Vermont Public Radio has appointed veteran journalist John Dillon as News Director, and Producer Melody Bodette has been named Deputy News Director, the station announced Tuesday.
Dillon, who has been with VPR since 2001, was chosen following a comprehensive national search this summer.
“It was an honor to hear from many candidates from around the country, and so rewarding to find the right news director in our own back yard,” said John Van Hoesen, VPR’s senior vice president and chief content officer. “John Dillon has deep experience and knowledge that will help VPR to provide even better public service to our growing audience.”
The new leadership team will be responsible for VPR’s broadcast and digital news, including the station’s nine daily newscasts, news on VPR.net, the morning News Link email and the station’s multiple social media news feeds.
Dillon’s broadcast stories have aired on VPR, NPR and Marketplace. He has been a leader in energy and environmental reporting, including the most recent developments around the planned closure of Vermont Yankee. He replaces Ross Sneyd, who left VPR in June to take a position at National Life Insurance.
Dillon (on Twitter @VPRDillon) brings years of journalism experience to his new position. His climate change reporting has been recognized nationally with an Edward R. Murrow Award. He also has received awards for investigative reporting on an abandoned asbestos mine in northern Vermont, and for reporting on migrant workers on Vermont's dairy farms.
Prior to joining VPR, Dillon was an investigative journalist and state reporter for the The Times Argus and Rutland Herald. Other highlights of his experience include a stint as bureau chief for United Press International in Montpelier and several years as a staff reporter for Columnist Jack Anderson in Washington, D.C.
Bodette (@MelodyBodette) has been VPR's Morning Edition producer since 2007. During Tropical Storm Irene, she contributed to VPR’s comprehensive news coverage, including the newscast from the morning after the storm that won a regional RTNDA award. She has been the producer of VPR’s continuing coverage of one family's recovery, the Graham-Frocks of Rochester. And she was on the team that received an RTDNA Unity Award for "Vermont Reads: To Kill A Mockingbird" in 2012. She had previously worked in the editorial department of the Burlington Free Press.
Van Hoesen said that VPR would seek a new reporter to replace Dillon and join veteran reporter Bob Kinzel in the capital bureau in Montpelier sometime this fall.
Both VPR News appointments are effective on September 30.
VPR News Vision VPR’s strategic plan lays out bold steps to deliver on its mission to provide essential, trusted, and independent news for Vermont and the region. Over the next three years, VPR will expand its digital reporting and production, expand news coverage to seven days a week, and increase its investigative reporting projects. The scope of community news reporting – in the spirit of Vermont’s grassroots traditions – will also grow through VPR’s local news initiative, Public Post.