Friday, March 31, 2017


Jody Evans, CEO of the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD), announced three new members have been appointed to the organization’s Board of Directors. They are Kristen Muller of KPCC, Jacqueline Cincotta of WNYC and Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media.

Also, Hawk Mendenhall is now Chair of the board.

The appointments fill board seats being vacated by Bill Anderson of KCUR, Michael Arnold of Wisconsin Public Radio and Tamar Charney of NPR. Charney had been chair of the board.

Other members continuing their service on the board are: John Hoban (KJZZ), Bill Lueth (KDFC), Matt Abramovitz (WQXR), Ben Adler (KXJZ), Lynne Clendenin (KOPB), Kerri Hoffman (PRX) and Todd Mundt (NPR/WBUR).

Here is more about each of the three new board members:

Kristen Muller, Head of Content Innovation
Southern California Radio, Los Angeles

Kristen Muller
Muller oversees content on the broadcast and digital platforms of KPCC. She is in charge of innovation strategy and project.

Previously she was Senior Managing Editor for KPCC News and producer of Take Two and the Madeleine Brand Show. Before she joined KPCC, Muller spent over a decade with CBS News as a producer for the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes.

In 2016, Muller was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University where she examined journalism in the age of the mega-platforms. Her work focuses on entrepreneurship, digital innovation and management strategies.

Jacqueline Cincotta
Jacqueline Cincotta, Program Director
WNYC, New York

Cincotta has worked at WNYC since 2002 and has been PD since May 2012. Prior to joining WNYC, she worked for several New York advertising and marketing companies, specializing in digital business solutions and graphic design.

Cincotta started her career in radio while she was a student at SUNY, Oneonta. After graduating she worked as an on-air host at Long Island commercial talk station WALK.

Cincotta still occasionally is on the air on WNYC, something she apparently loves. In 2011 she hosted an edition of WNYC’s Soundcheck about the impact of popular music on life at the “tender age” of 14. She shared her music confessions with Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode. You can listen to this delightful story here.

Fred Jacobs
Fred Jacobs, Founder, Jacobs Media

Fred Jacobs launched Jacobs Media in 1983 after several years as PD at WRIF, an influential commercial Classic Rock station in Detroit. Some observers say that Jacobs “invented” the Classic Rock format. Folks interested in Jacobs’ work with Classic Rock should check out his blog here.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jacobs Media expanded into research and consulting for noncom public radio stations, program producers and networks such as NPR and PRI.

Jacobs saw the evolving digital media landscape and in 2004 conducted the first Tech Survey. The Tech Survey  examines the ways audiences engage with new media like social media, streaming audio and video, smartphones and other mobile media. Jacobs has conducted over a dozen Tech Surveys for commercial clients and eight Public Radio Tech Surveys for the PRPD.

In 2008, Jacobs launched the mobile apps company jācapps. Jacobs and his associates established the first DASH Conference in 2013. DASH brings together radio folks and auto industry leaders to examine the “connected car” space.

Check out his company blog here.

KEN SAYS: Congratulations to the PRPD for choosing these three excellent new board members.  Each will bring important new perspectives and skills to the organization.

Fred Jacobs in the mid 1980s
I personally want to thank Fred Jacobs for his efforts to help public radio become more effective and sustainable. Fred knows how important public media is to our society and democracy.

It is true that Jacobs has made decent bucks from consulting noncom clients.  However, he has returned far more value to public media. 

He provides us wisdom and helps noncom folks focus on serving the greater good. This work makes me more confident about the future of public radio and public media. I don’t know Fred very well but I trust him – his aim is true. 

I first heard of Fred back in the 1970s when I was working in AOR radio. My friend Greg Ausham (who had worked with Jacobs and competed against him in Detroit) told me:

Fred Jacobs is the real deal. He has a further vision than most others in our biz. Fred intuitively knows where we are heading. You will hear more about this guy in the future. Plus, he knows every song ever recorded by Led Zeppelin.

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