This American Life opts for self-distribution, with PRX as pipeline to stations

The producers of public radio’s This American Life will take over distribution of their show starting July 1, using Public Radio Exchange to deliver the program to stations. TAL and Public Radio International, its distributor of 17 years, announced in March that they would part ways effective July 1. Under the agreement announced Wednesday, Chicago Public Media and Ira Glass will handle distribution and underwriting, while Marge Ostroushko will be responsible for marketing and station relations. Ostroushko handled those duties before PRI picked up the show in 1997. “We’re excited and proud to be partners now with PRX,” Glass said in a statement.

Chicago Public Media hires former Washington Post GM Goli Sheikholeslami as CEO

Chicago Public Media announced Tuesday that Goli Sheikholeslami will become the organization’s CEO May 5, ending an eight-month national search to replace Torey Malatia. Sheikholeslami is the former vice president and g.m. of the Washington Post, where she worked from 2002 to 2010, overseeing the paper’s digital strategy. She has also worked at Condé Nast and Time Warner and most recently was chief product officer at online health-resource network Everyday Health Inc. She is new to public media. “Goli brings the perfect blend of experience to this role,” said Steve Baird, CPM board chair, in a release announcing her hiring. “Her extensive media background, proven leadership in digital innovation and enthusiasm for the mission of public media will be invaluable as she focuses on growing the audience for existing programs and engaging the next generation of fans across all of Chicago Public Media’s platforms.”

Sheikholeslami will oversee all broadcast and digital content at the network and also lead the search for a new programming and content manager, according to the release.

Chicago Public Media editorial staffers vote to join SAG-AFTRA union

The broadcast union SAG-AFTRA said Wednesday that it had secured a majority of votes to represent staff members at Chicago Public Media. SAG-AFTRA said it would represent 49 editorial members of Chicago Public Media, the pubcaster that operates WBEZ and Vocalo. In September, 36 full-time editorial staff members and three additional employees signed a petition seeking union representation and presented it to CPM interim CEO Alison Scholly. “We have great leaders and a committed board and we believe organizing as staff members is an important step to achieving the goals we all share here: producing excellent journalism that serves the public and making this important local institution even stronger than it is today,” said Rob Wildeboer, criminal and legal affairs reporter for WBEZ, in a prepared statement. The National Labor Relations Board conducted the election, which took place Dec. 18.

CPM employees take union request to labor relations board

Editorial employees at Chicago Public Media filed a petition to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board Oct 18 after earlier efforts to gain recognition from management were rebuffed. Nearly 80 percent of the 54 employees who work at CPM as on-air talent, producers, web staff, reporters, editors and production assistants support the petition, according to a statement provided by the employees. The group initially notified interim CEO Alison Scholly of their request for union recognition Sept. 25. That request was rejected Oct.