KCETLink selects former ABC Family executive as new president

Michael Riley, a former head of ABC Family, is the new president of Los Angeles-based KCETLink, the independent public media station and satellite TV channel. Riley succeeds Al Jerome, the KCET executive who led what had been PBS’s flagship station in Los Angeles through its acrimonious 2011 split from PBS. He spearheaded the station’s subsequent merger with noncommercial satellite broadcaster Link TV in October 2012. Dick Cook, board chair for KCETLink Media Group, cited Riley’s “strong track record in brand-defining content creation, strategic partnerships, acquisitions and digital leadership — both domestically and across international markets” in Monday’s announcement. Riley began in the job immediately.

Mike Starling’s farewell in verse to a career in public radio

When the Public Radio Regional Organizations presented Mike Starling with its annual PRRO Award last month, the former director of NPR Labs shared a poem he’d written for his sendoff. The award recognizes behind-the-scenes “heroes” whose work advances public radio. Starling had worked in NPR’s technology divisions since 1989 until taking a buyout earlier this year. He’s now starting a low-power FM station in Cambridge, Md. The following are his remarks delivered at the Public Radio Super-Regional conference in Las Vegas Nov.

Frontline creates cross-platform investigative unit with help from Ford Foundation

Frontline has hired two investigative reporters and promoted a digital specialist to create its first desk producing original investigative journalism across platforms.

The Enterprise Journalism Group, announced Wednesday, consists of new hires James Jacoby and Anya Bourg, who previously produced for CBS’s 60 Minutes. Frontline’s senior digital reporter, Sarah Childress, was promoted onto the team. The group is supported by an $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, announced in June. Over the next two years, the journalists will report major projects via text, video, photos, audio and graphics across Frontline’s platforms.

Raney Aronson-Rath, deputy executive producer, said journalistic flexibility is driving the project. “Maybe there’s a story that should go digital-first, so we get it up quickly,” she said.

Joyce MacDonald joins CPB as first v.p. of journalism

CPB has hired former NPR executive Joyce MacDonald for the new position of vice president of journalism, it announced Tuesday. MacDonald will work with Bruce Theriault, s.v.p., journalism and radio, on local and regional journalism strategy, planning and major initiatives. Since January, MacDonald has led National Public Media, a subsidiary of NPR, PBS and WGBH, as interim president. NPM is responsible for corporate sponsorship sales. After joining NPR in 1999, her positions included chief of staff, v.p. of member partnership and director of station relations.