APM Studios, the podcast production division of American Public Media (APM), has announced two new executive appointments. Effective immediately, Joanne Griffith joins the team as Chief Content Officer and Thomas De Napoli has been named Chief Strategy Officer, solidifying the senior leadership team under General Manager Lily Kim. Along with Chief Operating Officer Alex Schaffert, the group is charged with forwarding the studio’s mission to tell stories that inspire change through unique perspectives, voices and realities.
Griffith will oversee the editorial vision and brand voice for APM Studios and will have creative oversight on original and acquired podcasts. Her new role marks her return to APM, having previously worked with Marketplace, the organization’s business and economic news outlet, where she implemented a successful audience engagement-focused approach to growing the enterprise’s digital footprint. With over 20 years of experience in audio reporting, producing and editing, Griffith has a deep background in public media, working with the BBC, NPR, Southern California Public Radio and KQED. She was recently the founding managing editor of The California Newsroom, one of NPR’s first collaborative regional news hubs, and was also the lead producer on ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast The King of Crenshaw.
As Chief Strategy Officer for APM Studios, De Napoli will lead on all business development efforts to extend APM’s podcast IP across multimedia platforms, including consumer products and experiences. He will also continue managing sponsor and partner revenue growth for the organization’s portfolio of on-demand audio content. De Napoli joined APM in 2020 as managing director, and over the past year has built the podcast business’ sales and business development strategy, including a landmark partnership deal with Cadence 13. Prior to APM, he led ViacomCBS’ digital transformation initiatives to monetize its social media footprint and developed revenue-generating partnerships with leading creators and digital publishers.
“During this pivotal time for APM Studios, Alex, Tom and I are thrilled to welcome Joanne. Given her impressive background in public media, her thoughtful audience-engagement approach towards storytelling, and the past initiatives she has led to champion diversity efforts, it was clear from the start that Joanne would be the perfect person to round out our leadership team,” commented Lily Kim, General Manager, APM Studios. “Expanding Tom’s role here at APM Studios was also an easy decision given the significant impact and growth he’s led on content innovation and digital sales capabilities across our organization.”
“Over the past 18 months, the media ecosystem has experienced a rapid acceleration from an ‘attention’ economy that is measured in impressions, views, and clicks towards a ‘passion economy’ realized in fan love, engagement and loyalty. We’re excited about the opportunity this opens up for public media organizations like APM Studios to build partnerships and develop new offerings with others who share our values as we continue to advance our purpose-driven mission of delivering accessible, relevant and impactful stories to new and existing audiences in storytelling spaces beyond audio.”
Flagship podcasts produced by APM Studios include the award-winning Terrible, Thanks for Asking; Brains On!; Don’t Ask Tig; The Splendid Table; and The Slowdown. The studio — which specializes in developing and producing podcasts across multiple genres, including kids and family, news and investigative, and personality and lifestyle categories — has several new programs in development to launch in the upcoming fall/winter season.
The new leadership appointments follow APM Studios becoming an official entity under the American Public Media umbrella.