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Deanna Mackey to Takeover the GM Role at KPBS

Mackey oversees KPBS-TV and Public News/Talk 89.5 KPBS-FM San Diego/97.7 KQVO Calexico in her new role.

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Victoria Brose

San Diego’s NPR/PBS affiliate has new leadership at its radio station with Deanna Mackey, who has plenty of experience in public media and is a former KPBS executive, being named the new general manager

Furthermore, Mackey’s hiring is a historical event considering she’s a Latina and will mark the first time a woman of color when she takes over the position on June 30th. Mackey oversees KPBS-TV and Public News/Talk 89.5 KPBS-FM San Diego/97.7 KQVO Calexico in her new role.

“The future is considering audiences that are more diverse, that are younger,” Mackey said. “So how do we make sure that we’ve creating content and developing content on new platforms that appeal to the swath of audiences that the station has.”

“The station has always been a place, compared to other organizations in public media, that’s very forward-thinking and is very risk positive,” Mackey said. “And I experienced that in my time there, being able to experiment, being able to try new things. KPBS was one of the first stations to have a website. It was one of the first stations to build a digital team.”

One of the goals Mackey wants to hit while working in her new position is attempting to guide the station in a shifting media landscape. She will also become KPBS’ sixth general manager since its founding in 1960 and is replacing Tom Karlo, who retired in December of 2020.

“KPBS demands collaborative, future-driven, and thoughtful leadership, especially given the increasing polarization in journalism,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said. “We found all of those skills in Deanna Mackey, and more.”

“Mackey’s reputation as an executive strategist is well respected, and she is known for her ability to transform organizations to fulfill the needs of both their teams and the public. She is best positioned to continue advancing KPBS as a pillar of civic engagement and as a community connector.”

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News Radio

WOLB’s Larry Young Recovering After Having His Leg Amputated

WOLB’s Larry Young has been off the air since April 10.

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A popular Baltimore radio host is recovering after having his leg amputated due to an allergy triggered by his Type 2 diabetes. According to the Baltimore Sun, WOLB’s Larry Young has been off the air since April 10.

“I knew I had a problem,” Young told the paper. “I didn’t know it was as severe as it was. When I got to the hospital, the doctors gave me two options: amputation or death. That is a terrible thing to hear.”

Young has been hosting the morning show on the Urban One-owned station for nearly three decades. He reportedly is planning to retire at the end of the year. 

“Larry is a wonderful person, and we all miss him terribly,” said WOLB GM Howard Mazer. “I’m sure all of our listeners are looking forward to his return.”

Young is no stranger to health scares. 18 years ago, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart episode. Young said at the time, doctors gave him less than a 1% chance of surviving. 

“The word ‘no’ is not in Larry’s vocabulary,” Mazer said. “He will go out of his way to help someone, no matter what.

Former mayor Catherine Pugh will fill-in during Young’s absence. 

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NPR Inks Three-Year Partnership with Take 1

Under the agreement, which started in January 2022, Take 1 is delivering NPR with exact, XML-based transcriptions for over 30 daily and weekly programs and limited series.

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NPR has announced a new partnership as the radio company reached a three deal with Take 1 which will transcribe its news, analysis, and podcast programming. 

Under the agreement, which started in January 2022, Take 1 is delivering NPR with exact, XML-based transcriptions for over 30 daily and weekly programs and limited series. Furthermore, the company will provide the stats with turnaround times varying from a few days to just a few hours.

“Almost all of my searches for transcribers show most U.S. providers cannot handle NPR’s high volume, high accuracy, and rush deadlines at an affordable price, and competitive businesses based abroad are unfamiliar with the intricacies of American-English accents, slang, idioms, and cultural references,” Laura Soto-Barra, NPR RAD chief (Research Archives & Data Strategy) said. 

“NPR poses an added challenge due to the many specialized subjects we cover, from world politics to science and medicine. Still additionally, the tech requirements and the format that allows the transcript to be ingested in the NPR systems present additional challenges not all companies can resolve. We’ve known the Take 1 team for many years, we’ve used their translation services in the past, and they were one of the very few I knew that could deliver against this brief.”

The multipurpose core of NPR’s transcripts signifies that accuracy and fast turnarounds are equally crucial to the company. In addition to being dispersed to NPR’s network of member stations, the transcriptions that Take 1 constructs are posted on the NPR website to make the content available.

“Almost all of my searches for transcribers show most U.S. providers cannot handle NPR’s high volume, high accuracy, and rush deadlines at an affordable price, and competitive businesses based abroad are unfamiliar with the intricacies of American-English accents, slang, idioms, and cultural references,” says Laura Soto-Barra, NPR RAD chief (Research Archives & Data Strategy). 

“NPR poses an added challenge due to the many specialized subjects we cover, from world politics to science and medicine. Still additionally, the tech requirements and the format that allows the transcript to be ingested in the NPR systems present additional challenges not all companies can resolve.” She continues, “We’ve known the Take 1 team for many years, we’ve used their translation services in the past, and they were one of the very few I knew that could deliver against this brief.”

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WBEN’s Tim Wenger Recounts Covering Buffalo Mass Shooting as News Broke

“I received a phone call from a source that I have within the Buffalo Police Department who said he thought it would be a good idea if we had someone at the Tops Market on Jefferson Ave,” Wenger said.

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This past weekend, an alleged White Supremacist went into a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood and killed ten people. 

One of the news media outlets leading the coverage in Buffalo was Audacy “Newsradio 930” WBEN. The radio station jumped in to fill the nation and its residents as to what went on. 

In an interview with Inside Radio, Brand Manager Tim Wenger, talked the website through its coverage as soon as the news broke about the shooting.

“I received a phone call from a source that I have within the Buffalo Police Department who said he thought it would be a good idea if we had someone at the Tops Market on Jefferson Ave,” Wenger said.

“I did a little bit of research while I was on the way and discovered there was an active shooting situation (…) We had heard eight, and then nine and then 10. It just kept escalating over the course of a couple of hours on scene before finally, there was official word from authorities in the form of a press conference.”

Wenger then discussed how the story was developing, keeping the entire station on high alert to what was coming out and why they needed to be on top of the information. 

“This happened in a really close-knit community where people know each other. It’s not a typical urban environment where everybody just kind of goes about their business,” Wenger added. 

“This is a community that fought for that store to be there years ago. And we’re just trying to give everyone a voice and not decide for anybody what needs to happen but listen to everybody and let the community decide what needs to happen.”

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