Jane Lindholm To Move Into New Role At VPR, Expanding 'But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids'

Oct 27, 2020

After nearly 14 years as host of Vermont Edition, Jane Lindholm will move into a new role at VPR in February, expanding But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids, as well as producing special news projects for the station.

"Hosting Vermont Edition has been the highlight of my professional life. Every day I get to talk with fellow Vermonters, thinking about what we want our state to be and sharing both difficult times and joy,” Lindholm said. “But I’m ready for a new challenge. I'm looking forward to helping the youngest of public radio listeners explore the world around them."

Lindholm joined VPR in 2007 as Vermont Edition expanded from a weekly pilot into the flagship daily newsmagazine it is today. Over the years, Vermont Edition has convened conversations about the thorny issues facing the state, including gun control measures, how to address systemic racism, why people drink and drive, and countless programs with state leaders and candidates. It also has offered Vermonters the opportunity to share their love of books, food, birds, gardening and other joyful topics. 

The program has been recognized with more than 30 local, regional and national awards for its journalism and service to the community. 

"Vermonters have trusted Jane to ask the questions they have in their own minds, they have counted on her to get to the truth of the matter over and over again, and they have relied on her to be there for them even in the hardest of times,” said John Van Hoesen, senior vice president and chief content officer. “Jane has brought to the program a true examination and reflection of Vermont life.”

Earlier this year, Vermont Edition expanded to two hours per day during Vermont’s stay-at-home order. The program provided critical information and resources about health and safety as well as essential connection for Vermonters during a time of increased isolation. 

The program also expanded its live programming during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, helping connect Vermonters to essential resources after the storm devastated many Vermont communities.

Vermont Edition Managing Producer Lydia Brown said the change marks an opportunity to reimagine the program and improve its public service to Vermonters, while strengthening the core elements that have made it essential listening over the last 14 years.

“As we search for a new host, we’ll also refine our strategy for engaging with and amplifying the voices of our state,” Brown said. “This work cannot be done in a vacuum. It requires listening to and surveying our diverse communities; opening our ears to better understand and reflect the experiences of contemporary Vermonters.”

The move will allow VPR to expand programming and access to VPR’s But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids, the internationally recognized podcast that Lindholm created in 2016. Together with Senior Producer Melody Bodette, they take on audio questions submitted by kids all over the world and explore the answers with experts, and sometimes with kids themselves. The program has listeners worldwide and has exceeded four million downloads since March.

Lindholm and Bodette will also produce in-depth special projects and documentaries as part of VPR’s news team, focusing on issues that could benefit from a long term approach. 

“Exploring something new every day on Vermont Edition has been so much fun,” Lindholm said. “But I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take time to explore a single issue from multiple angles, engage with our audience on issues that matter to them, and present something new and different to Vermonters.”