When President Barbara Cochran retires in June her duties will be shared by Kathleen Graham, who will become executive director of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, and Jane Nassiri, who assumes the same post for the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
Kathleen Graham is being named executive director of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF) and Jane Nassiri is being named executive director of the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA). The appointments will take effect when RTNDA and RTNDF President Barbara Cochran retires on June 25.
“We’re very fortunate to have such experienced and able executives to direct the operations of the Association and the Foundation,” said RTNDA chair Ed Esposito, vice president of Rubber City Radio Group, Akron, Ohio. “Jane and Kathleen know every facet of both organizations and have interacted with hundreds of RTNDA members over the years. They understand the tremendous shifts we are seeing in the industry as well as the mission and activities we need to undertake to transform RTNDA and RTNDF to meet the needs of journalists in the digital age.”
RTNDF Chairman Bill Roswell, director of digital media for KYW-AM Philadelphia, said, “Board members will continue to provide leadership on issues such as freedom of information, ethical standards and best practices for the industry. We are directly elected by the membership and will continue to represent their interests to move the organizations forward.”
Cochran will serve as president emeritus of both organizations following her retirement. Incoming RTNDA chair Stacey Woelfel, news director of KOMU-TV Columbia, Mo., will take a more active role with his voluntary CEO service for the association and Esposito will assume a similar position with RTNDF.
Graham will focus primarily on the Foundation and Nassiri will focus primarily on the association but both are committed to jointly direct operations of the two organizations.
Nassiri joined RTNDA in 1998 and has served as vice president for finance and administration since 2005. “I am honored to be appointed as the executive director of RTNDA,” said Nassiri. “The next year will be an exciting time for RTNDA. We look forward to forming new partnerships and reinventing the organization as we move forward in changing our name to RTDNA.”
Nassiri has directed the financial and administrative activities of both RTNDA and RTNDF and oversees the Murrow and RTNDA/UNITY Awards, where she led the digital conversion of RTNDA’s award programs. Nassiri also managed oversight of RTNDA’s annual convention and membership services.
Graham joined RTNDF in 1996 and was named vice president for foundation programs in 2005. In that position, Graham has directed projects in leadership and ethics and has overseen projects in high school broadcast journalism, news and terrorism, the U.S.-German Journalists Exchange, diversity, scholarship and fellowship programs.
“Now more than ever, RTNDF is an essential resource for digital journalists whose news organizations have been forced to cut training,” Graham said. “RTNDF will offer affordable, cutting-edge programming for digital journalists and managers to connect, learn and succeed on air and online.”
Graham manages programming for RTNDA’s annual convention.