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SPRINGFIELD, MA  – A number of talented professionals have recently joined New England Public Media, the new alliance of NEPR and WGBY, in the positions of Chief Content Officer, Grants Manager, Media Lab Director, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, and Digital & Creative Marketing Director.
“It’s been wonderful to get to know the new team members,” said Martin Miller, President of New England Public Media. “They are joining a group of consummate media professionals, and the exchange of ideas among all of us about how New England Public Media serves the local community has been inspiring. These are creative people who really want to make a difference!”
After a nation-wide search, Maxie C Jackson III was named Chief Content Officer for New England Public Media. With 30 years of management and programming experience in radio, television and live events, Maxie has served as Station Manager of Northeast Ohio NPR affiliate WCPN, Senior Director of Program Development for New York Public Radio (WNYC), Radio Program Director for WETA in Washington, DC. and President of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Management at Morehouse College, and a Masters in Telecommunications at Michigan State University. As Chief Content Officer, Maxie is leading New England Public Media’s team of journalists and content creators working in broadcast and digital platforms to cover stories throughout the community.
Debbie Oppermann joins New England Public Media as Grants Manager. Debbie has strong ties to the local community and has worked for a number of non-profit organizations throughout western New England. She has served as Advocacy Consultant for the Springfield Preservation Trust, Senior Project Manager for the City of Holyoke’s Office of Planning and Economic Development, and Executive Director of the Great Barrington Historical Society and the Greater Southwick Family Support Coalition. She has done community planning and development work for the Town of Enfield, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the Town of Southbridge and the WestMass Area Development Corporation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Massachusetts (Amherst). As part of the NEPM development team, she works collaboratively with education, editorial, production, and engagement teams to maximize grant opportunities for NEPM.
Iohann Vega-Martinez is New England Public Media’s new Media Lab Project Director. Born and raised in Mexico City, Iohann studied music and media sciences. He moved to Puerto Rico in 1999 where he worked at WRTU, the University of Puerto Rico’s public radio station as a news anchor, journalist, music show host, producer, promotion coordinator and more, while mentoring students from the University’s School of Communication. Iohann moved to Holyoke, MA in 2011, where he joined the Gandara Center, as coordinator of the Youth Development Center. He is Director of Media Engagement at Holyoke Media and he is the founder of Radioplasma, an independent community media outlet in Holyoke. As Media Lab Project Director, Iohann is assisting with developing, implementing, and designing NEPM’s youth media audio, video, and digital training program. The program trains diverse inner-city, middle school and high school students in multi-platform storytelling and journalism with the goal of building self-esteem and promoting personal and professional growth through education.
Mischelle Grant joins New England Public Media in the role of Director of Corporate Sponsorship. She comes to NEPM from Jacksonville, FL where she has been a brand consultant for OMG!, where she created marketing, brand, and operational plans for both public and private sector clients in transportation, governmental affairs, commercial construction, and property development. She has served as Director of Sales for the USA Today Network, Managing Partner at Avaxis Strategy Group, and Director of Advertising & Client Solutions at American Lawyer Media. She attended California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, CA. As Director of Corporate Sponsorship, she leads NEPM’s underwriting sales team to raise sponsorship revenue to meet revenue goals. She looks forward to meeting corporate clients, entrepreneurs, arts and culture advocates, and non-profit leaders throughout the region.
Jennifer Waryas is New England Public Media’s new Digital & Creative Marketing Director. Her first project was to manage NEPM’s brand transition across print and digital media, melding and transforming the marketing assets of WGBY TV and NEPR radio into the new NEPM brand. Jennifer grew up in Montague, Massachusetts and received an Associate Degree in Fine Arts and Media Arts from Greenfield Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Franklin Pierce University. She spent several years in the San Francisco Bay area where she was a Marketing Manager at the University of San Francisco and served as art director and marketing manager for a number of companies in the fashion, optical, and skincare sectors. She returned to western Massachusetts in 2018 to serve as the Brand and Product Manager at New World National Brands/suki skincare in Holyoke, MA.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND PUBLIC MEDIA
New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization based in Springfield, MA.Through a deep commitment to independent local journalism, trusted educational content, inspired cultural offerings, and civic engagement, NEPM endeavors to share new voices and inspire new conversations. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media—TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts and specials. Its four digital TV channels, and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming.
NEPM brings quality public television programs to audiences across western New England, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs, to hear diverse viewpoints, and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS KIDS helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. NEPM’s locally produced television programming includes the magazine-format public affairs show Connecting Point, the bilingual series Presencia, and the academic quiz show As Schools Match Wits. NEPM is available over the air on digital channel 57-1 and on cable throughout western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut and can be seen in high definition in western Massachusetts at Comcast 857, Time Warner 1221, Spectrum 782, and over the air on channel 57. Where to Watch
New England Public Media’s radio presence provides an essential and trusted voice for the region through local reporting and locally-produced music programming, and by connecting the region to the world through its partnership with NPR and other national and international public media organizations. Its flagship signal, 88.5FM WFCR, and 5 repeating stations in Berkshire County, presents news, jazz, and classical music, while the six stations of the NEPM News Network provide the region with news, talk, and cultural programming 24/7.

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