Browse Topics



For immediate release
May 3, 2002
Jenny Lawhorn,
Jessamyn Sarmiento,

NPR Appoints Directors: Music & Entertainment Units
Arts Information Unit Adds Hosts, Staff

WASHINGTON, DC - NPR has selected two of its senior managers to head its newly created music and entertainment units. Effective immediately, Benjamin K. Roe will serve as director of NPR's music unit, and Andy Trudeau as director of the entertainment unit. Both Roe and Trudeau were hired internally as part of an overall restructuring of NPR's cultural programming and staff. Roe had been a senior producer for music, special projects and the classical music program SymphonyCast. Trudeau previously served as executive producer for NPR cultural programs.

A third new unit for arts information will ultimately employ about 15 people, and will be supervised by an assistant managing editor, still to be hired. In this unit, NPR's two classical music hosts, Fred Child and Korva Coleman, will remain in key roles. Child, who joined Performance Today in October 2000, will continue hosting the program while serving in a wider capacity as a classical music host. Coleman will also continue hosting SymphonyCast as a part-time classical music host, in addition to her role as a newscaster for NPR News.

In placing directors, hosts and staff into the three new units, NPR continues an overall reorganization of its cultural activities, announced on April 11, 2002. NPR management plans to have the music and entertainment units, as well as the new arts information unit, fully staffed by fall 2002. The three new units - music, entertainment and arts information - replace the Cultural Division and the cultural desk of NPR News.

"Months of dialogue and research with member stations, listeners, staff and leaders in public radio demonstrated to us that we needed to restructure and break down the artificial divisions between our programming units in order to more fully serve stations and audiences," said Ken Stern, executive vice president. "We are fortunate to have Ben Roe and Andy Trudeau, both longtime NPR employees, to help us create a more integrated approach to our programming and help us meet the evolving needs of public radio stations and their audiences."

Music Unit

Under the leadership of Benjamin K. Roe, the music unit will supervise, develop, produce and distribute music shows such as Performance Today, SymphonyCast and World of Opera, and perennial holiday specials such as "A Capitol Fourth" and "Jazz Piano Christmas." The music unit will also work with stations to explore new musical offerings, including 24/7 classical and jazz programming streams. The music unit will look for other kinds of music to offer stations, cultivate new talent and build relationships with arts organizations in the U.S. and worldwide. Roe will oversee a staff of eight in the music unit, including Bruce Scott, the supervising producer for SymphonyCast and World of Opera. Scott was a supervising producer in the former Cultural Division.

Roe came to NPR in 1987 as an assistant producer, rising to senior producer for Cultural Programming in 1996. At NPR, Roe created the weekly, two-hour program SymphonyCast and developed specials and initiatives for Performance Today, including the annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., "A King Celebration," and the Young Artists in Residence program. He also worked with major artists and symphonies to produce on-location classical broadcasts from cities and festival sites across the U.S., including the Aaron Copland centennial celebrations in November 2000 and "A Garland for Linda," a concert celebration honoring Linda McCartney. In addition, Roe has led the production of a dozen recordings for NPR Classics and affiliated labels, including An NPR Jazz Christmas with Marian McPartland and Friends and War Requiem by Benjamin Britten, winner of the Best Choral Recording Grammy Award in 2000. Before NPR, Roe worked for member station WBUR in Boston, where he helped launch Car Talk. He has also worked as a music announcer and news reporter for WQCR-FM in Burlington, VT, WMDK-FM in Peterborough, NH and WUMB-FM in Boston, MA.

Entertainment Unit

As director of the entertainment unit, Andy Trudeau will oversee entertainment programming, including Car Talk and the NPR news quiz Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me!, which employs five people. Trudeau will also work to develop and acquire new programming and talent. A published author, columnist and 25-year veteran producer for NPR, Trudeau has produced award-winning programs on everything from jazz to classics, opera to folk. Trudeau had most recently served as an executive producer, supervising NPR's cultural programming, which was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000. He also supervised the development and production of the Peabody Award winning "NPR 100," a series about significant musical works of the 20thcentury. In the 1980s, he managed the piloting and development of Performance Today and produced numerous series and concerts, from "Alleluia" to Arlo Guthrie and Peter Seeger at Wolf Trap, and a live broadcast of Ravi Shankar.

Arts Information Unit

The arts information unit will create stories, interviews, commentaries, segments and other material for inclusion in NPR music programs, newsmagazines, talk shows, modules and music streams. The unit will eventually employ about 15 people, and will be supervised by an assistant managing editor, still to be hired. In addition to Fred Child and Korva Coleman, other internal staff will join the arts information unit. Laura Bertran, who had been a supervising line producer for Performance Today, will be the supervising editor for special projects. Felix Contreras, who was a producer in the former Cultural Division, will be the new unit's jazz producer. Neda Ulaby, previously of the cultural desk of NPR News, will continue as editorial assistant of arts information. Lynn Neary continues as a Washington-based correspondent. Loretta Williams, previously an editor on the cultural desk, will remain in Los Angeles as the editor for cultural trends and books. Correspondent Rick Karr will cover media from New York City, and Vertamae Grosvenor, who had been a part-time correspondent on the cultural desk, will do the same job in the new unit.

NPR will continue staffing its music, entertainment and arts information units throughout the summer, with the goal of having the units fully operational by fall 2002.

NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.