Public Media Honor Roll

Dozens of people have donated to Current in order to honor individuals who have made a lasting impact on their careers and on public media itself. Scroll down to read the full list of honorees. Read why some of them were nominated below:

  • Diane Rehm donated to honor Irma Aandahl, “my first contact with public radio and my supervisor for four years. She taught me civility, honesty, and generosity of spirit in broadcasting. I will be forever grateful to her for my career.”
  • Kate Sandweiss named “Jim Pagliarini: in appreciation for introducing me to the public media system, his ongoing wisdom and generous spirit. Skip Hinton: in recognition of the great welcome, counsel and support he gave to so many people in public media over the decades.”
  • Sandra Welch named Len Press. “Len was the founder of Kentucky Educational Television and my boss/mentor for 20 years. He was an amazing visionary who believed in the power of public media to impact individuals through education, civic engagement, and cultural enrichment. He gave me opportunities and support to operationalize much of his vision and be part of the growth of public television both in Kentucky and nationally.”
  • Sandra Welch also named Virginia Fox. “Ginny was one of Len’s first hired developing the education services and eventually succeeding Len as Executive Director of KET. I was 24 years old when she hired me, and had no idea what public television was about…But she provided enormous encouragement and support as we all learned together and began the amazing journey of creating KET. Ginny gave me some of the most valuable lessons of my life about the equality of women in the workplace.”
  • John Lawson donated to honor Henry Cauthen. “Henry is a legendary figure from the founding generation of public media. He had the vision and chops to make SCETV both a vital educational institution AND a leading producer for PBS and NPR. Creating this juggernaut in a then-poor southern state made it even more remarkable. Taking a chance, Henry gave me my first job in public media and taught me that entrepreneurship and public service go hand in hand.
  • Ann Alquist wrote, “My public media hero is Janis Lane-Ewart! One of a handful of African American women who have led a public media outlet, I was her first hire at KFAI. It was the beginning of a transformative mentorship, and now a deeply cherished friendship.”
  • Christine Dempsey wrote, “This is in memory of Margaret Juntwait. One of the most talented broadcasters I ever worked with, and all around wonderful person. She is missed.”
  • Brian Bull wrote, “I make this donation in honor of my mentor, Margo Melnicove, who gave me a huge break by accepting me into the NPR Diversity Initiative nearly 20 years ago, and to Terry Harris, my first boss at a public radio network, South Dakota Public Broadcasting.”
  • Susie Niarhos gave “in honor of Al Bartholet, retired Executive Director of WMRA. Al created an environment that moved the staff to excel. His leadership and vision moved WMRA into the community and into the black. I’m honored to have worked with one of Public Radio’s BEST!”
  • Magaly Rivera gave “in remembrance of Raul Ramirez, board member of the Latino Public Radio Consortium and KQED’s News Director. Grateful for the impact of your work within public media.”
  • Chuck Singleton donated “in honor of Ralph Jennings: the best public radio mentor one could have, and a fighter for civil rights in journalism and media ownership.”
  • Josh Shepperd named “Jack Mitchell: in honor of the first employee of NPR.”
  • Joe Zesbaugh gave to honor Bob Ellis. “Bob hired me at KAET as program director, the start of a 30+ year career in public media. Thanks, Bob.”
  • Joyce MacDonald donated in honor of Kit Jensen. “Kit has inspired me throughout my public media career.”
  • JJ Yore named Jim Fellows. “Jim is the man who made Current possible many, many years ago. He was one of the great visionaries in our industry. He was also a great friend. This donation is in his memory.”
  • Robert Avery donated “to honor the three men who introduced me to the ideals of public service broadcasting. E. Arthur Hungerford, James A. Fellows and Fred W. Friendly.”
  • Ann Engelman named the late Cindy Browne, who “cared deeply about public media. She helped grow KTCA, Iowa Public Radio and she published widely. Her papers “Strategic Advantage: Women as Station Leaders,” and “Analyzing Change Models” are still relevant. She mentored many. She was always ahead of the curve. She modeled integrity, diplomacy and was not afraid of the fight. She made a difference in our system. And FUN, oh my yes. She is sorely missed.”
  • Selena Lauterer wrote, “I’m giving in the name of former OPB president Maynard Orme. Maynard stands for public media in its purest and best sense, that we are here to serve our viewers/listeners and honor them as informed citizens.”
  • Mike Janssen nominated Paul Brown, “for teaching me to write for radio, tolerating my many novice screwups, and modeling the actions of a leader focused on community service and an effective workplace. He’s the best!”
  • Constance Huff named Bede Trantina “to honor the longest local Morning Edition host and a wonderful program director for KSKA, Anchorage, Alaska.”
  • Sandra Welch named Bruce Christiansen. “Bruce recruited me to come work for him at PBS as his Executive Vice President of Education. He also gave me an open agenda for developing new education services at PBS. He was a wonderful and supportive mentor who made my transition from working at the state level to the national world of PBS/CPB/APTS much easier. I’ll always be grateful of the opportunity he gave me and his support.”
  • Matt Martin named Nicole Sawaya, “a real radio radical whose laughter will always ring in my mind.”
  • Mike Wassenaar honored Bill Lund, who “ran KBEM, the Minneapolis High School station for 15 years and had an enormous effect on broadcast education and independent public media.”
  • Katie Koskenmaki nominated Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of Independent Lens, “because she manages to bring commercial caliber documentaries to PBS while still retaining her public media kindness.”
  • Bill Siemering named Terry Gross, whose “research and intelligent, insightful, thoughtful questioning on ‘Fresh Air’ can be a master class in the art of interviewing. Terry’s over 30 years of interviews is an invaluable archive of our cultural history.”
  • Bill Siemering also named Susan Stamberg because she “gave voice to NPR in the beginning: bright, curious, thoughtful, respectful and fun. She continues to this day to produce pieces you sit up to listen to. She exemplifies strong on-air presence.”
  • Andi McDaniel honored John Daenzer: “John is a gifted manager and devoted mentor. He is a keen judge of talent and saw what I was capable of long before I did. I’m grateful to him for the many hours of counsel and support he’s offered me as I’ve undergone the growing pains of leadership. He is a man of great integrity, and the rare leader who wears his heart on his sleeve. I wouldn’t be where I am without him..and I’m not the only one.”
  • Mollie Kabler donated “in honor of Susea Albee for her more than a decade of board service and belief in collaboration in public media. Also, Marika Partridge, for encouraging me into public radio in the very beginning.”
  • Kara McGuirk-Allison wrote, “There are so many incredible people in public radio who have influenced me. I’m highlighting Sheila Rue, Bob Malesky, Shankar Vedantam, and Julie Drizin, because they all gave me a chance at various points in my career, and I’ll be forever grateful.”
  • Ghana Mashamoun named Frank Carlson, Margaret Warner, Boisfeuillet Jones, and Sharon Rockefeller.
  • Kathryn Kolbert wrote that this “gift is in honor of the wonderful, inspiring innovative staff at Justice Talking. Truly a privilege to work with all of you.”
  • Jeff Rutenbeck donated “on behalf of the amazing, dedicated staff at Current: thanks for everything you all do.”
  • Julie Drizin named Amy Salit, Mark Fuerst, Vinnie Curren, Elisabeth Perez-Luna, Ginny Berson, Amy Goodman, David Haas, Doug Mitchell, Dave Isay, Maxie Jackson, Sheryl Flowers, Margot Adler, Kara McGuirk-Allison, Kathryn Kolbert, Sue Schardt, Maria Hinojosa, Stephen Behrens, Adam Ragusea, JJ Yore and Mister Rogers.

Wayne Roth remembered Mark Handley; Al Stavitsky honored Robert Avery; Bryce Kirchhoff named Jim Pagliarini; June Fox named Jim Hammond; Dianne Brace nominated Barbara Hall; Jeremy Bernfeld named Donna Vestal; Elizabeth Sosa Bailey remembered Kathy Rogers; Nathan Moore thanked Sally Kane; Kerry Donohue named Kerri Hoffman and Ailsa Chang; Kerri Hoffman named John Barth; Norman Stockwell named Ursula Ruedenberg; Jeffrey Regen named Deanna Mackey, Dick McPherson and David Preston; Lawrence Miller honored Louis Schwartz; Gabe Bullard honored Donovan Reynolds; Dan Newman thanks Lauren Bracey Scheidt; Phil Meyer honored C. Scott Elliott; Dru Sefton named Peter Morrill; Rick Schneider named Rick Lehner, Lyn Seymour, Ron Bernstein and Alberto Ibarguen.

Current will again invite you to nominate your heroes and sheroes of public media, when we invite you to make a donation to Current during our end of year campaign. The complete list of honorees is below. Who is missing?*

Irma Aandahl^
Jon Abbott
Noah Adams
Margot Adler^
Susea Albee
Mary Anne Alhadeff
Chuck Allen
Marcia Alvar
Robert Avery
Bill Baker
Alisa Barba
John Barth
Al Bartholet
Jonathan Barzilay
Rod Bates
Stephen Behrens
Ginny Berson
Ron Bornstein
Dick Bowman
Lauren Bracey Scheidt
Jennifer Brandel
Paul Brown
Cindy Browne^
Ken Burns
Ed Burrows
Bill Buzenberg
Jack Caldwell
Fred Calland^
Elizabeth P. Campbell^
Frank Carlson
Henry Cauthen
Ailsa Chang
Farai Chideya
Bruce Christensen
Alan Cloe
Joey Cohn
Kate Concannon
Melanie Coulson
Gary Covino
Terry Clifford
Judy Crichton
Vinnie Curren
John Dinges
Peter Downey
Julie Drizin
Bob Edwards
C. Scott Elliott^
Bob Ellis
Karen Everhart
Bec Feldhaus Adams
James A. Fellows^
Cynthia Fenneman
Sally Jo Fifer
Michael Flaster
Sheryl Flowers^
Virginia Fox
Fred W. Friendly^
Mark Fuerst
Amy Goodman
Sue Goodwin
Larry Grossman
Arwa Gunja
Terry Gross
Vidal Guzmán^
David Haas
Barbara Hall
Jim Hammond
Henry Hampton^
Terry Harris
Patricia Harrison
Celeste Headlee
Maria Hinojosa
Skip Hinton
Kerri Hoffman
David Hosley
Ron Hull
E. Arthur Hungerford^
Alberto Ibarguen
Gwen Ifill^
Dave Isay
Maxie Jackson
Kit Jensen
Al Jerome
Boisfeuillet Jones
Margaret Juntwait^
Sally Kane
Nat Katzman
Paula Kerger
Jay Kernis
Suki Kim
Bill Kobin
Kathryn Kolbert
Kliff Kuehl
Christina Kuzmych
Arnie Labaton
Janis Lane-Ewart
Rick Lehner
Jim Lehrer
David Liroff
Ralph Lowenstein
Bill Lund
Joyce MacDonald
Deanna Mackey
Bob Malesky
William Marcus
Chalmers (Chuck) Marquis
José Massó
Jack McBride^
Bill McCarter^
Kara McGuirk-Allison
Dick McPherson
Kristen Meinzer
Margo Melnicove
Kathy Merritt
George Miles
Doug Mitchell
Jack Mitchell
Renee Montagne
John A. Montgomery^
Robert Montiegel^
Bill Moyers
Peter Morrill
Bill Mozer
Bruce Mundt
Stanley Nelson
Femi Oke
Maynard Orme
Richard Ottinger^
Jim Pagliarini
Marika Partridge
Elisabeth Perez-Luna
Patricia Perini^
Kasia Podbielski
Ed Pfister
John Porter
Len Press
David Preston
Norm Prusslin
Adam Ragusea
Raul Ramirez^
Donovan Reynolds
Jonathan Rice^
Fiona Ritchie
Cokie Roberts
Tammy Robinson
Ellen Rocco
Sharon Rockefeller
(Mister) Fred Rogers^
Sheila Rue
Ursula Ruedenberg
Amy Salit
Nicole Sawaya
Sue Schardt
Rick Schneider
Louis Schwartz^
Dru Sefton
Lyn Seymour
Lisa Shumate
Robert Siegel
Bill Siemering
Scott Simon
Howard A. Simpson
Israel Smith
Susan Stamberg
Al Stavitsky
David Stewart
Bill Stotesbery
Ray Suarez
Tom Thomas
Nina Totenberg
Bede Trantina
Adaora Udoji
Shankar Vedantam
Donna Vestal
Lois Vossen
Laura Walker
Mac Wall
Margaret Warner
Linda Wertheimer
Craig Windham^
Judy Woodruff
Lloyd Wright
JJ Yore

*Who do you think belongs on this list? Who inspired you? You can add a name to the Public Media Honor Roll by making a tax deductible donation of $50 or more to Current. If you provide us with your honoree’s email address, we’ll let them know you made the gift to honor them.

^Deceased; donations made in their memory