Comings and goings: NPR ‘founding mother’ Linda Wertheimer retires, WMFE staffs new program …

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Linda Wertheimer, known as one of the four “founding mothers” of NPR, announced her retirement.


Wertheimer most recently worked as a senior national correspondent, a role she took in 2002 after hosting All Things Considered for 13 years. She joined NPR at the network’s inception and served as ATC’s first director when it debuted May 3, 1971, according to her her bio on NPR’s website.

From 1974–89, Wertheimer was a congressional and national political correspondent. In 1976, she became the first woman to anchor network coverage of a presidential nomination convention and of election night. Over her career at NPR, she has anchored 10 presidential nomination conventions and 12 election nights.

“None of us would be here today without Linda’s commitment to telling the story fully, creatively and with curiosity,” said Edith Chapin, interim CCO, SVP and editor-in-chief, in a news release. “We stand on her shoulders, hoping that each of us can do for NPR what she has done for decades.”

WMFE in Orlando, Fla., hired staff for its new public affairs program Engage, which will air new episodes Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Cheryn Stone was hired as host. Stone previously worked as an anchor and reporter for Spectrum News 13 in Orlando. She has also worked for commercial stations in New Orleans and Charlottesville.

Richard E. Copeland was appointed producer for the program. He previously worked as a senior producer at KJZZ in Phoenix.

“As our flagship live radio show and podcast, Engage will bring people together for an essential hour of trusted conversation to expand our shared understanding of our region and each other,” said WMFE GM Judith Smelser in a news release. “We are thrilled to welcome Cheryn and Richard to the WMFE team and eagerly anticipate how they will engage with the community, bringing insightful perspectives and a dynamic energy that will captivate our audience.”

Monika Bauerlein was appointed CEO of the newly merged news organization that comprises Mother Jones magazine and the Center for Investigative Reporting.


Reveal will continue as a radio show and podcast, but CIR’s parent organization will dissolve as a nonprofit as part of the merger, according to the organization’s leaders. Reveal and its documentary unit CIR Studios have joined the Foundation for National Progress, the nonprofit entity that publishes Mother Jones.

“This is a moment of tremendous urgency for journalism and for democracy,” said Bauerlein in a news release. “By merging, we can shine a light into more dark corners, and reach more people with investigative reporting on the issues that matter most.”

Leadership of the new organization includes Bauerlein, Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery, Reveal host Al Letson and CEO Emeritus Robert J. Rosenthal.



PBS Reno in Nevada promoted Dustin Miller to broadcast engineering technician. Miller joined the station in 2022 as a building maintenance technician. He previously worked as head of facility maintenance for the senior living Silvercrest Residence in Reno. “I joined a great team and family here at PBS Reno who gave me an opportunity to grow,” Miller said in a news release. “ I look forward to continuing my knowledge of broadcast engineering and many years of service to PBS Reno.”



Jordan L. Siegler was appointed associate director of Wisconsin Public Media, the division at the University of Wisconsin–Madison that oversees Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin. Siegler had previously served as interim associate director since July 2022. Before that, he was managing director of corporate giving and events for PBS Wisconsin. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jordan since he started his career in public media in 2015,” said Heather L. Reese, executive director of WPM, in a news release. “I’ve been consistently impressed with his passion for our mission, his integrity, and his ability to develop authentic relationships with staff, donors and external partners.”


Douglas Bell announced on LinkedIn that he was hired as senior director of radio for WABE in Atlanta. Bell most recently worked as PD for WAMU in Washington, D.C. He joined WAMU as a video production intern in 2013 and has also worked as a videographer, audio engineer, broadcast technician and on-air operations manager. “While it is bittersweet to say farewell to WAMU after more than 10 years, I’m excited to continue serving the mission of public radio in these new ways, and I can’t wait to discover all that Atlanta has to offer,” Bell said.



Ashley Alvarado, VP of community engagement and strategic initiatives for Southern California Public Radio, was elected secretary of the Online News Association. Alvarado joined SCPR in 2012 as public engagement editor and has also been manager of public engagement and director of public engagement. As ONA secretary, she will serve a one-year term.

The Association of Independents in Radio announced the election of new board of directors: Mia Lobel, former VP of content and production of Pushkin Industries; Will Coley, a producer at Condé Nast; Rob Byers, director of audio engineering at Vox; Corey Gumbs, founder of the Black Podcasters Association; and Elaine Appleton Grant, CEO of Podcast Allies.



John Lansing, outgoing president and CEO of NPR, will join the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership & Policy in March as a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Washington Center. “With his background as the President of the Scripps Networks, overseeing U.S. International Broadcasting as the CEO of the US Agency for Global Media, and then running National Public Radio, Lansing brings a wealth of experience and contacts to the USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership & Policy,” said CCLP Director Geoffrey Cowan in a news release. “We look forward to working with him on a wide variety of issues involving news at the local, national and international level.” 

“I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my work in supporting excellence in journalism following my retirement from NPR at the end of March,” Lansing said.

Lansing will join CCLP’s Washington, D.C., team based at the USC Capitol Campus, which opened last year. Lansing’s predecessor as NPR president, Jarl Mohn, is a member of the CCLP Advisory Board.

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