Young will oversee a portfolio that includes The New Yorker Radio Hour, The Takeaway with Melissa Harris-Perry, The United States of Anxiety with Kai Wright, Death, Sex and Money with Anna Sale, La Brega: Stories of the Puerto Rican Experience, and the Blindspot series co-produced with HISTORY.
Her appointment is effective June 13, 2022.
Young brings extensive experience working in public media and leading newsrooms – helping guide journalists to tell stories in new, innovative and impactful ways.
As Managing Editor for Collaborative Journalism at NPR, Young grew and supported NPR’s collaborative journalism by fostering relationships with public radio stations and building news partnerships.
As a senior leader in the NPR newsroom, she also helped run NPR’s day-to-day news operations.
Prior to that, Young was the executive producer of Morning Edition and Up First, the first Black journalist to hold those roles.
Under Kenya’s leadership, Up First remained one of NPR’s top-ranked podcasts and established a new relationship for their work with younger, more diverse audiences.
Highlights from her time at Morning Edition included editing their first interview with Barack Obama, curating a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation for Juneteenth 2020, and overseeing Rachel Martin’s audience-sourced poetry series with poet Kwame Alexander.
As Senior Vice President, Young will be responsible for setting the strategic direction for WNYC Studios’ portfolio of award-winning podcasts, and leading and supporting the teams developing and producing shows.
In partnership with Emily Botein, Vice President, Original Programming, she will manage and grow current Studios productions and build out WNYC Studios new Documentary Unit devoted to producing longform nonfiction audio works.
“Kenya is an extraordinary talent of incredible range, and the perfect leader for WNYC Studios,” said Andrew Golis, Chief Content Officer, WNYC. “She is passionate about the possibilities and craft of audio journalism, and she is ambitious about the mission of public radio and the unique role WNYC Studios holds on the podcast landscape. We’re excited for her to continue her innovative work by supporting and growing our ongoing shows and developing new projects and talents.”
“I have been a huge fan of WNYC Studios podcasts for a long time – the legacy titles like Radiolab and On The Media and the innovative, edgy creations including Death, Sex and Money and La Brega,” said Young. “WNYC Studios’ portfolio of shows is impressive, stacked with brilliant minds behind them. I’m thrilled to lead this division that consistently produces award-winning work that serves a passionate base of listeners, first and foremost. It’s an honor to join Andrew Golis and the NYPR executive leadership team as WNYC Studios forges ahead to the next level.”
As a producer and editor, Young has contributed to many reports and series that were awarded the industry’s top honors, including two Society of Professional Journalist awards, two Gracie Awards, one Edward R. Murrow award, and one National Association of Black Journalists award.
She also was honored with two NPR awards: the Success Award for her efforts in prioritizing diverse sources and the President and CEO Award.
During her 14 years at NPR, she was also the executive producer of All Things Considered on the weekends and a supervising editor on Morning Edition.
She executive produced two seasons of the live event series Going There with Michel Martin and was a long-time editor and producer for several NPR programs including News & Notes, Day To Day, Tell Me More and Talk of The Nation.
She has directed and produced live coverage, breaking news coverage and special events including the 2008 and 2012 elections, the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and live coverage of the Sandy Hook school shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing.
Young began her tenure at NPR as an intern in the California bureau in 2007.
WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio, and home to some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts, including Radiolab, On the Media, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Death, Sex & Money, Dolly Parton’s America, The Experiment, and The United States of Anxiety.
WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with podcasts and national radio programs that inform, inspire, and delight millions of curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms.
Programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, revealing interviews, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself.
For more information, visit wnycstudios.org.
Photo credit: by Emily Cavey.