Comings and goings: NETA appoints COO, NPR hires deputy Washington editor …

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Timothy Eernisse was named COO and VP of education and growth for the National Educational Telecommunications Association.


Eernisse joined NETA in 2018 as VP of education. Before that, he worked for WGVU Public Media in Grand Rapids, Mich., rising to director of development and marketing. Eernisse is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

“As an organization, we are working towards being more agile and responsive and creating a sustainable future for ourselves, our members, and all of public media,” said NETA President Eric Hyyppa in a news release. “Tim has been integral in crafting NETA’s strategic vision and, along with other NETA executives, will lead us into a bold future with a highly inclusive culture that ensures team members can thrive while organizational goals are met.”

NPR hired Anna Yukhananov as deputy Washington editor.


Yukhananov will oversee daily news coverage, working alongside Dana Farrington, deputy Washington editor for planning. In addition, she will be the main editor of the justice team, oversee general assignment reporter Ximena Bustillo and serve as backup editor on Supreme Court coverage and Nina Totenberg’s work.

Yukhananov most recently worked for Bloomberg Law, where she oversaw coverage of corporate legal issues, including antitrust. She was also team leader of policy news for Bloomberg Government and led an environment reporting desk. Before Bloomberg, she was executive editor for Morning Consult and a correspondent for Reuters.

Uri Berliner, the former NPR senior editor who resigned from the organization after publicly criticizing it, joined The Free Press as a senior editor.


In a Tuesday newsletter, Free Press co-founder Bari Weiss said Berliner will help the publication “craft our stories and mentor a new generation of independent journalists. Uri—with his deep background in print and audio, his commitment to viewpoint diversity, and his bravery, is a natural fit for our growing team.”

In an essay in The Free Press published April 9, Berliner wrote that “an open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR” partly due to its “liberal bent.” He also criticized former CEO John Lansing’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, as well as the network’s reporting practices.

After the essay was published, NPR suspended Berliner for five days. He resigned before the suspension was complete. His essay triggered rebukes of NPR by Republican politicians.

Vic Vela was named host of New Mexico in Focus, a weekly public affairs program produced by New Mexico PBS.


Vela succeeds Gene Grant, who left the station last year.

Vela most recently worked for Colorado Public Radio as a reporter and producer. He also produced the podcast Back From Broken for the station. The station said in March that the organization and Vela had “parted ways” Jan. 3. Vela filed a complaint alleging that the station had discriminated and retaliated against him. He and CPR settled their dispute in May.

“I’ve gone through a lot in my life. I know what it’s like to suffer. I know what it’s like to struggle. My experiences have made me a better interviewer, a better journalist, a better person,” Vela said in a news release. “When I sit across from someone in a broadcast setting — be they a politician, a baseball player or a farmer — I try to connect in a way that helps the audience better understand not just their worldview, but what makes them tick as a human being. I think that’s what I can bring to the table as the host of New Mexico In Focus.”



Alaska Public Media hired Tara Riemer as senior director of finance. She most recently worked for the Alaska SeaLife Center as a senior adviser and had also been COO and CEO of the organization. Prior to moving to Alaska in 2002, she was a strategic management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Boston and Auckland, New Zealand. “I am thrilled to join an Alaska non-profit that I have supported as a member for over twenty years,” Riemer said in a news release. “The passionate team at Alaska Public Media serves the entire state, providing vital communications that have kept me informed for years.”



Nick Yee will join WVTF in Roanoke, Va., as the radio station’s first director of content and distribution. For the past 11 years, Yee has worked as PD for Hawaii Public Radio and was also host of the music program Bridging the Gap. WVTF GM Roger Duvall said Yee is “passionate about public radio” and is also “highly regarded for his ideas and sense of exploration.” Yee also sits on the board of the Public Media Content Collective, formerly the Public Radio Program Directors Association.

Mark Contreras, CEO for Connecticut Public, joined the board of directors for American Documentary, the nonprofit behind POV, POV Shorts and America ReFramed.

Send news of “comings and goings” to [email protected]

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