Janssen rejoins Current as digital editor

Mike Janssen, a journalist who has reported for Current for nearly 15 years, has returned to the staff full-time as digital editor. Janssen’s hiring, which took effect April 1, expands Current’s editorial team and supports an expansion of coverage on Current.org, the website covering U.S. public media and nonprofit news organizations. Current, its sister newspaper, will continue to provide in-depth news coverage and analysis of the field, with a shift in emphasis to enterprise reporting. “Mike is uniquely qualified to help lead Current’s digital expansion,” said Karen Everhart, managing editor. “He sets high standards for reporting and narrative journalism; he knows public radio inside and out; and his leadership in using digital platforms to provide timely, original news coverage on Current.org and via social media has enhanced the value of our news service over many years.”

“I’m excited to be back on board with Current full-time and to have the chance to take our web coverage to the next level,” Janssen said.

A letter from the editors

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To Karen Everhart, recently appointed interim managing editor of Current:

The announcement that the March 12 issue of Current is the last to be published under the editorship of Steve Behrens brought back so many memories for me from the last 35 years. In 1977, Steve and I were colleagues and he was the editor of the in-house publication of the nonprofit where we both worked when I introduced him to my good friend Jim Fellows. Jim loved smart and talented people, and he soon became a fan of Steve’s many journalistic talents. So, it wasn’t too surprising for me when, a couple of years later, Jim persuaded Steve to join him at the National Association of Educational Broadcasters to design and launch a new newspaper covering exclusively the field of public broadcasting. We greatly missed Steve’s talents on our staff, but I understood how persuasive Jim could be. Jim was enormously proud of his honorary title as founder of Current. He believed deeply in the importance of Current’s contribution to the development of public broadcasting as a profession and to the field as a whole. I think it’s fair to say that Jim was as strong a champion for Current as anyone in public broadcasting for decades. He certainly felt it to be one of the most important legacies of his own long career in educational and later public broadcasting.

Karen Everhart and Steve Behrens

Current transition: Behrens to Everhart

Karen Everhart, senior editor of Current for 20 years, will succeed founding editor Steve Behrens after this edition. Larry Kirkman, dean of the American University School of Communication, appointed Everhart as interim managing editor. She joined Current in 1992 and covered public TV for 16 years before moving to the public radio beat in 2007. The school, with support from the Wyncote Foundation, took responsibility for publishing Current a year ago. Behrens, 63, gave notice last fall that he’d retire from the position in six months. Before leaving the premises, he will coordinate the relaunch of Current.org this spring, at long last, using WordPress as a content management system.

Jeff Kaye, veteran media chronicler new to Current

Jeffrey Kaye, an experienced media-industry journalist who recently joined Current as senior editor, died Feb. 11 of a heart attack in Bethesda, Md., where he and his family had recently moved. He was 57. Kaye had finished work on his third issue of Current the night before. He had taken a number of adventurous leaps in his life, moving from his home state of New Jersey to San Francisco before college, to Paris as a young writer, to Los Angeles, and to London, where he lived 20 years before returning to the States.