Minnesota Public Radio has hired Jonathan Blakely as its new program director. Blakley helped launch all-news WKZO in Kalamazoo and also worked at Detroit?s WWJ. At NPR, Blakley worked as a producer/editor overseeing its Baghdad bureau operations during the war. He has produced stories from the Philippines, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti. Part of Blakely's new job will be to oversee six new podcasts being launched by MPR. The six new podcasts are:
Counter Stories - A weekly conversation on life and the news in Minnesota, from the perspective of members of the state?s communities of color. The show will feature regular panelists Don Eubanks, assistant professor of Social Work at Metro State University and member of Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe; Luz Frias with the Minneapolis Foundation; Anthony Galloway, West Metro learning specialist; and Hlee Lee, a Hmong creative professional.
Pedal Hub - A weekly discussion devoted to biking and biking enthusiasts in the Twin Cities. Featuring Gene Oberpriller, owner of One on One Bike Studio in Minneapolis; Amber Dallman, physical activity coordinator for the State Health Department and spokeswoman for St. Paul Women on Bikes; and Patrick Stephenson, founder of 30 Days of Biking and Star Tribune biking blogger.
Pop Till We Drop - Three 20-somethings take on our pop-culture-obsessed world, featuring University of Minnesota Radio K alums Tess Weinberg, Alex Gaterud, and Shelby Thomason.
Minnesota Next - An interview series exploring Minnesota's future from the point of view of people who will be living in it. It will be hosted by card-carrying millennial Maddy Mahon, an MPR News producer.
The Interpreters - A weekly podcast on culture, how we live, how we communicate with each other, what we value, traditions, and trends. Regular panelists are writer and artist Andy Sturdevant; Molly Priesmeyer, writer and Star Tribune blogger; Ben Heywood, executive director of the Soap Factory in Minneapolis; and Saymoukda Vongsay, a playwright and poet.
Hallberg?s Picture of Health - Weekly conversations between MPR News medical commentator Dr. John Hallberg and All Things Considered host Tom Crann, exploring health, wellness, healthcare, and medicine.