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KUT public radio names director of journalism sustainability and impact

Two longtime reporters promoted

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 23, 2016 – KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, has named Emily Donahue director of journalism sustainability and impact for KUT, while Matt Largey and Ben Philpott have been promoted to managing editor and senior editor of KUT News respectively.

Donahue was previously news director for KUT News and executive producer of “Texas Standard.” In her new role, she will establish protocols for measuring and reporting the impact of KUT’s journalistic work, and create processes to increase financial support for KUT’s editorial mission.

“By aligning our editorial mission with our financial development we hope to create a virtuous circle to build more capacity for our journalism by leveraging its value,” said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT public radio. “There is no one better suited for this strategic position as work to expand our editorial enterprise and move toward becoming a digital-first organization than Emily.”

Donahue helped establish the KUT News department in 2002 as the station’s first news director. Under her leadership, KUT News has won more than 200 local, national and international awards for journalistic excellence, including four National Edward R. Murrow awards, two National Headliner Awards and a Clarion.

She also led the team that launched “Texas Standard,” an hour-long news magazine touted as the “national daily news show of Texas,” which is heard on 23 stations across Texas. The show celebrates its first anniversary as a statewide program on March 2.

“She has done a tremendous job launching an award-winning news department and a daily news magazine from the ground up, not to mention launching StateImpact Texas, the energy and environmental reporting project in collaboration with NPR, and producing several special reports including One Day in Dallas, NASA End of the Space Shuttle, Texas Drought, The Big Idea, and Forged in Flames: An Oral History of the Labor Day Wildfires, among others,” continued Vanderwilt.

As managing editor, Largey will oversee the KUT Newsroom. This includes editing, planning long-term coverage, supervising reporters and linking beat reports into a larger narrative that tells a bigger picture story of life in Austin. He has served as interim managing editor for the past two years. Largey joined KUT News as a reporter in 2006, later serving as an editor and correspondent. He has won several journalism awards, including one individual and two team-based National Edward R. Murrow awards. Previously he worked at public radio station WBUR Boston.

As senior editor, Philpott will help assign and edit stories, help supervise reporters, oversee the KUT News intern program and continue to co-host The Ticket 2016 through the November election. He also will manage KUT’s content partnerships with the Texas Tribune, Austin Monitor and NPR. He has covered state politics and other topics since joining KUT News in 2002. He has been recognized for outstanding journalism from numerous organizations and has been named Radio Journalist of the Year by the Houston Press club four times.

About KUT
KUT 90.5, Austin's NPR station, delivers in-depth stories by and about people in Austin, for Austin, with the highest journalistic standards from a variety of thoughtful perspectives. A founding member of NPR, KUT News has won more than 200 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence. “Texas Standard,” KUT’s one-hour daily news program heard on 23 public radio stations across the state, offers crisp, up-to-the-moment coverage of politics, lifestyle, the environment, technology, innovation and business — from a Texas perspective.


Contact: Erin Geisler (512) 475-8071