Afternoon roundup: Slate snaps up NPR’s Pesca; nonprofits join push to block KMBH sale

• NPR sports reporter Mike Pesca is leaving the network to host a daily current-events podcast for Slate, Business Insider reports. The show will begin this April. Pesca has co-hosted Slate’s sports podcast, “Hang Up And Listen,” since 2009. He tells BI he will have more license to share personal opinions as a podcast host, something he couldn’t do as an NPR reporter. Slate earns upwards of 10 percent of its total advertising revenue from podcasts and expects to grow that share in coming months, according to BI.

Virginia stations signal intent to hop on joint master-control bandwagon

Virginia public broadcasters WCVE and WVPT are the latest stations to come together to form a joint master control. Starting as early as February, programming for WVPT-TV in Harrisonburg, Va., will be transmitted from a joint control at WCVE, a dual licensee about 120 miles to the southeast in Richmond. The arrangement is a win-win: the service provides WCVE with a new source of revenue, and WVPT rings up savings by avoiding an expensive refresh of its outdated equipment. Execs at both stations said they’ll use the extra cash to produce more content. “We are at end of life for most if not all of the equipment in our current master-control facility,” said David Mullins, WVPT president.