Sakeenah Benjamin is Billy Penn's new audience coordinator

A bright spot during tough times for local news: Billy Penn is growing. We’re thrilled to announce Sakeenah Benjamin is joining our team as audience coordinator.

If you’re usually out and about in Philadelphia, you might’ve already met Sakeenah. As part of WHYY’s public information department for the past couple years, she’s been leading the street teams that pop up at events and festivals around the region.

It’s her crew that helped us pull off the fun Gameadelphia tents at Philly Free Streets, Cherry Street Pier and an Eagles tailgate last year — something we’re all looking forward to getting back to once that kind of event is safe again.

For now, the West Philly native will spend half her time helping strengthen Billy Penn’s membership and events programs, aka the literal lifeblood of our newsroom.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Billy Penn on many street team events,” Benjamin said. “I’m very pleased to join [and] take on the role of the audience coordinator.”

Sakeenah is not new to news. Before joining WHYY, she worked at Radio One Philadelphia’s 107.9 as a digital media director and assistant producer. She also holds a masters in journalism from Hofstra University, and interned with CNN’s “New Day.”

Her way with words is apparent in this first-person tale about the letter she keeps sending to Philly’s mayors over gun violence, which killed her cousin 16 years ago.

She’ll be using that skill to step up our member communications (look for a special members-only newsletter soon), as well as help bring in revenue via kick-ass events so Billy Penn can become sustainable and keep doing what we do for years into the future.

With Sakeenah on board, Billy Penn at WHYY grows from four people to five. That’s a big jump, one all of us are pumped for, including editor Danya Henninger, political editor Max Marin and reporters Michaela Winberg and Layla A. Jones.

“This is an exciting role,” said Benjamin, noting she’s been a BP fan for a while. “I’m proud to be a part of such an incredible team.”

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...