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Posts Tagged ‘Ellen McDonnell’

NPR Executive Producer Dies of Cancer

NPR’s Teshima Walker, Executive Producer of “Tell Me More,” died this morning after battling colon cancer for two years. She was 44. According to an announcement from NPR earlier today, she is survived by her husband, writer Jimi Izrael, her parents, William and Vonceal Walker and her sister, Eureva Walker.

Some history

Since 2011, Walker was the executive producer for NPR’s midday news program “Tell Me More,” hosted by Michel Martin. Walker was part of the public radio family for more than a decade. She first joined the afternoon newsmagazine “All Things Considered” as a journalism fellow in 2000. Later she spent three years as a producer for “The Tavis Smiley Show,” and then worked for “News and Notes.” In 2007, Walker became senior supervising producer of “Tell Me More,” where she remained for the next six years in a variety of capacities. A Chicago native, Walker first came to NPR by way of WBEZ, where she was a senior producer for morning newsmagazine “Eight Forty-Eight.”

Thoughts from her coworkers

As explained in the release, Walker’s NPR colleagues knew her as a “Southside Chicago girl to the core,” with an infectious laugh, and as someone who put herself aside for everyone.

Ellen McDonnell, exec. editor for NPR News Programming: “Teshima was a terrific journalist who worked tirelessly to bring new and diverse voices to air. She was a phenomenal advocate for the show, the staff and the audience. Tell Me More – and everyone who was lucky enough to work with Teshima – thrived under her leadership.” 

Michelle Martin: “Teshima made us all want to dig a little deeper, think harder, and be better. She was everything you could want in a manager and friend: kind and open-hearted when you needed her to be, and tough, but fair, when you needed her to be. While I already miss her amazing laugh and her incredible off-key rendition of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, I know I am better for having heard them both. We are all very grateful for the time we had with her, and thank her husband, parents and sister for sharing these precious last days with us.” Read more

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Cornish the ‘Storyteller’ Moves to Sunday Mornings

NPR’s Audie Cornish will be the new host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Liane Hansen, who has been hosting Weekend Edition for more than 20 years, is set to retire. Her final show is Sunday, May 29. Cornish has been covering Capitol Hill since 2009.

Ellen McDonnell, Executive Director of News Programming for NPR, said in a release: “Audie is an outstanding journalist and a wonderful storyteller. Audiences will connect with her warmth, curiosity and humor. We’re thrilled she is taking on this new role.”

Cornish is, of course, looking forward to her new role in the fall. “I’m honored and excited to follow in Liane Hansen’s footsteps,” Cornish said. “She has made Weekend Edition essential in the lives of millions of NPR listeners.”

Cornish is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She lives in Takoma Park, Md., with her husband, Boston Globe reporter Theo Emery.

Congratulations to Cornish.

Big Changes at NPR News

A management re-org at NPR seems to have offered up some new positions and a shifting management structure:

Ellen McDonnell will be Executive Director of News Programming.

Dick Meyer, currently editorial director of NPR Digital, will become executive editor for NPR News.

David Sweeney is assuming the position of Managing Editor.

Brian Duffy‘s new title is Director of Enterprise and Planning.

Stu Seidel is moving from supervising senior editor to deputy managing editor and will run the News Desk being launched June 1.

For more info on the new structure, positions and soon-to-launch NPR News Desk, visit PRPD for the memo sent by NPR Senior VP for News Ellen Weiss.