Comings and goings: NPR VP leaves to lead ‘USA Today,’ PBS hires senior director …

Print More

Terence Samuel is leaving his leadership role at NPR to become editor-in-chief for USA Today.


Samuel, VP and executive editor, joined NPR in 2017 as deputy managing editor. He was also managing editor of news before being promoted to his current position last year.

In its own news story about Samuel’s departure, NPR noted that Samuel “will inherit a once-proud news title devastated by cuts.” Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, has authorized a series of cuts in the past half-decade as many media organizations, including NPR, also laid off staff.

Before NPR, Samuel was deputy national political editor for the Washington Post. He was also chief congressional correspondent for U.S. News & World Report and a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Roanoke Times and the Village Voice.

His last day with NPR is June 23. He starts the job at USA Today July 10. Edith Chapin, NPR’s interim SVP of news, said in a memo to staff that the network is looking to hire Samuel’s successor as soon as possible.

Christopher Farley joined PBS as senior director of arts programming and development.


Farley previously worked as executive editor for Amazon’s Audible, where he executive-produced projects featuring Kerry Washington, Stephen Curry and Natasha Lyonne. Before that he was senior editorial director of features for The Wall Street Journal and was a senior editor and music critic for Time magazine.

“PBS has a rich heritage of great arts and culture shows that for many years have helped audiences connect with different perspectives, learn about history and tradition, and celebrate human experiences,” said Farley in a news release. “As PBS continues to bring stories to life in fresh ways, with innovative storytelling and new technology, now is an exciting time to be a part of public media, and I’m looking forward to helping to lead our programming into the future.”

The Intercept hired Sumi Aggarwal as its inaugural chief strategy officer.


Aggarwal previously worked as editor-in-chief for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting until she resigned last year. She joined Reveal in 2019 as director of collaborations and was promoted to top editor in 2021.

Before that, she was a communications manager for Google and worked as a producer for CBS’ 60 Minutes and NBC’s Today.

“The Intercept is known for its fearless and original journalism” Aggarwal said in a news release. “As a long-time reader and admirer, I am thrilled to be joining the team as the organization begins a new chapter.”

Jan Ross P. Sakian joined the American Press Institute as a program and community manager.


Sakian will be tasked with helping grow API’s Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program, a network that supports local news organizations.

She most recently worked as news operations producer for The Texas Newsroom, a collaboration among public media stations in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. She joined Texas Public Radio, her home base for the newsroom, in 2015.



Erin Kahoa announced on Twitter that he is leaving his position as an audio fundraising specialist for WBEZ in Chicago to work as manager of on-air events and production for WTTW in Chicago. “It’s been a joy, honor, and privilege working with the great people at BEZ, and I’m beyond excited for this new chapter,” Kahoa said. He joined WBEZ in 2013 as a member relations assistant.



Ron Johnson, design and promotion manager for Lakeland PBS in Bemidji, Minn., is retiring. Johnson joined the station 43 years ago and has produced 455 program guides during his tenure. “I never had a day where I didn’t want to go to work,” said Johnson in a news story published by the station. “I mean, that’s why you can stay at a job this long.” In retirement, Johnson plans to continue his work as a city councilman and as president of the League of Minnesota Cities while enjoying “where the air is sweet at his lake cabin with his wife.”



Julie Sochay joined WUCF in Orlando, Fla., as director of content. Sochay most recently worked as senior director of content and communication for WKAR in East Lansing, Mich. She joined WKAR in 2015 as an events and promotions coordinator and also worked as content and community engagement manager before stepping into the senior role in 2019.


Laura Lee was appointed news director for Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville, N.C.. She succeeds Matt Bush, who left the station last year to join WYPR in Baltimore. Lee joined the station in January as interim news director. Before that she was news editor for the statewide investigative outlet Carolina Public Press. She has also been a managing editor and assistant news director for WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C.


Rick Jackson, a senior host and producer for Ideastream Public Media in Cleveland, is retiring. After years of working in commercial radio and television, Jackson joined the public broadcaster in 2003 as host of Morning Edition. He has most recently hosted the weekly series NewsDepth and the daily public-affairs morning program Sound of Ideas. “How are you supposed to say goodbye to a lifestyle, an occupation, a calling that you’ve spent your lifetime to achieve?” Jackson said in a post published by Ideastream. Leaving the organization is “bittersweet,” he added, but “I look forward to this next chapter with gusto — and without an alarm clock.”


Megan Zerez announced on Twitter that she left her role as an education reporter for WSKG in Binghamton, N.Y. “Thank you to all those who shared their stories and to those who supported me & helped me grow,” she tweeted, adding that she’ll take time off before announcing her next position. Zerez joined the station in 2021. She previously worked as an intern for WNYC in New York and KERA in Dallas.

Send news of “comings and goings” to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *