WHYY yesterday hired former Inquirer editorial page editor Chris Satullo for a new position overseeing the public broadcaster's radio, TV and Internet news operations. He will begin work Dec. 15.
WHYY will announce Satullo's title this week, and he will be "responsible for all our news and civic-engagement initiatives," said William J. Marrazzo, president and chief executive officer.
"We intend to expand our news services on all platforms," Marrazzo said. Both men said that could mean more regularly scheduled news programs on radio and television.
Stressing that he would have to become more familiar with WHYY personnel and operations before outlining specific projects, Satullo said yesterday that he particularly hoped to "strongly bolster WHYY's Web operation and Web presence" and increase the "WHYY-branded local public-affairs programs."
Satullo said WHYY-FM's local talk show Radio Times With Marty Moss-Coane and Terry Gross' nationally respected Fresh Air interview program were "really well done by really talented people, but if, in a couple of years, they are the only two news programs associated with WHYY, I won't have done my job very well."
Satullo joined The Inquirer in 1989 as an assistant suburban editor and served as editorial page editor from 2000 to 2007, working extensively in civic-engagement projects, a field that he and Marrazzo said would be important at WHYY.
Satullo helped direct "Great Expectations" for The Inquirer and the University of Pennsylvania's Project on Civic Engagement in conjunction with the 2007 mayor's race. Between 800 and 1,000 people participated, he said. More recently, he has been writing two columns a week for the paper's news sections.
Satullo, who will report to WHYY chief operating officer Kyra McGrath, was chosen from a national pool, Marrazzo said. "He's a three-fer," he said, "an outstanding journalist with a track record in civic engagement who understands this community like the back of his hand."