Content Producers Guild is a federally recognized non-profit that supports, encourages, and facilitates the production of high-quality, ethically responsible independent media in Alaska.
Back in 2010, three independent Alaska journalists had a problem -- they had an idea for a radio show, but they needed to be a non-profit to raise more money. Though Alaska boasts plenty of non-profits, there weren't any that were seen as completely independent, a trait that media makers rely on. The group used their initial status as a state non-profit to create and produce Kids These Days!, an award-winning radio show about parenting. Then, in 2012, they became an official 501(c)(3) so they could seek different sorts of funding for other projects and help other independent media makers do the same.
When Kids These Days! ended, the group produced shorter radio productions on Wilderness and mental health. They also served as the fiscal sponsor for groups like Story Works Alaska, which helps young people tell their stories. After a brief hiatus driven by jobs, kids, and outdoor adventures, CPG is active again. Our board and staff have decades of combined experience in journalism, have written and managed grants of all sizes, and are eager to work with media makers of all types across Alaska. We are a membership organization that hopes to grow into a cadre of professionals who help each other navigate the state's shifting media landscape. Together we can produce content for a better informed, better educated Alaska.
board and staff
Jessica Cochran - Board President/Co-Founder
Jessica spent twenty years as a journalist in Alaska, primarily as radio reporter and producer for Alaska Public Radio Network. She spent time as a daily news reporter/producer, and co-created, produced, and edited the weekend magazine show AK before setting out on a freelance career, working through Content Producers Guild on Kids These Days! and other projects. Once those projects ended she transitioned onto the CPG Board.
These days, she is Director of Community Relations & Communications for Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc. and spends her "free" time driving teenagers around, as well as serving as CPG's president.
Sarah Gonzales - Board Member/Co-Founder
Erik Hill - Board Member
Erik was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. He holds degrees from Stanford University and Ohio University. Erik gained photojournalism experience interning at The Kansas City Star., Florida Times-Union, and Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette newspapers. He then worked for four years in Kansas City before moving to the Anchorage Daily News in late 1984. His work in Alaska took him around the state to cover topics as diverse as the Iditarod, the epidemic of alcoholism and suicide in rural Alaska, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The People in Peril series earned a Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service in 1989, and Exxon Valdez photo coverage achieved finalist status in 1990. Erik retired in late 2017.
Erik is married to Robin Mackey Hill, who recently retired from teaching in the Anchorage School District. Robin also co-founded the local Habitat for Humanity Anchorage affiliate.
Anne Hillman - Staff
Anne has worked in radio around Alaska for over a decade producing stories on everything from blueberry contests to mass incarceration. She was most recently the creator and reporter for Alaska Public Media's Solutions Desk, a reporting and community engagement project focused on responses to social problems. She also hosted and produced the award-winning community conversation series Community in Unity. Beyond reporting she has experience designing and facilitating workshops, writing and managing small grants, and traveling long distances on a fully-loaded tricycle. She's now the engagement editor for Education Lab at The Seattle Times.
Kathleen McCoy - Board Member
Kathleen is an independent journalist who has been working in Alaska close to four decades. Arriving in 1981, she worked 10 months as a reporter for The Nome Nugget in Nome, then 26 years as a reporter, editor, and assistant managing editor for features at the Anchorage Daily News. There, she oversaw 14 feature sections each week, including the Sunday magazine, We Alaskans.
She was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2006-7. She has freelanced for Alaska Public Media for 10 years, and very much enjoys the privilege of interviewing Alaskans as host of APM’s weekly community radio program, "Hometown Alaska."
Lori Townsend - Board Member
Lori got her start in broadcasting at the age of 12 as the park announcer for baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin and now holds the post of News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for close to 30 years. Before coming to Alaska in 1999, she was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director.
In her free time, Lori writes thrillers, spends time with her grandkids, and tends to a beautiful garden.
content producers guild
Sarah was one of the founders and the original Executive Director of CPG. Currently she's the Senior Copywriter at PicMonkey, a photo editing and design software company, and previously she helped to build the Intuit QuickBooks Community as a Content Creator. There she wrote dozens of articles about entrepreneurship, small business and told the stories of fascinating entrepreneurs.
In another lifetime, before exploring the wonders of Alaska, she worked in Los Angeles at actual print magazines like Ms. and Variety, and began freelancing as a fixer/field producer with the BBC and other international production companies.