MEDIA MOVES

BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

At the end of this year, Heath Druzin wraps up his time with Boise State Public Radio as the Audion Fellow for Guns & America. This grant-funded radio project, which began in Summer 2018, examined gun issues across the country. 

The public radio station welcomes newsroom interns Audrey Regan and Gustavo Sagrero.

Boise State Public Radio is the lead partner for the Mountain West News Bureau, which added three new reporters, showcasing its commitment to diversity and mentoring young talent. Savannah Maher, who provided coverage of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, joins KUNM in New Mexico. Like Savannah, Robyn Vincent is also leaving Wyoming, to KUNC in northern Colorado. Stephanie Serreno-Escoto joins the team from KUNR in Reno, Nevada.

IDAHO STATESMAN

Cynthia Sewell, longtime Idaho Statesman reporter who most recently covered state politics and the Idaho congressional delegation, is no longer with the company. She still resides in Boise with her husband.

Katherine Talerico, who covered development and local government for the Idaho Statesman, is no longer with the company. She is freelance writing and teaching English to schoolchildren through a government program in Nantes, France. 

Ximena Bustillo, who served as an Idaho Statesman breaking news reporter, is now covering legislation, trade and agriculture in Washington, D.C., for Politico. 

Katherine Jones, who has served as the Idaho Statesman’s photo lead, photographer, videographer and feature columnist, will retire from the Idaho Statesman at the end of December. She has worked for the Statesman for 30 years. She is excited to spend more time with her sisters and their children and to travel the world (including all the wild rivers she can handle) with her sweetie. 

IDAHO PRESS

Olivia Heersink joined the Idaho Press in January as the Canyon County public safety reporter. The Fruitland native graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in journalism and a minor in justice studies. Before joining the Idaho Press, she was the morning cops/breaking news reporter for The Times of Northwest Indiana. Olivia fills the role after previous reporter Emily Lowe took a communications job with the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Reporter Ryan Suppe in August transitioned from the Idaho Press’ Meridian Press weekly to the city of Boise beat. Before moving to the Treasure Valley, Ryan was the business reporter for the Post Register in Idaho Falls. Ryan grew up in Las Vegas and attended the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating with degrees in journalism and philosophy. He takes over the Boise beat from Margaret Carmel, who now reports for BoiseDev.

College of Idaho graduate Blake Jones, who interned with and worked part-time for the Idaho Press during college, accepted a full-time reporting position with the Press this year, managing content for the Meridian Press and Kuna Melba News weeklies. Blake grew up in Meridian and graduated in spring 2020 with an emphasis in creative writing and political economy.

Jeff Robinson, assistant editor of the Idaho Falls Post Register, in February expanded his role to regional editor for Adams Publishing Group. Jeff plays a key role in editing and managing the newsrooms for both the Post Register and the Idaho Press, both owned by APG. A native of Kellogg and a longtime journalist, Jeff has worked at newspapers in Lewiston, Pocatello and Idaho Falls and has also been an editor for newspapers in Iowa, Montana and Washington.

Andi Gordon joined the Idaho Press in July as director of advertising. Andi has nearly 20 years’ experience as a sales leader in the newspaper industry, largely with the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior to joining the Idaho Press she oversaw digital media advertising for Cox Media in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Andi replaces Michelle Robinson, who was named president and director of local sales and marketing of the Casper Star-Tribune in her hometown in Wyoming. Robinson was previously publisher of the Boise Weekly and advertising director of the Idaho Press in Nampa.

Traci Bauer in August was named vice president of print and digital content for Adams Publishing Group. Bauer started out as a reporter in Springfield, Missouri, and worked her way through the management ranks with the Gannett Company, primarily in New York. Her roles included managing editor of The Democrat and Chronicle, digital content executive for the Gannett Company and director of journalism for KCUR, Kansas City’s NPR affiliate.

University of Idaho student Emily Pearce served as a summer news intern for Idaho Press. She is earning her degree in psychology and communications and plans on being a journalist or psychologist. 

IDAHO EDUCATION NEWS

Nik Streng joined the staff of Idaho Education News in November. He comes from the Argus Observer in Ontario, Ore., where he covered sports, education and courts. Streng, who holds a creative writing degree as well as a master’s in journalism from the University of Oregon, will focus at EdNews on giving a voice to the students and parents of the Gem State, especially its many historically underserved communities.

IDAHO BUSINESS REVIEW

Idaho Business Review editor Kim Burgess has left for a job in industry. The publication is currently hiring to replace her. You can apply at https://bit.ly/363xXZS. In the meantime, former managing editor Sharon Fisher is acting as interim editor. In addition, the organization added Boise State University student Adam Thompson as an intern for the fall 2020 semester. 

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Seth Ogilvie, a former journalist, was named communications director for Boise Mayor Lauren McLean in September. Ogilvie previously worked on the communications team at the Tennessee Department of Education. For nearly a decade before that, he was with Idaho Public Television.

Scott Phillips was named policy and communications chief for the Idaho Department of Lands in May. He previously served as communications director for state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra.

KTVB TV

Former KTVB President and General Manager Kate Morris departed in September for a job with KPNX in Phoenix. She will serve as president and GM at KPNX, a sister station to KTVB, both of which are owned by Tegna. Morris joined KTVB as a news producer in 2006.

KIFI/KIDK/NPG of Idaho, Idaho Falls 
 
Bill Cummings has been appointed as News Director at NPG of Idaho.  Bill comes from KSTU FOX 13 in Salt Lake City. He’s been in news management for over 20 years.
 
Former News Director Curtis Jackson is now the Multiplatform Executive Producer at NPG of Idaho. Curtis was news director for 12 years and decided to take a step back and reduce stress on himself. He will be in charge of overseeing news content placed on all platforms.
 
Two new multimedia journalists have joined the NPG of Idaho team: Chelsea Briar from Idaho Falls and Cole Sams from Tennessee.  
 
Longtime anchor Karole Honas retired at the end of August.  She was replaced by Bre Clark.  Bre was a former employee at the station as a multimedia journalist. Before coming back she worked in Spokane at KREM and has been a talent coach in Houston before returning to Idaho Falls.
 
Jeff Roper is the new morning weather anchor.  Jeff also works at KUPI Radio as a morning DJ.  Roper was doing weekend weather before coming full time in the morning.  He previously has worked for TV and radio stations in San Antonio, Texas.

Here are some words from Karole Honas, the longtime Idaho Falls anchor who retired this year:

“Finally something good happened in the year 2020.  I turned 65 in September, and got to retire.  It’s been quite a run. 

I started in the summer of 1977 in Pocatello at a brand-new station, KPVI Ch 6. 

I was two months out of school at the U of I … and 1 month married.  In those days, we used film cameras and 16mm film.  I learned f-stops, lighting, and changing film in a blackbag while driving a blue station Pinto.  The kind with the gas tank in the back that could blow up in rear-end collisions.  Six years later I quit to have my first son, and stayed home for 6 years having two more. 

One day the anchor from KIFI Ch 8 called to see if I could fill in as an anchor for Susan Furniss for 6 weeks.  She’d gone into early delivery with her baby.

After six weeks, I went home.  Got a call the next day wondering why I wasn’t at work. I explained my six-week contract was up.  They called me in for another interview and I retired nearly 30 years later. My partner, Jay Hildebrandt, helped me get through those years. 

Retirement isn’t quite what I anticipated because of Covid.  We can’t do anything we planned.  But we’re making it work.  I’m proud of the many young reporters I helped as they began their career.  And I count on the rest of you in the press corps to keep me current on all the happenings in Idaho.”