KQED Creates Multiplatform Arts Desk to Expand Coverage

KQED Names David Markus Executive in Charge, Arts, and Joe Matazzoni Arts Managing Editor.

KQED, the public media organization that serves Northern California, announced the creation of a new Arts Desk, which will expand KQED’s arts coverage on television, radio, digital and for educational use. KQED has named David Markus the new Executive in Charge, Arts. Markus had been the editorial director for George Lucas Education Foundation’s Edutopia since 2008, where he oversaw content creation and production as well as community development. As a journalist and a media executive, Markus has covered and developed content in a wide range of areas — health, family, education, politics and the arts. Joe Matazzoni, who was most recently at NPR Digital as the founding senior supervising producer of the Arts & Life section and NPR Books, has assumed the role of KQED’s Arts Managing Editor. Joining Markus and Matazzoni on the new KQED Arts Desk are Arts Partner Manager Siouxsie Oki and Arts Education Manager Kristin Farr.

Creation of the new Arts Desk is a part of KQED’s ongoing strategic plan to better meet the needs of its audience in the 21st century. KQED Arts is the second multiplatform desk, following the creation of KQED Science. KQED Science was formed with a similar intention to help coordinate and expand coverage and has since become the largest science editorial team in California.

“Arts are a central part of the civic and cultural fabric of the Bay Area and have always been a cornerstone of KQED’s identity in all its platforms,” said Michael Isip, VP, Television. “Local arts coverage has diminished considerably on commercial media outlets and KQED is uniquely positioned to respond by expanding and deepening its robust coverage of the arts. In this ever-changing media climate, we’re excited to create a multiplatform desk that will lead our coverage, content creation and community engagement to highlight the importance and relevance of arts, artists and arts organizations and to make the arts more accessible.”

The first stories to come out of the new KQED Arts Desk are part of a cross-platform series highlighting the role of art in building community called “Culture Creates Community.” The series includes a SPARK television special, which airs on Friday, March 25, at 7:30pm on KQED 9; KQED Public Radio stories, including discussions featured on Forum with Michael Krasny; and Web videos and articles. KQED Interactive is also reimagining the online presence of KQED Arts. The redesigned, mobile-friendly site will go live in the spring of 2014.

Isip added about the new hires: “David and Joe are both seasoned content and media executives, who bring a deep love of the arts to their new positions at KQED. They have worked in print, digital, video and radio and have essential experience in building, managing and leading multidisciplinary teams. I cannot wait to see where they will lead us in our transformation around the arts.”

“It’s terrific to become a part of an organization that has set such a high bar for journalistic excellence in our region,” said David Markus, who prior to Edutopia, held editorial positions at Parenting Magazine, Time Warner, AOL and Yahoo. “I’m inspired both by KQED’s legacy and the path it is charting into our media future. Most of all, I am lucky to work with the top-notch teams at KQED to help report the unique and exciting story of the Arts in the Bay Area.” Markus started his duties on March 10, 2014.

“The public trusts KQED. They trust our taste and they trust our integrity,” said Joe Matazzoni, who held positions at Wall Street Journal Online and ABCNews.com prior to NPR Digital. “Our mission at KQED Arts is to enrich the lives of our audience members by exposing them to the best of what’s going on in the Bay Area — and to support the arts community by telling stories that show how the arts matter.” Matazzoni has been in his new position since July.

Funding for KQED Arts is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Support is also provided by the members of KQED.

ABOUT KQED:

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. kqed.org