Comings and goings: Connecticut Public appoints CCO, WHRO hires news VP …

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Vanessa de la Torre was promoted to CCO for Connecticut Public, effective Feb. 12.

De la Torre

De la Torre joined the station in 2018 as the race, identity and culture reporter. In 2020, she was promoted to editorial director and executive editor for the New England News Collaborative, where she oversaw the digital projects “Our New England” and “Conexión.” She will retain her responsibilities with the news collaborative in addition to her new duties, such as overseeing The Accountability Project investigative reporting unit. 

“Vanessa’s past journalism and leadership experience make her the perfect choice to lead our content efforts,” said CEO Mark G. Contreras in a news release. “What sets her apart is not just her professional accomplishments but her unwavering dedication to collaborative leadership. Vanessa is not just a seasoned journalist; she is a leader, a collaborator, and someone who inspires people to do their best work.”

De la Torre has also participated in several public media leadership programs, including Public Media Women in Leadership’s Public Media CEO/COO Bootcamp, Greater Public’s DEI Executive Forum and CPB’s Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative.

Maurice Jones was named VP of news for WHRO Public Media in Norfolk, Va.

Jones

Jones was previously president and publisher for Pilot Media, the parent company of The Virginian-Pilot.

Jones was also CEO of OneTen, a nonprofit, and has also held several government jobs, including secretary of commerce and trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia and deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“I am thrilled to have Maurice join WHRO,” said WHRO CEO Bert Schmidt in a news release. “As we continue to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality and impactful local journalism, we are confident that he will play a pivotal role in leading our newsroom to new heights.”

Ideastream Public Media in Cleveland hired Daniel Shellenbarger as GM of Ohio Public Media Services.

Shellenbarger

Shellenbarger succeeds Wendy Turner, who left the position last year to lead Michigan Public in Ann Arbor. The GM role oversees The Ohio Newsroom, Ohio Government TV/The Ohio Channel, the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau and a statewide news collaborative formed in 2020.

“Dan’s wealth of experience, knowledge and statewide relationships at the Statehouse will allow him to facilitate a seamless transition of leadership,” said Ideastream CEO Kevin Martin in a news release. “All of these services are enjoying positive momentum that I’m confident Dan will be able to maintain.”

Shellenbarger most recently worked as executive director of The Ohio Channel, which he helped create in 1996. He started his career in media relations for the Ohio Senate and rose to deputy director for communications.

New England Public Media announced staff changes.

Román

Elizabeth Román was promoted to managing editor of daily and digital news. Román joined NEPM in 2022 as managing editor of news.

“Although her title did not dramatically change, her responsibilities have evolved and Román will now be taking the lead on delivering daily news programming on the radio, NEPM website and social media channels,” a news release said.

Saldo

In addition, NEPM announced a new weekly morning radio show and podcast, The Rundown with Carrie Saldo, which premieres Friday.

Carrie Saldo will host the public affairs show, which will analyze local news and events. Saldo most recently worked as a freelance journalist. She was a Worcester bureau reporter for GBH in Boston and a host, reporter and producer for NEPM’s Connecting Point.

“Carrie is one of the region’s most respected journalists, and ‘The Rundown’ will be imprinted with her expertise, curiosity, and joy for uncovering and sharing stories about western Mass.,” said Tony Dunne, director of content for NEPM and EP of The Rundown, in a news release.

Content

Douban

Gigi Douban was hired as a supervising editor on NPR’s National Desk. Douban most recently worked as news director for KUOW in Seattle, which she joined in 2021. She also worked as news director for WBHM in Birmingham, Ala., and as a freelancer filing stories for NPR, Marketplace, The World and other outlets. James Pagano, assistant news director for KUOW, will work as interim news director starting Feb. 6.

McChesney

Rashah McChesney is leaving her role as deputy editor of the Gulf States Newsroom, the CPB-supported collaboration among WBHM, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, WWNO in New Orleans and WRKF in Baton Rouge, La. “It’s very weird to leave the security of a job you love, but here we are. I’m following a nose for local news back to Alaska, where I’m proud to say that I’ve bought a newspaper!!” she said on LinkedIn.  “There will be plenty more on that later, but in the meantime — thanks for all of your support and I can’t wait for the next grand adventure.” McChesney joined the Gulf States Newsroom in 2022. She previously worked as a daily news editor for KTOO in Juneau, Alaska, and was also a journalist for the station’s energy desk.

Laura Herberg announced on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, that she was hired as civic life reporter for Outlier Media in Detroit. Herberg most recently worked as a community reporter and fill-in anchor for WDET in Detroit.

Governance

Keim

Michael Keim was elected chair of the board of directors for Lehigh Valley Public Media in Bethlehem, Pa. Keim is president of Univest Bank and Trust and is COO of Univest Financial Corp. Keim, who joined the board in 2022, succeeds Susan Yee, CEO of Active Data Inc.

Send news of “comings and goings” to people@current.org

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