Award-winning public radio journalist Sarah Ashworth will return to Vermont Public Radio in March as director of news. She will lead the station’s 15-person news team.
Ashworth brings a variety of experiences to VPR, which has significantly increased its public service journalism over the last 17 years as a result of audience demand. She will lead VPR’s initiatives in broadcast and digital news gathering as the organization develops new ways to provide news, enterprise and investigative reporting while engaging the community in the process.
Ashworth will replace John Dillon, who will join the New England News Collaborative to produce in-depth regional reporting for VPR and seven other public radio stations in New England.
John Van Hoesen, VPR’s senior vice president and chief content officer, says, “In the face of big changes in media and how we get our news, there is so much opportunity for public radio and for VPR. With Sarah's leadership and experience, we will develop new and better ways to serve our audience. We are excited to welcome her back to Vermont."
Ashworth previously worked at VPR as a producer for Vermont Edition, the station’s weekday news magazine, from 2007-2010. Since then, Ashworth has held a number of positions in public radio, including as producer of the Diane Rehm Show, news director at New Hampshire Public Radio, and currently as an editor at Minnesota Public Radio. She also served as an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she helped launch the school’s public radio program.
During Ashworth’s tenure at NHPR, the newsroom won National Edward R. Murrow awards for News Series in 2016 and 2017, and Overall Excellence in 2015 and 2017. Ashworth also led the highly regarded coverage of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary in 2016.
“Vermont is a great place to practice journalism, with its engaged population of listeners and readers and people who care deeply about their communities,” Ashworth said. “We're in a time when public radio journalism has renewed its commitment to storytelling, and I’m looking forward to producing memorable stories and essential news to Vermonters on demand, online and on the radio.”
Ashworth starts in her new position at VPR on March 12.