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April 21, 2017

Meet Annika Leybold

As Research Assistant to Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET, Annika Leybold does preliminary research for various projects, such as Author Imprint, WLIW’s new author interview series. She also provides administrative support for Neal Shapiro and his executive assistant, Gail Varvaro. “My job changes depending on the day and what Neal needs. Part of it entails being a back-up executive assistant when Gail is out. I like wearing many different hats and learning about the different departments of the company,” Annika says. Read on to learn about the path that led Annika to WNET, the PBS programs she is looking forward to watching, and more.

Annika Leybold

Annika Leybold

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I graduated from Tufts in May, where I studied psychology and Spanish and led a student podcasting group. I interned in the newsroom at WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, the summer after graduation, and applied for my current job then.

Are there any current or upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?

I’m very excited about our new digital series featuring author interviews. They’ve been produced through MetroFocus in the past, but are now getting their own digital home and brand. We launched Author Imprint on WLIW last week, and it was an amazing feeling to see my work up on the website! The series highlights compelling new authors from around the city and hopefully will inspire people to read more.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

I’m from outside of Portland, Oregon, so I grew up on OPB. I watched a lot of Arthur with my sister while eating breakfast as a kid. There was a song that Arthur sang to spell aardvark that taught me how to spell the word, and I still sing it in my head to this day!

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I’m looking forward to the American Masters film Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, the Masterpiece program To Walk Invisible (I’m ashamed to admit I never read the Bronte sisters’ books), and I want to catch up on the Nature miniseries Spy in the Wild.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live in Morningside Heights, near Columbia. I love walking along Riverside Park and eating ramen from Kissaten Jin.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m slowly working my way through Catch-22. It’s been a bit of a slog,  but it’s a fascinating read.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

I love to dance and have been dancing all my life. I just started taking samba classes at Alvin Ailey!


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