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Texas Stations Hire Acclaimed Staff Ahead Of Super Tuesday Primaries

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DALLAS/FORT WORTH — 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.