The New England News Collaborative has become a signature project for VPR since the station joined a unique partnership with seven other public radio stations in 2016. It is the largest media collaboration of its kind in the region with the goal of in-depth reporting on issues that have an impact beyond state borders. Dillon also will play a key role in planning the future of the Collaborative, as well as working with NPR to develop its vision for regional news hubs.
Over the last 15 years, Dillon has served in a number of key roles that helped to develop and expand VPR’s News Department. VPR received many awards for excellence in journalism during his tenure as news director, including three national awards in 2017.
“It has been an honor to lead VPR’s incredible news team for the last several years, but I’m tremendously excited to pick up my notebook and field recorder again and share stories with our audience in Vermont and around New England," Dillon said. "Over the last year and a half, the regional collaborative has dug deep into issues of immigration, energy production and the environment. I hope to advance that work with stories of regional relevance from Vermont.”
John Van Hoesen, senior vice president and chief content officer at VPR, said that the return of Dillon as a senior reporter will strengthen VPR’s public service at a time when Vermont audiences want more in-depth news that has meaning to their lives.
“John has been at VPR from the time the station began to build its news department,” said Van Hoesen. “With this change, VPR’s reporting team will be well positioned to provide the in-depth news Vermonters want and need.”
Dillon’s appointment will be effective in early 2018. A national search for a news director has already begun. In the meantime, Steve Zind, also a veteran editor and reporter at VPR, will serve temporarily as news editor to provide additional management and editorial support during the transition.