Meet News Director Rachel Estabrook

Photo: Rachel Estabrook headshot - 8x10

It’s been a big year for Colorado Public Radio’s Rachel Estabrook. She was on the team of reporters selected to participate in NPR’s Story Lab project, which led to the award-winning podcast, “The Taxman.” And just this month she was promoted to news director.

In her new role, Rachel will lead the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and support growth efforts to add staff members and increase the amount of Colorado-focused coverage CPR is producing.

“I’m excited to lead the newsroom to a new phase,” says Rachel. “We have so much journalistic talent here at CPR. I’m looking forward to working with the team, encouraging and inspiring people to try new things and continue evolving our approach to tell stories that are relevant to Colorado.”

Rachel joined Colorado Public Radio in 2013 as a reporter/producer for “Colorado Matters.” She was promoted to managing producer of the show, overseeing the schedule of interviews, topics of discussion, as well as editing and producing interviews.

“‘Colorado Matters’ has really dictated my workday for almost five years,” says Rachel. “My day unfolded around those 48 minutes of the show. So, it’s a big shift to now be responsible for the entire day’s news operations.”

Photo: Rachel Estabrook in the field

Being the news director at Colorado Public Radio is an important job, and Rachel is enthused about the opportunity, particularly when it comes to expanding efforts to experiment and evaluate coverage.

“Working on ‘The Taxman,’ we had a chance to test new ideas, and take a little extra time to evaluate and reflect on the content,” notes Rachel. “I’m hoping to bring that same spirit of experimentation and innovation to the newsroom, and to be more systematic in evaluating our work to learn from it and iterate.”

CPR w NPR Story Lab 2017
Bria Granville / NPR

One place Rachel is looking to gather feedback and assess quality is NPR One, where listeners can react to a story in real-time. “It’s a great incubator to hone a concept and our sound – to see the audience’s reaction, how they respond to a new story format or audio experiment – before we roll it out on the radio,” explains Rachel.

Rachel’s interdisciplinary experience as a journalist will be instrumental as she takes on the challenge of managing CPR News, growing the team of reporters and supporting the production of more news coverage.

“I have been impressed with Rachel's news judgment, leadership, organizational skills and aspirations for the growth of our news coverage,” says Executive Editor Kevin Dale. “I'm excited for her, and for us as she takes this next step in her career.”

Learn more about Rachel and follow her on Twitter.