See you in beautiful Salt Lake City!

PRNDI News Manager Training & Certification


Annual Two-Day Academy for Local NPR News Managers

When:   June 24-25, 2015 (prior to the start of the PRNDI Conference).

Where:  Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT.

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 (2014 participant)

Why PRNDI provides this important training

It was one thing to excel at reporting or anchoring, but now you’re responsible for leading. We’re here to help you develop new skills in managing people, tracking budgets, making  assignments, conducting edits and establishing policies.

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!

“Thanks so much for this stimulating event.” — Kimberley Pierce Cartwright, WNCU

Meet the trainers: Mike and Judith

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

Michael Marcotte

Mike is president of MVM Consulting and the 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 and certification 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 experience in journalism — 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, Northwest Public Affairs Network and statewide public media in Connecticut, West Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi and Iowa.

“Mike’s and Judith’s extensive preparation was evident and they did an excellent job managing the entire process on a tight schedule.” — Bob Leweke, WMRA / WEMC Public Radio 

Workshop Topics

(This is a tentative, partial list. The final agenda will be customized after registrants provide a brief assessment via a pre-workshop survey.)

  • Prioritizing: How news managers manage
  • Upstream Solutions: Setting a vision and 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 an effective editorial meeting
  • Therapist, friend, disciplinarian: The business of managing others
  • Planning: Strategic, crisis, budget or otherwise…
  • Leading with ethics AND courage
  • 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 $275 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.

Hurry To Register! Deadline May 15, 2015

To register for the 2nd 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. Be sure your membership is in good standing. (Become a member here.)

“I’d recommend it to new and experienced news directors alike.” — Victor Yehling, WNIJ

Precedes the 31st annual PRNDI Conference, June 25-27, 2015

Attend the news manager workshop, then stay for the annual PRNDI Conference at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

This year’s conference highlights include the annual PRNDI awards banquet and sessions on social media strategies, NPR’s collaborative coverage initiative, newscast writing with Korva Coleman, diversity trainings… plus an afternoon of fun at Snowbird Resort!

Get all the details at the PRNDI conference page.


For all things PRNDI, contact Christine Paige-Diers (

For detail about the news manager workshop, contact the trainers: Michael Marcotte ( or Judith Smelser (

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