Changes To NPR's Digital Leadership Team
Thursday April 5, 2018; Washington, D.C. — NPR Chief Digital Officer Thomas Hjelm announced today the creation of two new roles within NPR's digital division: Kerry Lenahan will become NPR's first Vice President, Product and Joel Sucherman will be promoted to Vice President, New Platform Partnerships.
As Vice President of Product, Lenahan will be responsible for the strategy and roadmap for NPR's portfolio of products on the Web, mobile and other digital platforms, while also working closely with NPR Member stations to implement opportunities for digital innovation and growth across a digital network. Prior to joining NPR, she served as a digital expert with the US Digital Service in the White House. In that role she led efforts to design and deliver modern digital products for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, bringing value and transparency to a wide range of audiences. Before joining USDS, she was VP of Product Management for LivingSocial, where she directed the company's product development, consumer experiences and go-to-market strategies.
Joel Sucherman has been a prime mover of NPR's digital strategy for almost a decade. He has worked with and guided the team responsible for a digital portfolio that includes NPR.org, the NPR and NPR One apps, and products delivering live and on-demand audio to the connected car and home. During his tenure he developed a growing number of strategic partnerships with Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and other technology partners, and has shaped and implemented public radio's growing presence on voice-activated platforms Alexa, Assistant, Siri, Bixby and Cortana. As Vice President, New Platform Partnerships, Sucherman will be responsible for driving NPR's and public radio's leadership in audience reach, engagement and revenue across these and other emerging technologies.
"With Kerry and Joel in these new key positions, NPR and public radio are poised to seize every opportunity to extend the reach and impact of its programming to new audiences and new platforms," said Hjelm. "Kerry is a dynamic and resourceful leader who relishes the challenge of turning strategic opportunities into compelling products that truly serve the needs of audiences, while also looking around the corner at the innovative opportunities to come. Joel is an industry leader whose expertise, acumen and proven partnership skills have helped NPR and public radio take great strides in expanding to new platforms, from the dashboard to the smart speaker."
"I have been an avid NPR listener since 1990 and have joined to help create the public radio digital experience that my four year old son and his friends will use in the not so distant future," said Lenahan. "I absolutely love working with teams to deliver high quality, innovative products that surprise and delight customers — and have loved doing it for 15 years."
"Every day I work with my team to ensure that NPR remains a leader in journalism and podcasting against the backdrop of a rapidly changing media landscape," said Sucherman. "These are exciting times for public radio, we are working to strengthen technology business partnerships as well as our work with stations, to sustain and amplify local and national journalism, cultural content and music."
For a generation, NPR has been at the forefront of the digital-media revolution, developing a range of award-winning products and services from NPR.org to NPR One that reimagine and renew the public radio experience for new audiences. Today, that adventure continues as NPR moves front and center into the voice-activation space, working closely with all the top voice assistant manufacturers to ensure that when people want to hear the news, public radio is there. NPR is available on Amazon's suite of smart home assistants including the Echo, Dot and other Alexa-enabled devices; as well as Google Home and Apple's Siri-enabled devices. Listeners can ask for a live stream of their local station, get a quick national news briefing— updated every hour—or play the latest episode of a podcast. The recently relaunched NPR app provides an up-to-date digest of the news of the hour, with headlines and breaking alerts, enterprise reporting, science, entertainment, music, storytelling and cultural programming, live streams from Member stations, and the most popular nationally and locally-produced podcasts. The new NPR app lives alongside NPR One, a next-generation audio app designed for personalized discovery of national and locally-produced news, stories and podcasts.
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans everyday—on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public—one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at npr.org/aboutnpr and following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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