NPR names Isabel Lara first chief communications officer

Lara will oversee the organization’s existing media relations and corporate comms teams.

(Photo credit: Getty Images).
(Photo credit: Getty Images).

WASHINGTON: NPR has promoted Isabel Lara to chief communications officer, a newly created role. 

The position includes strategic oversight of NPR’s communications with its audiences and ensures a unified and consistent voice and strong representation of NPR’s brand across channels, it said in a statement. 

Lara will oversee the organization’s existing media relations and corporate communications teams, with the combined group managing media outreach, crisis communications, audience and talent relations, corporate messaging and stakeholder communications. 

NPR’s communications team also works closely with divisions including member partnership, marketing, policy and representation, development, the general counsel’s office, National Public Media and other teams to ensure consistent messaging, NPR said in a statement. 

Lara has led the nonprofit’s media relations team and served as its spokesperson since 2014, most recently in the role of executive director of media relations. She has also led NPR’s messaging on corporate issues and developments, including reputation management and strategy. 

Before joining NPR, Lara worked at the National Education Association, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Latino Center. She also held roles at the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation in New York and El Universal in Caracas, Venezuela. 

NPR’s top 20 affiliated public radio stations by listenership had an average weekly listenership of 9 million last year, down 9% from the year prior, according to the Pew Research Center. More than 26 million average weekly listeners tuned in to NPR programming last year, down from 28 million in 2019, and the number of member organizations was 254, down 4% from the previous year. 

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