Upheaval at 'Weekend America'

Barbara Bogaev is out as co-host of the American Public Media program heard here on KPCC. It sounds as if a number of Los Angeles producers for "Weekend America" (and possibly "Marketplace") will either have to relocate to Minnesota or lose their jobs. This internal memo showed up in my in-box this afternoon:

From: "Lutman, Sarah"
Subject: Weekend America announcement - embargoed as internal only

Colleagues --

I am writing to let you know about an announcement we made in Los Angeles this afternoon. Weekend America is embarking on a national expansion in late February 2007. This expansion involves a new production model that brings stories relevant to our listeners' lives closer to their homes.

The production model includes locating one co-host and a complement of producers in both St. Paul and Los Angeles. The two hosts will still interact with one another on-air, but with fresh perspectives drawn from different regions of the country. As part of this change, Bill Radke will remain as the Weekend America host based in Los Angeles. After two years of service to the program, Barbara Bogaev will be leaving the Weekend America team. A national search for the second host position, to be located in St. Paul, will be announced shortly. Weekend America will uplink from St. Paul, while the Los Angeles host will talk live over ISDN. The staff in St. Paul includes the executive producer, one host, a senior editor, a producer/director, an associate producer, a Web producer, an engineer, and an administrative assistant. Staff in Los Angeles will include one host, a futures editor, a western editor, an associate producer, a Public Insight Journalism journalist, an engineer and a grants manager. The New York editor will remain in place. Weekend America staff and contract correspondents will be located in Boston, New York and other major metropolitan areas. This coast-to-coast, border-to-border reporting connects communities with memorable stories and places no matter where they live. Listeners will now think of Weekend America as a destination, a place to go and hang out and be engaged on the weekend with other listeners throughout the country. This is exciting news for American Public Media and Weekend America. We know the program continues to grow and develop under the leadership of executive producer Peter Clowney. This national expansion gives Weekend America the additional tools to extend its audience reach and be a memorable place for listeners to be engaged on the weekend. I also want to acknowledge the many contributions of Barbara Bogaev to the program in its first two years. I know that change is often difficult and I would also like to thank others in advance who will be affected by these changes in the next few months. We have discussed our plans for Weekend America with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and they are supportive of our efforts. Stations and others will soon be notified of Weekend America's national expansion. Until that time, we respectfully request that you keep this announcement internal. We will share more details with you once they are available. In the meantime, please let me or Peter Clowney know if you have any questions. Sarah Lutman

Lutman is senior vice president of content and media for APM.


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