John Van Hoesen, a senior vice president and chief content officer at Vermont Public Radio, announced his retirement on Monday, just days before the station is due to merge with Vermont PBS.
Van Hoesen joined VPR in 2001 as news director. He said in an announcement he posted on LinkedIn that his most recent role has been helping VPR and PBS establish their new mission for the combined organization. VPR did not put out a statement about Van Hoesen’s retirement.
VPR and PBS announced in September their plan to merge. The stations haven’t publicly released much information about programming or operational changes expected from the merger, apart from a blog by VPR President Scott Finn in March that said the new entity will be more inclusive and more reflective of all of the people in the region, including those from diverse backgrounds. Finn said then that it will prioritize coverage of education and will expand journalism coverage. The new entity will be legally incorporated as Vermont Public.
When announcing the merger, the two stations said there were no immediate plans to cut jobs. VPR then had 59 full-time and 14 part-time staffers; Vermont PBS had 42 employees.
“When stations do this, they usually make more revenue than they were anticipated to make separately,” Finn told Seven Daysat the time. VPR has a $9 million annual budget and roughly $30 million in assets, according to Finn. Vermont PBS has a $7.8 million budget and $60 million in assets, according to PBS president and CEO Steve Ferreira.
The two organizations have collaborated frequently in recent years, conducting polling, hosting debates and broadcasting each other's content. VPR also has had partnerships with VTDigger.org and Seven Days.
Van Hoesen said in his LinkedIn statement that his retirement will start in July.
"Ultimately, it's been my honor to be able to devote an entire career to public service in broadcast and print for the people of Vermont," he wrote.
Neither Van Hoesen, Finn nor Sarah Ashworth, vice president of news at VPR, returned messages Monday evening seeking more details or comment on Van Hoesen's departure.