Comings and goings: CPB board officers reelected, Ohio stations staff new initiative …

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Laura Ross was reelected board chair for CPB Monday at the corporation’s annual board meeting. She joined the board in 2018 and has served as chair since last year. She previously served as vice chair.


A retired attorney, Ross’ experience includes eight years as chief of staff to the New York Attorney General and subsequently legislative counsel to a New York state senator. She has also been on the boards of the WNET Group and New York Public Radio.

Ruby Calvert, who joined CPB’s board in 2018, was reelected vice chair. She previously worked as president of the Wyoming PBS Foundation and was also GM and director of programming for the state network.

WCET in Cincinnati and Think TV in Dayton, Ohio, sister stations under Public Media Connect, announced staff changes in preparation for the launch of a multiplatform public-affairs initiative next year.


Ann Thompson, who recently left her position as a reporter and midday host for WVXU in Cincinnati, will work as host and producer of Brick by Brick, a new solutions-journalism television program and podcast.

The initiative, which will also include published articles, aims to cover housing, equity and other issues, according to a WVXU news story. It stems from Think TV’s 2022 documentary Redlining: Mapping Inequality in Springfield and Dayton.

Mark Lammers, director of local content, will be EP for the program. The Brick by Brick team will include three new full-time staffers: Thompson; multimedia journalist Hernz Laguerre Jr., a former host and producer for WDET in Detroit; and a Dayton-based multimedia journalist yet to be hired.

Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville, N.C., announced two hires.

Sonmez and Sandoval

Felicia Sonmez became a growth and development reporter. Sonmez most recently worked as a national political reporter for The Washington Post. She also worked as a Beijing-based correspondent for Agence France-Presse and was an editor for The Wall Street Journal.

Jose Sandoval joined the station as afternoon host and reporter. His duties will include hosting Fresh Air and All Things Considered. Sandoval most recently worked as a digital producer for Northern Public Radio in DeKalb, Ill. He was also an intern for NPR’s Louder Than a Riot.



Travis Tamasese was hired as chief of staff for KPBS in San Diego. Tamasese most recently worked as deputy chief of staff and director of strategy and policy for San José State University. Before that, he was chief of staff in student affairs at California State University, Long Beach.


Lisa Kettyle left her position as PD for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. She said on LinkedIn that she became a contractor for the Philadelphia-based Prometheus Radio Project. She joined NFCB in 2021 after working as COO for Marfa Public Radio in Texas.



Brittani Howell became an engagement trainer on the America Amplified team for WFYI in Indianapolis. “I’ll be helping other stations build their own community engagement capacity,” she said on X, formerly known as Twitter. Howell joined the station in 2019 as a community engagement health specialist for Side Effects Public Media, a Midwest health-reporting collaboration based at WFYI.



Anne Schindler will be host of First Coast Connect, a daily public affairs program produced by WJCT Public Media in Jacksonville, Fla. Schindler starts the role later this month and takes over for interim host Al Letson, who stepped in after Melissa Ross left the station. Schindler most recently worked as EP of special projects for First Coast News, the newsroom for the NBC and ABC affiliates in Jacksonville. Before that she was editor-in-chief of alt-weekly Folio Weekly. “Anne has a breadth of knowledge and insight about the First Coast that can only come from decades of on-the-ground experience,” said WJCT CEO David McGowan in a news release.


Nereida Moreno was hired as a digital equity reporter for LAist in Los Angeles. Moreno most recently worked as an education reporter for WBEZ in Chicago. She joined the Chicago station in 2018 and worked as a producer for Reset and The Morning Shift.


Jessica Ticktin became a supervising producer for Peace Talks Radio, a program covering nonviolent conflict resolution that airs on public media and community stations. Ticktin most recently worked as a producer for From the Top, an NPR program that highlights young classical musicians. Before that she worked as a freelance journalist for Vermont Public Radio and was also an associate producer for StoryCorps.



Betsy Lehman joined the board of directors for PRX. She is on the board of the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago and was also on the boards of the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, and Planned Parenthood of Illinois.


Three public media journalists were selected by the Freedom Forum as fellows for the 2023 Chips Quinn Scholars Program for Diversity in Journalism. The fellowship provides mentors and pays a $2,000 stipend to each fellow. The fellows who work in public media are Marisa Mecke, environment reporter for WABE in Atlanta; Maria Palma, underserved communities reporter for KUNR in Reno, Nev.; and Taylor Velazquez, public health reporter for KUNM in Albuquerque, N.M. The mentors who work in public media are Mariana Dale, senior K-12 education reporter for LAist in Los Angeles; Tracie Hunte, correspondent/producer for WNYC in New York; Nereida Moreno, digital equity reporter for LAist; and Blanca Torres, producer and reporter for KQED in San Francisco.

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