Wednesday roundup: INNovate Fund backs eight grantees; KQED hires Martin away from CPB

By Andrew Lapin

• The Investigative News Network announced eight winners for the first round of its INNovation Fund grants, which awarded a total of $236,280 to pubradio stations and nonprofit news operations. The grantees include: Southern California Public Radio, WXXI-FM in Rochester, N.Y.; and InvestigateWest, which is partnering with Seattle’s KUOW-FM to create a new series featuring its reporting.  INN’s website reports details on all of the funded projects.

Kevin Martin, left, KQED's new c.o.o., with President John Boland and Michael Isip, incoming chief content officer. (Photo: KQED)

Kevin Martin, left, KQED’s new c.o.o., with President John Boland and Michael Isip, incoming chief content officer. (Photo: KQED)

• KQED in San Francisco has hired CPB executive Kevin Martin as its new senior v.p. and chief operating officer, effective May 5, station President John Boland announced Tuesday. Martin is currently v.p., station grants and system development at CPB and previously was chief operating officer at KERA in Dallas. Also on May 5, Michael Isip, KQED’s v.p. of television, will rise to s.v.p. and chief content officer. Isip currently oversees the KQED Science multimedia unit and also led the recent creation of the station’s Arts unit. Isip will work on consolidating all KQED News staff under an executive editor, to be hired soon.

• Former Live Wire host Courtenay Hameister has revealed details of a crippling anxiety attack that forced her to step back as the show’s lead talent last year.  “It was interviewing people in front of an audience that filled me with dread,” Hameister writes in Oregon Humanities magazine. “I felt my body change the moment I made the decision [to step down]. My shoulders dropped, my chest opened up, and my stomach was knot- and butterfly-free. It was definitely, unequivocally, the right decision.” Though her hosting gig had triggered anxiety problems for years, preparations for a special episode celebrating Live Wire‘s nine-year anniversary became unbearable. Now hosted by Luke Burbank, Live Wire joins Public Radio International in July.

• Hawaii Public Radio raised a record $1.03 million during its spring pledge drive, Pacific Business News reports. The network extended the drive by two days to meet its fundraising goal. The 10-day drive drew contributions from 4,388 donors.

• The A.V. Club talks to Ken Burns about his early interests in filmmaking and history, his first films, and his experience seeing his mother succumb to cancer when he was 11. Burns also discusses his love of the Gettysburg Address, the speech that’s a focal point of The Address, his latest PBS film, which premiered last night.

In a critique of the documentary, NPR’s Linda Holmes discusses why the film, which follows learning-disabled children at a pricey private school as they struggle to memorize Lincoln’s speech, is as much about money as it is about history and public speaking: “The chilling part of the film is to think about how many kids would benefit from, but don’t get, this kind of attention,” she writes.

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