KBBI hires new News Director

KBBI Public Radio has hired a News Director, Hope McKenney. She replaces former News Director Jay Barrett who died in March. McKenney will start on June 20, according to a press release. McKenney was previously the News Director for KUCB in Unalaska, covering local and regional news for the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. She also reported for Alaska Public Media’s Energy Desk. Prior to that, Hope was a reporter and producer for KQED in San Francisco, and a reporter and producer for KPFA in Berkeley.

McKenney won Best Radio Profile at the Alaska Press Club Awards in 2020 for her story about the sinking of the F/V Scandies Rose. She is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University. She also studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Cuba for post-graduate art studies.

“One day, you might find yourself reporting on a city council meeting, the next day, talking to scientists about their efforts to eradicate rats from a 1,500-mile archipelago, and the next, covering the loss of a community member in an airplane crash or natural disaster,” McKenney said in a press release. “But at the heart of it, you’re listening to the people who make up that community, and I feel grateful every day that I get to be that listener, and that reporter.”

KBBI General Manager Josh Krohn said, “We’re looking forward to Hope starting her role as KBBI’s News Director, and bringing her own distinctive voice to our airwaves.”