KNKX Public Radio is pleased to announce that veteran journalist, producer and educator Florangela Davila is the station’s next news director, effective Sept. 9. She succeeds Erin Hennessey, who has led the KNKX newsroom (formerly KPLU) for 23 years.
Hennessey is transitioning into a new role focused on community engagement and education, based out of the station’s downtown Tacoma studios.
Davila’s appointment marks her return to the station. As a freelance reporter, she created “Artscape,” a weekly arts series that ran on KPLU for four years. She was project manager for “Looking Back to Look Forward,” the station’s documentary series on the 2008 presidential election, culminating in a multimedia event. Davila also was an interim daily education reporter and co-managed KPLU’s School of Jazz music education mentorship program.
“Florangela brings a brilliant constellation of experience to the newsroom,” said Matt Martinez, KNKX director of content. “She also brings a clear vision, an enthusiasm for our journalism, and a deep commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome her, and I'm looking forward to the energy and smarts she'll bring to our work.”
Davila has an extensive background in print, broadcast and digital media, most recently as managing editor for Cascade Public Media’s Crosscut/KCTS9 in Seattle. There, she built, grew and led a team of award-winning editors, reporters and photographers. She also deepened coverage of immigration, race/equity and arts/culture, and brought on a more diverse group of contributors that better reflect the racial makeup of the region.
Davila hosted the “Crosscut Now” broadcast program, hosted and produced the Crosscut Now Studio Sessions, and helped drive the Crosscut Live stage series. Davila also chaired Cascade Public Media’s race/equity committee. Prior to Crosscut, she was the director of the Voices of the Region at Seattle nonprofit Forterra, which included launching Ampersand, an award-winning print publication, and executive producing the annual Ampersand Live stage event.
Davila was a staff writer at The Seattle Times from 1994 to 2008 covering race and immigration, the environment and TV/radio. While there, she was an instructor for the paper’s Urban Newspaper Workshop, serving high school youth of color.
Davila also reported for The Alameda Times-Star in Alameda, California. As a freelance journalist for broadcast, online and print media, she has also contributed to NPR, the Northwest News Network, BBC Food Programme, espn.com and Seattle Magazine. From 2008 to 2013, Davila was a faculty member in the communication department at the University of Washington, teaching multimedia storytelling and entrepreneurial journalism.
“I am thrilled to be returning to a station that first welcomed me in 2008, and whose own story is rooted in the strong embrace and trust of the public,” Davila said. “This station is powered by people who believe in public media — and that goes for the amazing news staff that have been led by the legendary Erin Hennessey, who first taught me radio. I am so excited to be joining the team whose journalism I’ve been turning to for years in this place I’ve called home for 25 years. I look forward to continuing to deliver great journalism that matters to the region.”
Davila has garnered numerous accolades, including Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Excellence in Journalism Awards and “Seattle’s Most Influential” list, awarded to Crosscut by Seattle Magazine. Her fellowships include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative and Knight Center fellowships on Immigration and Poverty. Davila has bachelor’s degrees in French and political science from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.