Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri Photo: Philip Leara, used under Creative Commons License

PRNDI News Manager Training & Certification

Sorry! Registration is Closed!

Third Annual Academy for Public Media News Managers

When:   June 22-23, 2016 (prior to the start of the PRNDI Conference).

Where:  Chase Park Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, MO

Who:     Public media news managers, news directors, editors or aspiring news managers from any size shop, any experience level. Seating limited to the first 20 applicants.

What:    Two-day training on essentials of modern public media newsroom management, resulting in a custom action-plan and a PRNDI certificate of completion.

 “I believe KCBX will see the fruits of this news management training for years to come.”  –Randol White, Central Coast Public Radio

Why PRNDI provides this important training

Today’s newsroom leaders face BIG challenges: they set editorial strategy and ethical standards for their organizations; they plan coverage and assign, track, and edit stories; they manage people and personalities; and, they’re helping navigate a digital future for public media journalism.

This dynamic, interactive two-day workshop will focus on practical skills you will use.

You will also come away better articulating your newsroom vision, establishing a smart news agenda, growing a top-notch staff, finding efficiency in producing impactful journalism and dealing with the exigencies of rapid change in audience demands and technology.

From the big picture to the small details, your customized action plan will transform you and your newsroom!

“There was so much useful information and great discussion going on, I wish it could have been three days.”  — John Haas, News Director, WABE

Meet the trainers: Mike and Judith

The annual workshop, now in its third year, is led by public media news veterans Michael Marcotte and Judith Smelser.

Michael Marcotte

Mike is president of MVM Consulting and a Professor of Practice in Journalism at the University of New Mexico. He’s championed strong local public media newsrooms, serving as news director of KPBS in San Diego and KPLU in Seattle-Tacoma. Mike was a 2011 Stanford Knight Fellow, former PRNDI president and PRNDI senior trainer. He authored The Public Radio News Directors Guide, upon which this training is based.

Judith Smelser
Judith Smelser

Judith is the founder of Smelser Editing & Consulting, based in Florida and serving public media newsrooms across the country. She served as managing editor at Colorado Public Radio and as news director of WMFE.  Judith has led coverage of many major stories, including the Aurora theater shootings and the end of the U.S. space shuttle program. Working to integrate local & NPR reporting, Judith has helped advance significant public media collaborations including the Here & Now Contributors Network, NPR’s StateImpact initiative and CPB-funded Local Journalism Centers.

Together, Mike and Judith bring over 50 years of journalism experience — 30 in news management — leading newsrooms ranging from small to medium to large. Their consulting clients have included NPR, CPB, APM, NETA, Current, KQED, KERA, KUHF, WUNC, WKSU, KPBS, WMFE, KTOO, KCBX, J-Lab, Capital Public Radio, Indie-Edit, IdeaStream, Northwest Public Affairs Network and state networks in Connecticut, West Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi and Iowa.

“This training was fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is involved in news reporting in public radio.”
— Johnathan Reaves, News Director, KASU

Workshop Topics

  • Time Management: How news managers survive the onslaught
  • Coverage Clarity: Setting an editorial agenda unique to your station
  • Content Toolbox: Tools and tips for managing multimedia workflow
  • Give an Edit! A workshop within a workshop.
  • Huddle Up: How to run effective meetings
  • Therapist, friend, disciplinarian: The art of managing others
  • Managing Newsroom Culture (and Stress).
  • What’s Your Plan? For a fabulous future. For the next crisis.
  • Leading with ethics AND courage
  • Leveraging Success: Innovation and Collaboration
  • Your customized “100 Day Action Plan”

Those who successfully implement the training will receive a PRNDI certificate of completion. (Full attendance is required, including the 100-day follow-up session.)

Price includes meals and two follow-up sessions

Cost is $375 per person, which includes all materials and breakfast and lunch both days.

Also included in the registration are two post-workshop webinars to help you succeed in implementing your action plan.

Workshop registration is limited to the first 20 registrants.
Sorry! Registration is Closed!

Hurry To Register! Deadline May 21, 2016

To register for the 3rd Annual PRNDI News Manager Training & Certification, use the conference registration page and choose this pre-conference training option.

Note: This workshop is a PRNDI membership benefit, so employees of PRNDI member stations get priority placement! Be sure your membership is in good standing!

“The balance between guided lessons and open conversation about the issues all of our newsrooms face really opened my eyes… and made me feel I’m not alone.”   –– Ashton Marra, Assistant News Director, WV Public Broadcasting

Precedes the 32nd annual PRNDI Conference, June 24-25, 2016

Attend the news manager workshop, then stay for the annual PRNDI Conference at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis, Missouri.

This year’s conference highlights include the annual PRNDI awards banquet and sessions on social media ethics, covering communities in crisis, station podcasting, the future of public radio, making metrics meaningful, and a live podcast of The Pub.

Sign up at the conference registration page!


For details about the workshop (or all things PRNDI), contact PRNDI manager Christine Paige-Diers (

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