Ten employees of American Public Media will lose their jobs in a strategic reorganization announced this afternoon, according to an internal memo provided to Current. Layoffs extend across the Minnesota-based pubcaster and into its news operation in Washington, D.C., where Marketplace Bureau Chief John Dimsdale received a pink slip. In more than 20 years with APM, Dimsdale has covered regulatory hearings, budget battles and presidential elections “with reliability and great credibility,” according to the memo, which was co-authored by four of APM’s top managers. APM also released employees who work behind the scenes on Marketplace Tech Report, local broadcasts of Morning Edition, and the classical music series Pipedreams, which will continue broadcasting but on a “less-demanding” production timetable. Host Michael Barone remains on the show and will take on a “more visible regional role with Minnesota audiences.”
CIR has hired ex-NPR investigative news head Susanne Reber. As senior coordinating editor for multiplatform projects and investigations for the nonprofit newsroom, Reber will lead national and international investigative and enterprise reporting projects, and guide the center’s team of health and environment reporters. Reber joined NPR in January 2010 to build and lead the network’s first investigative unit as deputy managing editor of investigations. She left NPR this month, according to a May 8 memo by NPR News chief Margaret Low Smith that was published on the Poynter Institute website. Smith put Senior National Editor Steve Drummond in charge of investigations while NPR determines “next steps for the unit’s leadership,” she wrote in the memo.
NPR tapped CNN veteran Edith Chapin to run its foreign desk
News chief Margaret Low Smith announced Chapin’s appointment last week along with another change on its foreign desk: Didi Schanche, a former Associated Press correspondent and editor who joined NPR in 2001, is to become deputy senior foreign editor. When Chapin officially signs on May 14, she will oversee NPR foreign correspondents based in 17 bureaus worldwide as well as a team of editors and reporters in Washington, D.C. She succeeds longtime foreign desk editor Loren Jenkins, who departed last November. Chapin has spent her entire career at CNN, beginning in 1987. Based in London in the early 1990s, she covered events in Bosnia, Rwanda, Zaire and Ireland. For seven years she directed editorial coverage from CNN’s New York bureau, including its reporting on 9/11 and its aftermath.
… There’s a lot of hype about crowdfunding — raising production money through a website. So far, the technique hasn’t been able to support full-time journalists, much less a beat, a substantial weekly program or a newsroom. But independent journalists, public media stations, newspapers and web startups all have had successes…
NPR has hired Todd Mundt as editorial director for NPR Digital Services
In his new position, Mundt will help stations develop digital content strategies and oversee news training offered to them. He now serves as v.p. and chief content officer at Louisville Public Media in Kentucky, p.d. of the licensee’s news/talk station and its local host for Morning Edition. Before joining Louisville’s three-station complex, he was director of content and media at Iowa Public Radio, chief content officer for Michigan Public Media in Ann Arbor and host of an NPR-distributed talk program, The Todd Mundt Show. Mundt is chair of the Public Radio Program Directors Association and has served on the Public Media Platform advisory council. Bob Kempf, g.m. of the Boston-based NPR unit, said the hiring completes the Digital Services management team, which also includes Stephanie Miller, director of station relations; Steve Mulder, director of user experience and analytics; Doug Gaff, director of technology; and Keith Hopper, director of product development.
“… The architecture of public media has to be reimagined immediately or the millennials will build their own parallel universe separate from the public broadcasting universe their Boomer grandparents live in….”
Minnesota-based American Public Media announced Nov. 29 the future cohabitation of two new-media tools for use by public media newsrooms. APM’s Public Insight Network (PIN), which helps journalists find story topics and sources in their communities, has acquired Spot.Us, a platform for raising money to support freelance reporting. Launched in 2008, Spot.Us allows freelancers to post pitches on its website for stories they’d like to report and ask for donations to support their efforts. Spot.Us takes a 10 percent cut of the donations for its own expenses and charges news organizations to create surveys for their websites. Readers who answer the surveys get credits that they can apply to Spot.Us story pitches.
American Public Media’s president, Jon McTaggart, won re-election to the NPR Board this summer but won’t be taking the seat after all. McTaggart resigned from the board at NPR’s request after an outside legal analysis determined that his promotion to president of APM and Minnesota Public Radio presented a potential conflict of interest with his service on the NPR Board. Since his first election to the board three years ago, McTaggart had been promoted from chief operating officer to chief exec of American Public Media Group, the parent company of APM/MPR. That put him uniquely and simultaneously on the boards of the two largest producers and distributors of public radio programming. Marita Rivero, v.p. and g.m. of WGBH’s television and radio stations, will fill the NPR Board vacancy instead.