WNYC Enhances Coverage with Addition of Two New Roles

WNYC Enhances Coverage with Addition of Two New Roles,
Washington Correspondent and Special Project Producer

(New York, NY – October 28, 2015) – WNYC today announced the expansion of its award-winning newsroom with the addition of two new positions.

John O’Connor will become WNYC’s first Washington Correspondent, producing accountability reporting on members of the House and Senate who represent New York, New Jersey and Connecticut directly from the nation’s capital. O’Connor’s work will involve becoming fluent in their job performance, voting records, and funding sources. His reporting will feed WNYC’s news reports, digital platforms, and segments on The Brian Lehrer Show.

O’Connor previously worked as Education Reporter with NPR’s State Impact Florida. Before honing his craft in radio, he was a political reporter for The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, where he uncovered then-Governor Mark Sanford’s abuse of campaign funds to carry out an extramarital affair in Argentina. For that reporting, John was named Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association in 2009. He also reported on Governor Nikki Haley’s rise in income following her election to the State House of Representatives.

Rebecca Carroll joins WNYC as the producer of a year-long series of in-depth projects about race in New York City. These will range from an exploration of the racial and class dynamics of school redistricting to a series examining gentrification in partnership with The Nation, and other audio projects and live events with The Brian Lehrer Show, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and Radio Rookies.

Carroll, a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian, began her career in media as a producer for the Charlie Rose show. She later served as editor in chief of The Independent Film & Video Monthly, managing editor of PAPER Magazine, and helped launch HuffPost BlackVoices. Her essays, cultural commentary, book reviews and feature profiles have appeared in The New York TimesEbonyEssence, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, The Los Angeles TimesGOOD, Gawker, xoJane and The New York Observer. She is the author of five nonfiction books on race in America, including the award-winning Sugar in the Raw, and the critically acclaimed Saving the Race.

“Nothing better expresses WNYC’s mission for journalistic excellence than the opportunity to enrich our staff with high-impact hires,” said Jim Schachter, Vice President for News at WNYC. “These two talented people will extend the range and depth and subtlety of our journalism in ways that further our primary goal: telling stories of consequence that build a stronger community.”

"I'm excited about the chance to join WNYC's team,” said John O’Connor. “I hope we'll be able to help our audience understand how and why decisions made in D.C. affect them in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut."

“I am so thrilled to join WNYC in this necessary and important initiative to explore the meaning and measure of race in New York City,” said Rebecca Carroll. “Throughout my career I have sought to contribute to a racially conversant culture that is far-reaching and enduring. I'm excited to continue this effort in my new role.”

In recent years WNYC has significantly increased its commitment to enterprise reporting. The newsroom recently won a Peabody Award for its reporting on abuses of power by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the Bridgegate scandals and was awarded a national Sigma Delta Chi Public Service award for in-depth reports on the NYPD’s use of force in the wake of Eric Garner’s death.

WNYC’s coverage of Congress is supported in part by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The station’s special project on race in New York City is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

From its state-of-the-art studios in New York City, WNYC is reshaping audio for a new generation of listeners with groundbreaking, innovative radio programs and podcasts including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Death, Sex & Money and Note to Self among others. With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, WNYC is America's most listened-to public radio station and the home to an award-winning newsroom of 70 journalists.