Comings and goings: COO leaves Arkansas PBS, jazz bassist named host of NEPM show …

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Eduardo Leon left his position as deputy director and COO for Arkansas PBS to become executive director of Free Speech TV, based in Denver.


Leon joined Arkansas PBS in 2018. Before that he was chief brand officer for e-learning company Wondrium. He was also a senior producer for Dr. Phil.

“In 2021, we re-dedicated ourselves to bringing multiracial America together to dismantle the structures and practices that perpetuate inequality and injustice,” said FSTV Board Chair Reggie Shuford in a news release. “Ed embodies the media experience, social justice values and entrepreneurial instincts required to meet the demands of this moment.”

Avery Sharpe, a bassist and composer, was named host of Jazz à la Mode, a program produced by New England Public Media in Springfield, Mass.

The program, which debuted in 1984, airs weeknights. Sharpe will host one night a week. Other hosts include Bex Taylor, Peter Soklowski and Tom Reney.

The NEPM news release said Reney, who has hosted the program since its inception, helped recruit Sharpe to the station.


“I’ve known Avery Sharpe since we met as students at UMass in 1976. We’ve been friends ever since, but it wasn’t until this summer that I learned he might be interested in hosting a radio show and I’m delighted he’s doing so,” Reney said. “It’ll be great to have the voice and perspective of a major jazz artist who has substantial ties to Springfield and western Mass. added to the team, and I know listeners will agree.”

Sharpe has recorded and performed with jazz artists including McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Archie Shepp. He is also host of The Sharpe Side, a radio show produced by WETF in South Bend, Ind.



Joel Rose started a new beat for NPR as a transportation reporter. Rose joined the network in 2011. “It’s not easy letting go of the immigration beat after almost 7 (!) years. But I know that it’s in good hands at NPR with @JasGarsd,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter, referring to Jasmine Garsd Garcia, who became immigration correspondent. Garcia previously worked as a correspondent covering criminal justice and hosted The Last Cup.


Kate Martin was hired as a data reporter for American Public Media. She most recently worked as a sexual violence and health reporter for NBC News. She was also lead investigative reporter for the Carolina Public Press and held reporter positions with The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.; the Skagit Valley Herald in Skagit County, Wash.; and the Loveland Reporter-Herald in Colorado.


Shane German was hired as PD for KUVO, a jazz station in Denver owned by Rocky Mountain Public Media. He succeeds Max Ramirez, who left the station earlier this year. German most recently worked as an afternoon host and special projects coordinator for The North 103.3 FM in Duluth, Minn. He also worked as PD and music director for WYCE in Grand Rapids, Mich. “We are honored to have Shane’s experience, joy for public media and dedication to community as a part of the future of KUVO Jazz,” said Nikki Swarn, GM of KUVO and The Drop, in a news release. “As a retired indie musician and true fan of the station, he brings a unique perspective to the work that focuses on music lovers and creators alike, and we are proud to welcome him into the KUVO community.”


Jenny Hamel was named host of Sound of Ideas, a local news and live call-in program produced by Ideastream Public Media in Cleveland. Hamel succeeds Rick Jackson, who retired this year. Hamel joined Ideastream in 2020 as an education reporter and fill-in host. “Not only is she a smart and talented journalist, she’s also the kind of person you just want to talk to and listen to,” said Executive Editor Mike McIntyre in a news release. “Add to that her passion for the community and she’s the perfect fit.”


Joe Sonka joined Louisville Public Media as a statehouse enterprise reporter. He previously worked as a state government and politics reporter for the Courier Journal in Louisville. He was also a staff writer for Inside Louisville and news editor for the Louisville Eccentric Observer, an alt-weekly.


Jon Collins, a senior reporter for Minnesota Public Radio’s race, class and communities desk, announced on X that he’s shifting beats. “I’ll be transitioning to a new beat we’re calling: ‘The future of public safety.’ Minneapolis is, again, at the heart of this issue, but we are open to other examples,” he said on X. Collins joined MPR in 2012 and was co-host and reporter of 74 Seconds, a podcast about the killing of Philando Castile and the trial of police officer Jeronimo Yanez.


Kristen Mosbrucker-Garza was hired as a business reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. Mosbrucker-Garza first joined the station as a news contributor in 2010. She previously worked as a digital news editor for WYPR in Baltimore. She was also a reporter for newspapers in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.


Jade Tittle is leaving her roles as midday host and music director for The Current in St. Paul, Minn. Tittle joined the organization in 2008 as an overnight host and has also worked as a special event coordinator and morning show producer. She became a midday host in 2015 and achieved her director title in 2021. Tittle told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that she’s keeping her future work plans private for safety reasons. Tittle was victimized by a convicted stalker who also pled guilty to harassing former Current host Mary Lucia in 2015, according to the newspaper. The 63-year-old man was arrested in January 2022 and faces felony charges for twice breaking a restraining order by visiting Tittle’s home. “Thanks for your generosity and kindness over the last 15 years of hanging out together. It was my childhood dream to be able to just talk about music with people all day and get paid to do it. It has surpassed my expectations in what a joy it is to be part of this community,” she said in a statement on the station’s website.



Molly Solomon, editor-at-large for KQED in San Francisco, is one of 14 journalists who will participate in Poynter Institute’s “Power of Diverse Voices: Writing Workshop for Journalists of Color” program. The journalists will convene Nov. 15–18 at Poynter’s offices in St. Petersburg, Fla., for four days of one-on-one coaching, small-group instruction and dedicated writing time. Eric Deggans, NPR’s television critic, will assist with some of the workshops alongside other experts.

Paterson and Watkins

The Solutions Journalism Network announced its inaugural class of HEAL Fellows, a program that will have journalists report “on, for and with young people who are facing mental health challenges and healing through innovative community responses.” The fellows who work in public media are: Leigh Paterson, senior editor and reporter for KUNC in Greeley, Colo.; and Morgan Watkins, a health reporter for Louisville Public Media in Kentucky. For her HEAL project, Paterson will report on how children gain access to behavioral health providers and other mental-health resources. Watkins will report on locally driven solutions to address how racism affects mental health.

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

This article has been updated with details about Jade Tittle’s departure from The Current.

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