Chacón fills new content position at WBUR, OPB hires new engineering v.p., and more . . .

By Dru Sefton

Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland has promoted Morgan Holm to senior v.p. and chief content officer, and hired Mike Foti as v.p. of engineering.

Holm joined the statewide network 23 years ago as a reporter and worked in several roles, including v.p. of news and public affairs, a job that he held for the past seven years. His achievements as news chief include establishing EarthFix, a journalism collaborative among pubcasters in the Pacific Northwest that covers the region’s environmental news. In his new role, Holm oversees local content creation across all of OPB’s platforms.

Foti currently directs engineering at WGBH in Boston, where he recently oversaw the integration of New Hampshire Public Television’s master control operations within WGBH. Foti begins at OPB on July 1.

WBUR-FM in Boston has hired Richard Chacón as executive director of news content, and promoted Tom Melville to news director from his previous role of executive editor of content.

Chacón

Chacón

Chacón, who starts on June 10, takes a newly created position with responsibility for managing all local news content produced for radio and the web. This is his second stint at WBUR: Chacón began his career there in 1984 as an undergraduate at Boston University. He spent more than a decade at the Boston Globe in positions including ombudsman, deputy foreign desk editor, Latin America bureau chief and general assignment reporter. He’s also worked in public policy and public affairs, most recently overseeing a major capital campaign for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Charlie Kravetz, WBUR g.m., said Chacón’s “extensive journalistic background and leadership experience will help shape and guide our multi-platform newsroom of the future.”

Melville has been executive editor of WBUR content since 2011. Prior to that, he was news director at New England Cable News. He joined the 24-hour news cable outlet in 1993, rising from chief political reporter to executive producer, assistant news director and news director.

WBUR has a news staff of 75 journalists providing radio and digital content.

John C. Phillips is joining Cleveland’s ideastream as chief financial officer, succeeding Robert Calsin, who is retiring after nine years in the post.

Phillips most recently spent nine years as senior v.p. for finance and administration at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. He also worked in several positions for the Dannon Co. over 12 years. Phillips has served as a board member and chair of the Cleveland chapter of EconomicsAmerica, a local chapter of Toastmasters International, and a finance committee member of Catholic Campus Ministry Association.

The Contributor Development Partnership at WGBH, a fundraising cooperative backed by pubTV’s Major Market Group and CPB, has hired Brooks Heckner as associate director.

Heckner will focus on research, development and piloting of new programs, as well as distribution of benchmarking reports to local stations. His previous experience includes working in account management and client service for firms including CVS, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, where he was responsible for various data-driven marketing programs, including direct mail and email. He also worked in marketing at the Baltimore-Washington regional office of the McDonald’s Corp.

Professional organizations

YPPubmedia, a nonprofit group affiliated with DEI that is dedicated to “connecting young professionals in pubmedia to supportive national networks,” has appointed seven members to its first advisory board. Serving are Chris Bay, interactive web producer, KDHX, St. Louis; Vanessa Harris, marketing director, Chicago Public Media; Chelan Lippincott, membership director, KBCS, Bellevue, Wash.; Andi McDaniel, interactive producer, Twin Cities Public Television, St. Paul, Minn.; Liz Mozzocco, music director, WAPS-FM, Akron, Ohio; Wynde Priddy, membership systems administrator, Colorado Public Radio; and Claire Radomski, membership manager, WFYI, Indianapolis, Ind. The organization currently has some 275 members who work at 149 public media stations and organizations. Membership is open to public media staffers ages 35 and under.

Programming

Dave Denis, WGBH senior director of product and operations, has been named this year’s WGBH Becton Fellow. The fellowship recognizes promising producers and content creators whose work at the Boston station is “emblematic of WGBH’s mission,” the Becton Fund said in the announcement. The fund launched in 2006 in anticipation of former WGBH President Henry Becton Jr.’s transition to vice chair. Denis manages the major producing station’s digital planning, development and production operations, and works with web producers, designers, developers and product managers. “Dave’s experience and dedicated work makes public media more accessible across multiple platforms,” said WGBH President Jon Abbott in the statement.

Management
Dautremont-Smith

Dautremont-Smith

Bill Dautremont-Smith, executive director of WDIY-FM in Lehigh Valley, Pa., will retire by summer’s end.

He first came to the station in February 2003, after retiring from his post as chief technology officer at AT&T/Lucent/Agere and taking air shifts as a volunteer programmer and a co-host of World Rhythms. In 2004 he joined the station’s board; he was elevated to serve as board president within a year.

Dautremont-Smith resigned from the board in 2008 to become interim executive director and took the job on a permanent basis in 2009. “Bill brought a new spirit to WDIY,” said Board President Michael Kraynak. The station has seen a 40 percent increase in membership during Dautremont-Smith’s tenure. He will continue as a volunteer host for World Rhythms and as an “ambassador-at-large” for the station in the community, he said.

Membership
Alquist

Alquist

Ann Alquist is the new director of membership for Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, reporting to Torrie Allen, chief officer, marketing and development. Alquist arrived in Alaska from the National Center for Media Engagement in Madison, Wis., where she served as director of radio engagement.

NCME Executive Director Charles Meyer said Alquist has “tirelessly advised scores of stations across the country, helping them redefine staff roles and how they work inside and outside the station. She constantly championed station work and progress, and fiercely advocated for practical ideas and tools that would help real people at real stations accomplish something meaningful today.”

Before her NCME work, Alquist was news director at KFAI-FM, a community radio station serving Minneapolis, co-founder of the participatory-journalism website Twin Cities Daily Planet and a Young American Fulbright Journalism Fellow in Germany.

Please send People items to sefton@current.org
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