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Public radio's "Texas Standard" adds director, assistant producer

AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 13, 2015 – “Texas Standard,” the national daily news show of Texas, has hired producers from NPR’s “Morning Edition” and North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC to direct and assist with show production.

Leah Scarpelli and Hady Mawajdeh join “Texas Standard” as director and production assistant respectively.

Scarpelli comes most recently from NPR where she spent seven years as a producer, director and occasional reporter of music and arts pieces for “Morning Edition.” She also produced NPR Music’s hip-hop podcast, “Microphone Check,” and helped launch the on-air version of the monthly collaborative series, “Heavy Rotation.” She graduated from Ithaca College in New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in television and radio.

Native Texan Mawajdeh grew up listening to “Fresh Air” in San Antonio and fell in love with public radio. He joins “Texas Standard” after working as a producer for WUNC’s “The State of Things,” where he shined a light on the criminal justice system, housing and education issues in the state.

Hady Mawajdeh

He previously worked at Austin’s KUT 90.5 and its sister station KUTX 98.9 as an intern, freelance producer, social media coordinator and a late-night deejay. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication at Texas State University and specialized in electronic media.

“I’m thrilled that Hady and Leah will be joining ‘Texas Standard,’” said Emily Donahue, executive producer for the show. “Both bring a depth of experience and a love of public radio and its audiences to their new roles.

“Hady has a long history with Austin’s KUT, which serves as home base for ‘Texas Standard.’ He started as an intern with KUT News when he was at Texas State, spent a few years as a reporter and producer, and then honed his chops as a booker and director in North Carolina. This is a homecoming of sorts for him,” Donahue continued. “Leah’s experience on ‘Morning Edition,’ as well as her love for Texas (her grandfather was from Yoakum), its people and music, make her a perfect fit for the program.”

In her role as director, Scarpelli will manage daily preparation of show content, while providing direction for host, technical director and show staff for live show broadcast.

As the production assistant, Mawajdeh will support the producers and host by booking interviews, producing program segments, and conceptualizing and executing all audio elements for broadcast.

Both start Sept. 1.

About “Texas Standard”
Texas Standard” offers crisp, expansive coverage of politics, lifestyle and culture, the environment, technology and innovation, and business and the economy — from a distinctly Texas perspective. Hosted by award-winning journalist David Brown, the hour-long daily news magazine is grounded in fact-based, independent and politically neutral reporting.

“Texas Standard” is a project of KUT Austin, KERA North Texas, Houston Public Media, and San Antonio’s Texas Public Radio, as well as news organizations throughout Texas. It’s heard on 24 public radio stations across Texas.


Contact: Erin Geisler, (512) 475-8071

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