Comings and goings: John Sutton named VP at NEPM, Hawaii Public Radio makes host changes for music program ‘Bridging the Gap’ …

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New England Public Media announced several staff changes.


John Sutton, who was working as interim CCO for the organization, accepted the newly created position of VP of content and audience strategy.

Sutton started the interim role with NEPM in April 2023. He previously worked as VP of audiences and revenue for the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp., the parent organization of WESA and WYEP, and as GM.

“In this pioneering role, John will develop the strategy and plan to make NEPM the indispensable guide to western Mass.,” said President Matt Abramovitz, in a news release. “After months of searching, John stood out because of his many years of strategic and programming consulting in the public radio system. … In his one-year role as interim CCO, John directly shaped the plan of NEPM’s format buildout, helped launch The Rundown with Carrie Saldo, and led initiatives like Hunger Awareness Week and the rollout of NEPM’s newest podcast, The Secrets We Keep, bringing together our content and marketing teams in new and promising ways.”

Teresa Bendzinski became the major gifts officer. Before NEPM, she directed annual giving at the School of Leadership, Afghanistan, where she started in 2016 as an executive assistant. Before that she was an executive assistant for Global Automakers in Washington, D.C.


Rebeckah Egan was promoted from account manager to director of corporate sponsorship. Before joining NEPM in January, she worked for the Hartford Courant in several different roles between 2007–23, including director of digital advertising, premium accounts manager and senior account executive.

In another addition to NEPM’s development team, Mandi Garfield was hired as an account executive. She previously worked as VP and talent acquisition specialist for Norcom Mortgage and sales work for iHeartRadio.

On the content team, Ayu Suryawan became a digital producer for The Fabulous 413 and The Rundown with Carrie Saldo. Suryawan previously worked as a part-time soundboard operator for NEPM broadcasts of All Things Considered.

Nirvani Williams, who first joined NEPM in 2021 as a Report for America corps member, joined the newsroom as a full-time reporter covering socio-economic disparities in western Massachusetts. Before NEPM, she was associate editor for Seema magazine, based in New York.

Hawaii Public Radio appointed two new hosts for Bridging the Gap, a weeknight contemporary music program.

Barbosa and Long

Zilla Barbosa will be the program’s new Monday night host, taking over for Nick Yee, founding host who ended his 11-year run this month. Barbosa previously worked as a guest mix producer and guest host for KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. She was also music director and DJ at KTUH at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Her expertise spans Brazilian jazz, Tropicalia, world music, indie and electronic, according to a news release.

Jeffery Ryan Long joined as a Thursday night host. He previously worked as a board operator for the station and got his start in broadcasting as a DJ at student-operated KTUH. Long is the rhythm guitarist for local rock band Oh the Possibilities.



Tinia Milhouse-Lazenby was promoted to director of culture and learning for the National Educational Telecommunications Association. In this role, she provides leadership and support for conferences, events and staff growth. She also leads the Public Media Diversity Leaders Initiative in partnership with South Carolina ETV and The Riley Institute. Milhouse-Lazenby joined NETA in 1999. “Tinia is a valuable resource not only for NETA, but for our members and the entire public media system,” said NETA President Eric Hyyppa in a news release. “This promotion reflects the important work she does and aligns with NETA’s strategic framework for the future.”


Tela Hansom-Pitt was promoted to senior director of membership, administration and events for America’s Public Television Stations. She joined APTS in 2002 as manager of member services and executive assistant to the president. She most recently worked as director of membership services and marketing.



Russell Gossett was named brand director for NPR. Gossett previously worked for NPR as a product designer from 2011–16. In his most recent job since leaving NPR, Gossett was director of creative and brand for Nitro Pro, a software company. He also worked as creative director for The Atlantic and a design lead for Netflix. Gossett is “a strong and passionate mentor and people manager, with a track record of fostering an inclusive workplace culture, building strong relationships, and launching campaigns that engage diverse audiences,” said NPR Senior Director of Brand and Marketing Kristin Hume in a staff memo.


Marky Enriquez left his position as marketing and audience engagement manager for KQED in San Francisco. “I grew up watching KQED, so working here was a big deal,” he said on LinkedIn. “I’m not sure what’s next for me, but I’m excited to find out.” Enriquez joined the station in 2022. Before that he was digital and interactive media manager for the Center for Asian American Media, one of five member organizations of the National Multicultural Alliance.



Asia Tabb was named host of The Spark, a weekday public affairs program produced by WITF in Harrisburg, Pa. Tabb is taking over for Scott LaMar, who retired at the end of May. “I love the Central Pennsylvania community and can’t wait to host conversations about interesting topics from around the world and in the area,” Tabb said in a news release. She previously worked as a freelance reporter for WGAL, an NBC affiliate in Lancaster, Pa., and was an anchor for KTAL in Shreveport, La. She also worked as a multimedia journalist for WHP, a CBS affiliate in Harrisburg, Pa. “Asia brings the right mix of energy, passion, curiosity, and experience to lead a new chapter for The Spark,” said Fred Vigeant, WITF VP and chief audience officer.


Trustees of PBS North Carolina elected Rick French, CEO of the marketing agency French|West|Vaughan, as board chair. He succeeds Jack Clayton, president of business strategy for Towne Bank. “It’s an honor to assume the chairmanship of North Carolina’s largest broadcast network,” said French in a news release. “PBS North Carolina is an essential part of the fabric of this great state, and we will continue to produce and distribute programming that enlightens and entertains the citizens of NC and beyond.” Seth Bennett, chief marketing officer for Hornets Sports & Entertainment, which is responsible for the Charlotte Hornets professional basketball team’s branding, was elected vice chair. He succeeds Anne Mayo Evans, an attorney for Player McLean LLP.

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