appeared in The Intercept, the Center for Public Integrity, the Montana Free Press and the New York Times.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation awarded a $2.4 million grant to fund the positions and continued education and health reporting.



Lisa LaTrovato joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media as director of leadership and legacy giving programs. LaTrovato most recently worked as director of development for the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. Before that she worked in development for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.



Nicole Hernandez announced on Twitter that she left her position as evening supervising editor of the Newshub for NPR to become news editor of curation for the Associated Press. Hernandez joined the network in 2017 as an engagement editor and also worked as weekend supervising editor for the Newshub. Before that she held producer roles for the Boston Globe and was a reporter and editor for the Florida Times-Union.


Kari Plog announced on Twitter that she’s leaving her position as South Sound reporter for KNKX in Tacoma, Wash. Plog told Current that she’s joining the public affairs team for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office as senior communications consultant. “There’s nothing like working in a newsroom, but especially this newsroom. I’ll miss it so much. Support KNKX. Support public radio. Support local journalism. I’ll be listening,” she said. Plog joined the station in 2018 as digital content manager and became a reporter in 2021.


Monica Campbell joined the Washington Post as an editor in audio and will primarily work on the Post Reports podcast. Campbell most recently worked as an editor for the podcast unit at WBUR in Boston, working on the investigative series Last Seen. Before that she was a senior reporter and editor for The World.


Emma Gibson announced on Twitter that she was laid off from her position as Mountain West News Bureau reporter for KUNM in Albuquerque, N.M. Gibson was hired last year. Her employment term ends June 30. “There are several factors that led to this, but in the end KUNM doesn’t have the money” for the position, she wrote. “I’m still planning my next step, but you can bet I’ll be taking a much needed rest in July.” The bureau, launched in 2018, is a public media collaboration with stations in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming. Gibson’s position was partially grant-funded, and the funding ended in December, according to KUNM GM Richard Towne. In an email to Current, Towne added that he didn’t anticipate further job cuts.


Mike Desmond was let go from his position as a multimedia reporter for Buffalo Toronto Public Media, according to a report in The Buffalo News. Desmond joined the organization in 1988 and has covered a variety of beats including education, science, business and the environment. He told the local newspaper that he was dismissed in March while on disability leave following an accident at a restaurant when he wasn’t on the clock, adding that he found out about his dismissal from his health insurance provider. His lawyer told him that the firing was legal. The station told the newspaper that it does not comment on personnel matters.



Ashad Hajela was hired as the Tow Fellow for race, youth and justice for Connecticut Public. Hajela will work on the Accountability Project, the state network’s investigative reporting team. He previously covered rural affairs for Spotlight PA State College as a Report for America corps member. Before that he covered public safety at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

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