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Jeff Young Named Managing Editor Of Ohio River Network

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The Ohio River Network, a regional journalism collaboration, has hired veteran journalist Jeff Young as its managing editor. 

Young will lead hiring efforts to establish the new, three-state newsroom, which includes seven public media stations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. 

He will set the news agenda for the collaboration and serve as its editor. He will be located at LPM in Louisville and begins the job March 1, 2016, after an extensive national search. 

The partner radio and television stations are WEKU in Richmond and Lexington, Ky. (radio), WKU in Bowling Green, Ky. (radio and TV), WMMT/Appalshop in Whitesburg, Ky. (radio and multimedia), WKMS in Murray, Ky. (radio), West Virginia Public Broadcasting (radio and TV), and WOUB in Athens, Ohio (radio and TV).

The collaboration is led by Louisville Public Media. The ORN was awarded a $445,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to establish the regional journalism collaboration.

"I'm thrilled to be joining LPM to help build this innovative approach to news coverage,” Young said. “We'll be digging into some of the most important issues affecting a region that has always been important to me." Young, a native of West Virginia, is a public media journalist and environmental communicator whose two-decade career has included work in the Appalachian coalfields, on Capitol Hill and along New England’s coast, among other places.

Young reported for West Virginia Public Broadcasting before becoming the Washington correspondent for the NPR and Public Radio International program Living on Earth, where he covered energy and environmental issues for a national audience.

His work has been recognized with the Edward R. Murrow Award, and he was a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University in 2012. Recently, he directed communications for ocean conservation with The Pew Charitable Trusts in New England, working to promote sustainable fishing practices.

“Jeff has the vision, passion and commitment to lead this newsroom,” said LPM President Donovan Reynolds. “I am confident he’ll build a newsroom that delivers strong and fearless public-interest journalism about a region that is in the midst of a generational change.”

The Ohio River Network will produce hard-hitting, high-quality multimedia journalism that examines the region’s economy, energy, environment, agriculture, infrastructure and health. The CPB grant will support the hiring of eight journalists at the seven partner media outlets, including WKMS, for two years, with station support continuing in outlying years.

The group will produce journalism for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Marketplace, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and other public media outlets such as WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. The collaboration will produce daily reporting, investigations, long-form narrative pieces and documentaries.