Journalists Named to Changing Gears Team

Award-winning journalists from public media, the Web and newspapers are now part of the Changing Gears team.

The new staff members are:

Cleveland Reporter Dan Bobkoff

Ann Arbor Reporter Kate Davidson

Chicago Reporter Niala Boodhoo

Senior Producer for Social Engagement George Nemeth

Bobkoff and Nemeth are based at Changing Gears partner ideastream in Cleveland. Davidson will work from Michigan Radio while Boodhoo will be based at WBEZ-FM in Chicago.

Changing Gears expects to air its first reports in mid-September.

Here’s the text of the official announcement.

Award-winning journalists from public media, the Web and the newspaper world have been named to the staff of “Changing Gears: Remaking the Manufacturing Belt, a project from the Upper Midwest Local Journalism Center (LJC).

The announcement was made Wednesday by Michigan Radio, WBEZ FM-Chicago and Cleveland’s ideastream (90.3 WCPN and WVIZ/PBS).

The new staff members are:

Dan Bobkoff, a Changing Gears reporter based in Cleveland. Bobkoff has been a staff reporter at 90.3 WCPN ideastream and frequent contributor to NPR programs including All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Niala Boodhoo, a Changing Gears reporter based in Chicago. Boodhoo has been the multi-media business reporter for the Miami Herald and is also an NPR contributor.

Kate Davidson, a Changing Gears reporter based in Ann Arbor, MI. Davidson has been a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered and is a documentary filmmaker.

George Nemeth, editor for social engagement and new media, based in Cleveland. Nemeth is a veteran blogger and the founder of

They join Micheline (Micki) Maynard, who became senior editor of Changing Gears in June. Maynard most recently was a senior business correspondent for The New York Times.

The Center is a new editorial collaboration led by WBEZ in Chicago in partnership with Michigan Radio and Ideastream in Cleveland. It’s funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to report on a major developing story–the transformation of the Upper Midwest’s industrial-based economy to a post-manufacturing one. This transition is a turning point in the American economy with economic, social, environmental and cultural implications.

Beginning in mid-September, the Changing Gears team will create long form radio feature reports, special programs for radio and television, and web content. The project also will engage the citizens of the region in discussions on the area’s future.

“I’m delighted to have a skilled, energetic team for this ground-breaking project,” Maynard said. “Changing Gears will be a two-way conversation between our staff, our partner stations and the community. Dan, Niala, Kate and George are filled with ideas for fresh ways to look at this critical subject.”

The Changing Gears team

Dan Bobkoff has spent more than three years covering Northeast Ohio’s economy and politics for Changing Gears partner station WCPN ideastream. He has worked at public radio stations WAMC in Albany, NY, WNYC in New York City, and at ABC News in New York.

Bobkoff has extensively covered the effects of the recession on businesses, employment and government. He also covered Lebron James’ decision to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat.

Bobkoff is from Chappaqua, NY, and graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he earned a degree in philosophy.

Niala Boodhoo has been a business reporter for 10 years, working at the Associated Press, Reuters, and most recently, The Miami Herald, where she reported on the local economy, labor and employment.

Boodhoo was the newspaper’s first print journalist to have a weekly radio report. It aired for three years with the Miami Herald’s news partner, WLRN, the South Florida public radio station. She was also created the first weekly business video show on

Born and raised in Miami, Boodhoo has a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a Masters of Arts in Latin American/Caribbean Studies from Florida International University. She is also a graduate of Calvin College, where she studied philosophy and psychology.

Kate Davidson comes to Changing Gears after five years as a producer with NPR. Recently assigned to the Gulf oil spill, Davidson has produced a variety of news and feature pieces including this spring’s Three Minute Fiction competition.

Prior to joining NPR, Davidson was an independent producer and reporter in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Her radio documentary “Saints and Indians,” which aired on NPR, won the Edward R. Murrow Award for best national news documentary in 2006.

Davidson has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California Berkeley, where she studied documentary filmmaking.  Her film “Take It and Like It,” played in film festivals and on PBS stations around the country.

Davidson is also a graduate of Yale University.

George Nemeth is a veteran blogger and founder of, a Cleveland based Web site with opinion and information on a wide range of subjects. An expert in micro blogging and social networking, Nemeth was involved in the creation and promotion of many online and offline communities including the Cleveland Social Media.

He was the Chief Information Officer of as well as Social Media Strategist at Optiem, an interactive marketing firm. He is the co-author of “Instructions from the Cook,” published in 2009 by DesigningLife Books, which looks at building community by intentionally creating new conversations. He has also been an instructor on new media issues at several Cleveland area schools, focusing on the use of blogs, wikis, and other traditional forms of print and electronic media.

Nemeth has a bachelor of arts in Business Administration from John Carroll University.

Micheline (Micki) Maynard most recently was with The New York Times, where her work has appeared since 2000. She joined The Times staff in 2004 as a reporter in Business Day, covering the airline industry. She was named Detroit bureau chief in October 2005, where she directed the Times’ coverage of the automobile industry. Maynard became a senior business correspondent in 2008, and played a key role in the paper’s coverage of the automobile industry bailout.

A frequent NPR guest, she has written four books, including her latest, “The Selling of the American Economy: How Foreign Companies Are Remaking the American Dream” which was published in October 2009 by Random House. Maynard also wrote the acclaimed 2003 book “The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market” which foresaw the collapse of Detroit carmakers. Also published by Random House, it appeared in paperback in 2004.

She holds degrees from Michigan State University and Columbia University. Maynard is an adjunct faculty member at the Ross School of Business at Michigan, and has taught at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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