Comings and goings: NPR hires Western bureau chief, Rocky Mountain Public Media adds two executives …

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Ravenna Koenig became Western bureau chief for NPR’s National Desk.


Koenig first joined NPR in 2014 as a Weekend Edition intern and later worked as a production assistant and assistant producer. She left NPR in 2017 to report on energy and the environment for KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. In Koenig’s most recent stint with NPR she worked as an editor on the Culture Desk, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Last year, she co-led NPR’s coverage of the 2023 Hollywood writers’ strike and was the lead editor for the Maui wildfires. She is based in Seattle.

Rocky Mountain Public Media in Denver hired two executives to its leadership team.

Nikki Jones was appointed chief digital officer. Jones most recently worked as CEO and founder of Changility LLC, described as a change management consulting firm.

Jones worked for NPR from 2019–2023, first as director of agile transformation and program management in the digital media division. She was later promoted to VP of change management and transformation.

Jones and Ford

Corey Ford joins RMPM as chief product officer. Ford most recently worked as CEO of Matter Ventures, a consultancy for media executives and entrepreneurs.

Ford will continue to lead the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Earlier in his career, he was a field producer and associate producer for Frontline, the PBS investigative documentary series based at GBH in Boston.



Tim Lenard joined PBS Reno in Nevada as a production media technician. Lenard most recently worked as a video content editor for the Nevada Independent, a nonprofit news site that’s based in Las Vegas. He also has worked as a freelance videographer and sound engineer for PBS Reno’s Wild Nevada series for several years. Lenard is a military veteran who served four years in the U.S. Army as a sergeant and fire team leader with an infantry platoon based in Italy that mobilized for two deployments to Afghanistan.



Kevin Whitehead, a jazz critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, is retiring. Whitehead has been the program’s authority on jazz since 1987. In a radio segment March 27, program host Terry Gross said the team tried to convince Whitehead not to leave. “In the world of jazz criticism, Kevin stands out for his deep knowledge of jazz history and his excitement about new performers, including from the jazz avant-garde,” she said. “Personally, I’m grateful for the music he’s introduced me to and for his insights. I’m also a fan of his writing. He has an ability to describe what’s happening musically that opens up your ears without ever resorting to cliche and without repeating himself.” Whitehead will occasionally make special guest appearances on the show, which is produced at Philadelphia’s WHYY. In an interview for The Gig newsletter, he said he was “lucky” to have worked for people who were “firmly committed to having a jazz critic in place.”


WMHT Public Media in Troy, N.Y., promoted Shantel Destra to host and managing editor of the weekly public affairs program New York NOW. Destra succeeds Dan Clark, who left the station to cover state government and politics for the Times Union in Albany, N.Y. Destra joined the show last year as a multimedia journalist. “As our New York NOW viewers have seen, Shantel is a smart and savvy reporter and interviewer who understands the issues and excels at conveying the impact they have on New Yorkers,” WMHT CEO Anthony Hayes said in a news release. “Her promotion … reflects the valuable contributions she’s already made, as well as our confidence in her ability to further elevate this important program.”


Todd “Speech” Thomas, founder of the Grammy-award winning hip hop group Arrested Development, is hosting the podcast Track Change, co-produced by VPM in Richmond, Va., and Narratively, a company founded by former New York Times journalists. In a five-part series launching April 17, Track Change follows a group of men in Richmond City Jail as they record an album. The series follows efforts by the men to “break free from a cycle of addiction and incarceration,” according to a news release. “I hope that by centering the talents and perspectives of these men, Track Change will disarm a lot of the stereotypes about people who are incarcerated,” said Thomas in a news release. “I hope the show can also help audiences recognize that there’s more that we can do for the millions of people who are released from jails and prisons every year.”


Josh Rogosin is departing his job as an audio producer and engineer for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Rogosin first joined NPR in 1999 as a broadcast engineer, reporter and producer. He left in 2009 to work as technical director and broadcast engineer for Marketplace. After a stint as a senior broadcast engineer at WNYC in New York City, he returned to NPR in 2012 as an associate producer and director for Ask Me Another. Rogosin said on LinkedIn that he’s leaving to pursue his own projects.

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