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.
Senior Editor John Myers heads up the California Politics and Government Desk, coordinating coverage of reporters in Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles as well as KQED-based Senior Correspondent Scott Shafer. Myers most recently worked as political editor for News10 KXTV, Sacramento’s ABC affiliate. He also previously served as the Sacramento bureau chief for KQED Public Radio’s statewide program The California Report.
A spokesperson for the station confirmed his hire but said his title and responsibilities will be announced later.
Mundt tweeted March 5 that his NPR position would be eliminated “in about a month,” adding, “I’m excited to get a chance to take advantage of this opportunity.”
At NPR, he is responsible for digital news training and working with stations to strengthen digital news and music.
In his first stint at LPM, from 2008-12, he was v.p. and chief content officer as well as program director of WFPL News in Louisville. Previously he oversaw content at Iowa Public Radio and Michigan Radio. From 1998 to 2003 he also hosted The Todd Mundt Show, produced by Michigan Radio and distributed by NPR.
Clarification: This item was revised to reflect that Mundt has not yet started a new job at the station. He told Current he will be with NPR until March 31.
Jennifer Lynn is the new local anchor of WHYY’s Morning Edition; she’s been filling in since January when Jo Ann Allen left to pursue a career in screenwriting. Lynn joined WHYY in 2001 as a newsreader and producer. She’s also served as stand-in local host for NewsWorks Tonight and All Things Considered. Most recently she produced the weekly program Voices in the Family with psychologist Dan Gottlieb.
Michelle Johnson joins WFYI Public Media March 31 as multimedia news manager. Since 2012, she has worked as a multimedia producer for Shawnee Street Media, a firm she founded to provide nonprofits and educational institutions with research, multimedia productions and social-media consulting services. Previously, Johnson spent 13 years as a digital and print journalist for the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina and was news director of WFDD in Winston-Salem.
KPLU jazz host Jason Parker is now also reporting on the genre for broadcast as well as for Jazz24.org, the Seattle station’s website. A trumpet player, Parker also fronts the Jason Parker Quartet and teaches music at University Prep in Seattle. He blogs as One Working Musician at jasonparkermusic.com.
Journalist Mitch Fox, host and producer of Nevada Week in Review on Vegas PBS since 1987, is stepping down. “At this point in my life I want to look for new career opportunities, and that would not be possible if I continued my NWR hosting duties,” Fox said in a statement. The station is searching for a new host. During his tenure at the station Fox also produced election-year specials, covered the Nevada State Legislature and spent more than two decades as senior news and public affairs producer.
Helen Barrington, programming and content executive director at New England Public Radio, is stepping down April 18 after almost eight years. She’s taking over as executive director of Voices Boston, a children’s chorus. Veteran pubcaster John Voci will serve as interim while the Amherst, Mass.–based station conducts a search for Barrington’s replacement. Voci joined Boston’s WGBH in 1981 and worked in various capacities over 32 years.
The Public Radio Program Directors Association has elected three new directors to its board: Michael Arnold of Wisconsin Public Radio, who chaired the PRPD board in 1999–2004; Dale Spear of WFAE, Charlotte, N.C.; and Keith Neisler of KUT, Austin, Texas. The three begin their terms next month during board meeting and retreat. They succeed three directors who are retiring from the board: Todd Mundt, formerly of NPR Digital Services; Jeff Hansen, KUOW, Seattle; and Jo Anne Wallace, KQED, San Francisco. In a March 6 announcement of election results, PRPD President Arthur Cohen said the association was “fortunate to have such a large number of highly qualified candidates, which resulted in a record number of ballots and a very close election.”
Vision Maker Media, curator of Native voices in public media, has a new board member, Maya Solis (Pascua Yaqui/Blackfeet). She joined the board following the resignation of Dustin “Owl” Johnson (Saginaw Chippewa). Solis is a team member for the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program, which identifies indigenous filmmakers, supports their work and brings them back to Native lands. Her focus is on preserving Native films.
KCTS in Seattle has named Carlos Espinoza as its new v.p. of marketing and communications. He will also oversee community engagement and graphic design teams. Espinoza recently served as chief marketing officer for SwordStone Digital Agency in Los Angeles, which does branding work for national broadcast and entertainment clients. “Carlos’s experience in traditional media as well as his more recent work in developing digital marketing initiatives for national and international entertainment studios will enhance the great work of our team and elevate our impact in the communities we serve,” said KCTS President Robert Dunlop.
Debbie Hamlett, an alum of Illinois Public Media and South Carolina ETV, is the new assistant general manager for development and marketing at Nebraska’s NET networks. Hamlett will also work with board members of the NET Foundations for Television and Radio on fundraising activities.
WLRN Public Radio and Television in Miami has promoted Michael Peyton to director of corporate marketing. Peyton joined the station in December 1994. Through the years he’s been involved in many cultural activities and helped establish the South Florida Theatre Festival, the Summer Youth Theatre Festival and the Florida Keys Museum and Attractions Weekend. In other WLRN news, pledge producer Jose Maya is departing the station to pursue a master’s degree. In an email to colleagues, Maya said he was particularly proud to have worked on the team that introduced the station’s sustainer program.
Joel Schwartzberg, former director of digital strategy and communications for Moyers & Company, is now senior director of strategic and executive communications at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City. Previously, Schwartzberg held executive positions with PBS.org, NOW on PBS, Time Inc. Interactive and Nickelodeon Online.
Sandy Wallace has joined Vegas PBS as its grant writer, responsible for writing and managing grants to assist in funding programming and community services. She brings more than 20 years of experience to the post, including securing grants for the Washoe Tribe, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, University of California, Santa Cruz, and other nonprofits. Wallace also worked as development director at KUNR public radio at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Annalise Briggs has joined the staff of the Lewis Kennedy Associates consultancy in Portland, Ore., as senior development strategist, a new position. Most recently, Briggs worked at the international relief and development agency Mercy Corps, managing multiple direct-response programs.
Investigative reporter Ryan Gabrielson is moving from the Center for Investigative Reporting to ProPublica in April. Prior to joining CIR in June 2010, he reported for the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz., where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for the five-part series “Reasonable Doubt,” focusing on immigration enforcement tactics by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The Online News Association (ONA) has hired Trevor Knoblich as its digital director, responsible for developing web properties and producing the annual ONA conference. Knoblich most recently directed media projects for FrontlineSMS, a 2011 Knight News Challenge winner that developed software enabling two-way communication with mobile handsets in communities with limited access to Internet connections. Previously he coordinated international emergency response for Lutheran World Relief, and was a federal policy reporter in Washington, D.C.
NPR has promoted two tech staffers. Rich Rarey is the new director of NPR Labs. He succeeds Mike Starling, who recently retired. Rarey will work to identify, evaluate and advance innovative technologies to support public radio stations and producers. He joined NPR in 1980 in the Chicago Bureau. Most recently, Rarey oversaw development of an FM receiver for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing that was honored by the Consumer Electronics Association with a 2014 CES Innovations Award. Also, Mark Murphy is now director of engineering for NPR Distribution, overseeing satellite and terrestrial technologies for the Public Radio Satellite System. Since joining NPR in 1981, Murphy has worked in various technical roles, including satellite repair depot supervisor. He was responsible for the recent installation of new satellite dishes and other ground equipment at more than 80 pubradio stations.
Copyright 2014 American University