Yore tapped as new g.m. of Washington, D.C.’s WAMU

JJ Yore, co-creator of public radio’s Marketplace and a former v.p. and executive producer with American Public Media, will step into a station leadership role Aug. 1 as g.m. of WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C.

“It feels great to be coming back to Washington,” said Yore, who lived and worked in the area before heading west to start Marketplace. “WAMU is a station I have been close to and listened to since the mid-80s. I was listening to Diane Rehm before she had a national show. I feel like this is a culture I understand deeply.”

Yore served as v.p. and g.m. of American Public Media’s portfolio of Marketplace programming for two years until his job was eliminated in June 2013.

PIC names executive director, KCETLink reorganizes execs, and more comings and goings in public media

Pacific Islanders in Communications, part of the National Minority Consortia, has promoted Leanne Ferrer to executive director and announced two additional appointments. Ferrer, a filmmaker who joined PIC in 2008 and created PIC’s first series, Pacific Heartbeat, steps up from her job as program director. PIC also promoted Amber McClure from content coordinator to digital engagement manager and hired Cheryl Hirasa to direct program development and content strategy. The changes were announced May 1. Ferrer previously worked for Disney Films and PBS Hawaii.

Jones steps down from helm of National Black Programming Consortium

Jacquie Jones, executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) since 2005, has resigned, effective immediately, but will continue to produce for public media. Stepping in as interim is Leslie Fields-Cruz, programming director, who has supervised distribution of programs to PBS since 2001. NBPC, a 35-year-old nonprofit that is affiliated with the CPB-backed National Minority Consortia, develops, produces and funds public media content focusing on the African American experience, such as the Peabody-winning documentary, 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School. The 2013 film, which Jones directed and produced, portrayed day-to-day challenges of students and educators at an alternative high school in in Washington, D.C.

Jones will return to film production with the follow-up, 180 Days: Hartsville, a coproduction of South Carolina ETV and NBPC. Her previous television production credits include 1998’s Africans in America— another Peabody winner — and Matters of Race in 2003 for PBS; From Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century for Showtime; and The World Before Us for History Channel.

Center for Public Integrity and Investigative News Network each grow by two, and other comings and goings in public media

The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative newsroom, has hired William Gray and Eleanor Bell. Television producer Gray joins as media relations specialist, focusing on increasing the visibility and impact of CPI’s journalism. Gray previously worked at C-SPAN as an operations producer handling breaking news and live and overnight coverage for the cable broadcaster’s three networks. He also created and curates the Floor Charts archive, which tracks and tags props, charts and posters used by politicians. Bell joins as multimedia editor.

King departs Vermont Public Television after months of turmoil

Vermont Public Television and its president, John King, “parted ways” Wednesday, according to a statement from the VPT Board. King’s departure follows months of tumult at the Colchester-based community licensee over his relationship with the board. “VPT is very grateful for John King’s many years of service to VPT and the public television industry,” said Pam Mackenzie, VPT board chair, in the statement.  “We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

King declined comment to Current. He joined VPT in 1987 as chief financial officer and rose to president in 1998. Charlie Smith, a Vermont business consultant and former state executive, took over Wednesday as interim president and c.e.o. for the next six months.

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.

KQED expands, Mundt returning to Louisville, and more comings and goings in pubmedia

KQED has created two new multiplatform desks to expand the San Francisco station’s coverage of culture and politics. Two executives will oversee the Arts Desk. David Markus is executive in charge; he spent the past five years as editorial director of Edutopia, the George Lucas Education Foundation’s K–12 education support website. Arts Managing Editor Joe Matazzoni was the founding senior supervising producer of the Arts & Life section and NPR Books on NPR.org. The desk’s staff includes Arts Partner Manager Siouxsie Oki, previously KQED’s director of external affairs, and Arts Education Manager Kristin Farr, who has produced arts videos for the station.

After 18 years leading KCET, Al Jerome announces retirement

Al Jerome, the broadcasting executive who led Los Angeles public television station KCET out of PBS membership and into a partnership with satellite network Link TV, is retiring within the next six months, KCETLink announced today. Jerome has served as president of KCET for 18 years and is only the third person to lead the organization in its 50-year history. He will stay on through September and assist in the search for his successor, the statement said. He joined KCET in February 1996 after a 30-year career in commercial broadcasting at NBC, CBC and ABC. During Jerome’s tenure the station won 69 Emmys, seven George Foster Peabody awards, five duPont-Columbia awards and the Edward R. Murrow Award.

PBS selects tech exec Rubenstein to head digital efforts

Ira Rubenstein, a digital media executive with experience at Marvel and 20th Century Fox, is the new general manager of PBS Digital. He replaces Jason Seiken, who left PBS last October to accept a position with Telegraph Media in London. “The rapid growth and prevalence of digital technology offers PBS and local member stations a great opportunity to further connect with our audience,” PBS President Paula Kerger said in today’s announcement. She noted that Rubenstein’s track record and expertise will be “invaluable.” “How, when and where media is consumed continues to evolve at a breakneck pace,” Rubenstein said, “and it’s clear that PBS and local member stations have been committed to being leaders in the children’s digital space, original video development and using digital distribution methods to ensure that local and national content is available everywhere viewers want it.”

WCTE fills major posts, Herrington moves to ideastream, and more comings and goings in pubmedia

WCTE-Upper Cumberland PBS in Cookeville, Tenn., has appointed three new top executives. Avery Owens is director of advancement, responsible for managing all fundraising, underwriting, membership, marketing, auctions, special events and marketing. Owens, formerly WCTE’s sales manager, previously worked in sales and marketing for several local businesses, including the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Desirée Duncan is director of content. She oversees all phases of WCTE’s content on the air and online.