Texas Stations Hire Acclaimed Staff Ahead Of Super Tuesday Primaries
With the addition of two new editors, The Texas Newsroom plans for innovative, robust election coverage
DALLAS/FORT WORTH — Feb. 13, 2020 — The Texas Newsroom is proud to introduce the three industry leaders it has hired to helm this first-of-its-kind public radio journalism collaboration. Mark Memmott, most recently NPR’s standards and practices editor, is leading the Texas effort as statewide managing editor. Fernanda Camarena, a veteran of the public radio programs Latino USA and Reveal, will be one of two statewide senior editors. Memmott and Camarena join the other senior editor, Rachel Osier Lindley, who helped launch the first stage of this statewide collaboration four years ago.
Launched in September 2019, The Texas Newsroom includes partners NPR; lead station KERA in North Texas; and managing stations KUT in Austin, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.
With its full editorial team in place, The Texas Newsroom will provide critical statewide election coverage that will air on all four radio stations and their digital platforms leading up to and on Super Tuesday on March 3, 2020:
- KUT in Austin will co-produce a statewide Democratic U.S. Senate debate on Tuesday, Feb. 18, along with The Texas Tribune and KVUE TV in Austin.
- KERA in North Texas is working with KQED in San Francisco to produce a nationally distributed radio program, “Countdown to Super Tuesday,” that will feature the hosts of KERA’s Think and KQED’s California Report, on Friday, Feb. 28.
- And on Super Tuesday, March 3, The Texas Newsroom will produce live election-night coverage, including a special edition of the public radio newsmagazine Texas Standard at 7 p.m. and live local and statewide updates during NPR’s national broadcast.
- Throughout the campaign season, journalists from The Texas Newsroom will explore key themes and topics including first-time Latino voters; the potential shifting tides from a deep-red to purple state; and the challenges of voting efficiently and easily across Texas.
The 2020 election makes evident the advantages of a multi-station collaboration. By working together, The Texas Newsroom will be able to deliver more voices, more stories and more perspectives from voters across the state on and leading up to election night. This multi-layered coverage will be essential for voters in underserved regions across the state.
The leaders of this effort will be based at stations across the state: Memmott at KUT in Austin, Lindley at KERA in Dallas and Camarena at Texas Public Radio in San Antonio. They will be responsible for crafting high-quality content for on-air and digital platforms, planning ambitious collaborative projects and identifying important Texas stories for NPR’s national audience. They’ll also work with a team that since last fall has been delivering six statewide newscasts every weekday — newscaster Sascha Cordner in Houston and editor/producer Becky Fogel and newscaster Joseph Leahy, both based in Austin. Additionally, KERA reporter Mallory Falk covers El Paso and the border for The Texas Newsroom.
Learn more about The Texas Newsroom editing team here:
Mark Memmott, Statewide Managing Editor — Memmott spent more than a decade at NPR, most recently as the network’s guiding voice on issues of ethics and policy as supervising senior editor for standards and practices. He helped write the NPR Ethics Handbook and before that created the network's first breaking-news blog, The Two Way. He spent nearly 25 years as an editor and reporter at USA Today, including multiple reporting trips to Afghanistan.
Fernanda Camarena, Statewide Senior Editor — Camarena was senior editor on the nationally distributed program Latino USA, where she managed the editorial team and oversaw the vision of the weekly NPR show. She also developed long-form pieces and launched collaborations with ProPublica, The Washington Post, Mother Jones and Type Investigations. Before joining Latino USA, she was a reporter-producer for the public radio investigative-journalism program Reveal, where she was honored with a Peabody Award for “Monumental Lies,” an investigation into the funding of Confederate monuments.
Rachel Osier Lindley, Statewide Senior Editor — Osier-Lindley was the founding statewide coordinating editor for the Texas Station Collaborative, where she provided key leadership for the four Texas stations that would develop into The Texas Newsroom. Lindley also previously served as news director for WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama, and news director at Marfa Public Radio/West Texas Public Radio.
KERA is a not-for-profit public media organization serving North Texas through KERA TV, KERA Create, KERA Kids 24/7, KERA 90.1 and the Triple-A music station KXT 91.7 FM. For over 50 years, North Texans have turned to KERA as a vibrant destination for community engagement and lifelong learning. KERA produces original multimedia content, carries the best in national and international public television and radio programs, and provides online resources at kera.org.
About KUT 90.5
KUT 90.5 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 250 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence. KUT’s work is directly supported by a community of sustaining members and local businesses whose investments power the news and conversations that matter to Austin.
About Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio is a listener-supported, nonprofit broadcaster operating seven radio stations, serving communities in South Texas, the Hill Country and San Antonio area. The majority of TPR's outlets provide their communities with in-depth news and information from NPR, APM, the BBC and the TPR newsroom. This programming is broadcast to the San Antonio area on KSTX 89.1 FM, the Hill Country on KTXI 90.1 FM, the Snyder and Big Country region on KTPR 89.9 FM, the Gonzales area on KCTI 1450 AM, the Highland Lakes on KVHL 91.7 FM and the Del Rio area on KTPD 89.3 FM. TPR also presents classical music 24 hours a day on KPAC 88.3 FM in San Antonio and evenings/overnights on KTXI 90.1 FM in the Hill Country. More information, news and streaming are available at tpr.org.
About Houston Public Media
Houston Public Media is a service of the University of Houston and supported with financial gifts from the community. Houston Public Media combines broadcast and digital assets to serve residents of Southeast Texas with trusted local news and entertainment and national programming from NPR and PBS. With a combined weekly audience of more than 1.6 million, Houston Public Media is committed to delivering content that expands minds and possibilities with quality information.
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now it's easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, "Play NPR," and you'll be tuned into your local Member station's live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
KERA: Lauren Menking, (214) 740-9237
NPR: Isabel Lara, (202) 513-2304
KUT: Erin Geisler, (512) 475-8071
Texas Public Radio: Bobby Salluce, (210) 801-8237
Houston Public Media: Victoria Cordova, (832) 842-5866