Comings and goings: APTS promotes staffers, PBS Reno adds two hires …

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America’s Public Television Stations announced several staff promotions.

  • Kenneth Blunt became senior director of IT and media production. Blunt joined APTS in 2002 as manager of networks and technology and most recently held a director title.
  • Jennifer Kieley stepped up to senior director of government relations. Kieley joined the organization in 2006 as a congressional liaison and was previously promoted to director of government relations in 2009.
  • Stacey Karp was promoted to senior director of communications. Karp joined APTS in 2009.
  • Tammye Heatley became director of human resources and legal services.
  • Joyce Burgess Schwarz is now director of administrative services and events. She joined APTS in 1985.
  • Tela Hansom-Pitt became director of membership services and marketing. Hansom-Pitt joined APTS in 2002.
  • Caitlin Beroza stepped up to director of digital advocacy. APTS hired her in 2011. She is responsible for management of the 750,000-member Protect My Public Media grassroots advocacy network and social media platforms.
  • Colleen Florio became director of government relations. Florio joined APTS in 2019 as a congressional liaison. 

PBS Reno in Nevada announced two hires.


Lakota Jaussen was hired as a broadcast content operator. Jaussen most recently worked as an information technology technician for Truckee Meadows Community College. Before that, he was a production assistant and digital content producer for CBS affiliate KTVN in Reno.

“I am looking forward to continuing my career in broadcast television at PBS Reno,” said Jaussen in the news release. “Public television is essential and I’m grateful to be a part of the team who provides such robust services to our community.”

Karley Pardue joined the station as an administrative assistant. Pardue most recently worked as an English instructor for the University of Nevada in Reno.

“Karley’s professional and friendly demeanor, along with her excellent written and communication skills, are vital in maintaining our daily operations with the public at the level expected by our viewers and donors,” said Brynne Kenney, VP of administration, in a news release.

KEXP in Seattle announced program lineup changes effective Sept. 13.

DJ Jewel

DJ Jewel will host Astral Plane, a new program focused on psychedelic sounds, on Wednesday nights. Diana Ratsamee will host Eastern Echoes, a program focused on Asian artists, on Thursday nights. On Monday nights, Tory Johnston and Kevin Sur will rotate as co-hosts of Sounds of Survivance, “spanning the globe with sounds from people whose connection to a land goes back before colonization,” according to a news release.

Lace Cadence

In addition, Lace Cadence is bringing his Afrobeats mix to Friday nights with The Continent. Mechanical Breakdown with DJ Sharlese will add an hour and move to late-night Fridays as a program focused on synth, wave, post-punk and more. The Roadhouse with Greg Vandy will bring a mix of roots, blues, folk, country and rock ’n’ roll to Sunday mornings, replacing Preachin’ the Blues. Prometheus Brown will join KEXP as a fill-in host across a number of programs.



Jasper Logan joined Paragon Media Strategies as community engagement consultant. Logan will focus on helping Paragon’s Urban Alternative radio station clients with their local community engagement efforts. He will be based in Fayetteville, Ark., where he will continue as community engagement manager for KUAF.

Hillary Gordon was hired as director of marketing, promotions and engagement for The SoCal Sound in Los Angeles. Gordon most recently worked as PD and morning show co-host for KBXR in Columbia, Mo. “As a Southern California native, and a huge Triple-A nerd, I’ve been a fan of The SoCal Sound for years,” Gordon said in a news release. “Not only is the music top-notch, but the folks here are some of the most passionate and innovative in the industry.”



Alyssa Tsagong retired from her position as director of education for PBS Wisconsin. Tsagong started working for the station in 2013 as audience services manager, a title she simultaneously held with sister station Wisconsin Public Radio. She started exclusively working for the television station in 2016. “I am looking forward to watching the team continue to amaze and astonish while they serve Wisconsin Educators and Learners from my new vantage point as their greatest fan and champion!” she said on LinkedIn. “Thank you to all of my friends, co-conspirators, and collaborators (there are so many of you). I am keeping you!”


Deb Ashmore joined Contributor Development Partnership as a strategic analyst. Ashmore previously worked at Blackbaud for nine years, most recently as principal analytics consultant. Before that she was director of individual giving for WXPN in Philadelphia. “Deb’s deep understanding of public media fundraising along with her rich experience helping non-profits identify areas of opportunity buried within their data will benefit our public media partners and underscores our commitment to maintaining a healthy ecosystem of local public media stations,” said CDP President Michal Heiplik in a news release.


Tom Clark, host and co-founder of the nationally syndicated health and wellness radio program Zorba Paster on Your Health, is retiring. Wisconsin Public Radio, the program’s producing station, will air a tribute segment to Clark Saturday. WPR EP Karl Christenson will step into the role of co-host alongside co-founder Zorba Paster. “Tom and I are like brothers. Every week for more than 30 years we chatted, laughed and had lots and lots of fun entertaining and educating people about health and wellness,” Paster said in a news release. “It has been an absolute honor and pleasure to work with him — I shall sorely miss him and wish him the best of luck in his retirement.”



Joy Lin, VP of journalism for CPB, joined the board of directors of Media Impact Funders. Lin joined the corporation in 2018 after working as a producer for ABC News’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos

Clarence Copeland, CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, was elected to the board of trustees of American Public Television. He will serve a three-year term. “Many of the programs and services that our viewers enjoy are through our relationship with APT,” said Copeland in a news release. “Conversely, APT also works with us to distribute our locally produced content to other stations across the country. It is truly a great partnership.”


Three public media–affiliated journalists were selected for the third 2023 cohort of the Leadership Academy for Women in Media led by the Poynter Institute. The employees are: Megan Kamerick, news director for KUNM in Albuquerque, N.M.; Ellen London, managing editor for GBH News in Boston; and Amanda Peacher, senior acquisitions editor for Marketplace.

The Poynter Institute named 24 public media journalists to its 2023–24 Public Media Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative, a nine-month fellowship funded by CPB. “The Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative seeks to strengthen the ability of news managers to guide public media’s growing newsrooms and ensure ethical decision-making,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB SVP of journalism, radio and CSG services. “Skilled, effective editors are vital to producing content that tackles issues of importance to our communities and strengthens democracy by informing our country’s civil discourse.”

The fellows are:

  • Vicki Adame, news editor for KUNR in Reno, Nev.
  • Christopher Ayers, news director for WESA in Pittsburgh
  • Caroline Ballard, assistant news director for KUER in Salt Lake City
  • Jamila Bey, editorial director for WHYY in Philadelphia
  • Joshua Chilson, news director for South Dakota Public Broadcasting
  • LaToya Dennis, news director and managing editor for WMFE in Orlando, Fla.
  • Syeda Hasan, senior editor for KUT in Austin, Texas
  • Robert Korth, news director for KOSU in Oklahoma City
  • Benjamin Brock Johnson, EP of podcasts for WBUR in Boston
  • Obed Manuel, editor for Denverite at Colorado Public Radio
  • Erica McIntosh, senior regional editor of Southern Connecticut for Connecticut Public
  • Jennifer Merritt, deputy editor and digital editor for Cincinnati Public Radio
  • Jeremy Moore, journalism director for Rocky Mountain Public Media in Denver
  • Caitlin Muñoz, director of daily news and live programming for WLRN in Miami
  • Jay Omar, news director for Nebraska Public Media
  • Chelsey Perkins, news director for KAXE/KBXE in Grand Rapids and Bemidji, Minn.
  • Dawnthea Price Lisco, managing editor for VPM in Richmond, Va.
  • Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado, news director for Valley Public Radio in Fresno, Calif.
  • Molly Samuel, deputy managing editor for WABE in Atlanta
  • Eric Stock, news director for WGLT in Normal, Ill.
  • Kimberly Swain, senior producer of Evening Edition, KPBS in San Diego
  • Ariel Van Cleave, managing editor of audio news for WBEZ in Chicago
  • Aja Williams, VP and CCO for Nine PBS in St. Louis
  • Farah Yousry, managing editor for WFYI and Side Effects Public Media in Indianapolis

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One thought on “Comings and goings: APTS promotes staffers, PBS Reno adds two hires …

  1. Though I’m four years retired, it’s good to see so many APTS staffers promoted that I had the pleasure of working with or learning from in briefings and Calls on Congress through decades.
    Stacey Karp
    Jennifer Kieley
    Tammye Heatley
    Tela Hansom-Pitt
    Caitlin Beroza

    Same observation of the other loyal and longtime staffers I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting but who give the organization its effectiveness and institutional memory.
    Kenneth Blunt
    Colleen Florio

    You all do important work for stations and for the American public, and it’s good to see APTS recognizing that with these promotions. Congratulations!

    Dan Alpert
    Sr. VP, retired
    Detroit Public Television

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