PHILADELPHIA, PA (11/17/2016) – The Institute for Journalism in New Media, created by philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest earlier this year to advance the development and sustainability of quality local journalism, today announced the expansion of both its senior management team and its Board of Managers, the governing body of the non-profit organization. Each appointee – five new Board members and two senior executives – is an influential industry leader in media, business and digital technology.
Mr. Lenfest continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Managers, which is comprised of prominent industry voices across journalism, media, technology and academia. The new Board members will provide counsel on strengthening various centers of innovation in local and metro media markets as well as developing creative funding plans to sustain and advance the business of news. New members include:
- Tony Haile, founding CEO of Chartbeat and Founder of Scroll
Tony Haile is CEO of Scroll, the new platform dedicated to great user experience and sustainable journalism. Previously he was the founding CEO of Chartbeat, the analytics company that works with 80% of the top publishers in the US and in more than 60 countries around the world. Tony has been an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and now teaches a course on media disruption at Stanford University. He sits on the Weber Shandwick Innovation Council and has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by FastCompany and 40 under 40 by Crain’s New York Business.
- Sara Lomax-Reese, president and CEO, WURD Radio
Lomax-Reese is the president and CEO of WURD Radio, Pennsylvania’s only African-American-owned talk station. Honored by The Philadelphia Business Journal as a “Woman of Distinction,” Lomax-Reese also sits on several Philadelphia boards, including the The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Drexel University’s College of Engineering Advisory Council.
- Martin Nisenholtz, professor of the Practice of Digital Communication, Boston University
Nisenholtz is a professor at Boston University and a venture partner at Firstmark Capital in New York. He was the founder and CEO of The New York Times Digital, and the founder and president of Ogilvy Interactive. Nisenholtz was also a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University. A Philadelphia native and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School, Martin is currently a board member for both non- and for-profit organizations.
- Hong Qu, former chief technology officer, Fusion
An avid media entrepreneur, Qu most recently served as Chief Technology Officer at Fusion. He has worked on the development and user experience teams at Upworthy, Google and YouTube. A resident of New York City, Qu serves the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance. He was awarded one of the first Visiting Nieman Fellowships in journalism at Harvard University. Qu is a graduate of Wesleyan University where he currently serves as a trustee and the School of Information at UC Berkeley.
- Vijay Ravindran, founder and CEO, Floreo
Ravindran is the founder and CEO of Floreo, an early-stage company specializing in virtual reality applications for children with autism. He is the former Chief Digital Officer for The Washington Post Company and CEO of Trove, a social news aggregator. Now living in Washington, D.C., Ravindran spent seven years working for Amazon, and led the team that developed Amazon Prime.
“These five individuals are pioneers in their respective industries, and I am proud to welcome them to our Board of Managers,” said Lenfest. “We conducted an extensive search for additional Board Members with highly diverse backgrounds and perspectives. I am deeply pleased that such gifted individuals are joining our organization. The breadth and depth of their talent and knowledge will serve to enhance our Board, allowing us to make smarter, more impactful decisions to ensure that quality journalism endures for decades to come.”
The Institute has also named two digital news industry veterans to its executive management team:
- Ken Herts, a former senior executive at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, has joined the Institute as Director of Media Business Design. Herts led finance for Dow Jones Consumer Media, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch, was Publisher of The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, and General Manager of Dow Jones Newswires. He will lead programs devoted to the digital transformation and sustainability of major heritage news organizations in Philadelphia and around the world.
- Burt Herman, co-founder of Storify, an award-winning social media storytelling application, and co-founder of Hacks/Hackers, a global grassroots movement of journalists and technologists. Herman was entrepreneur in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and previously was a bureau chief and reporter for The Associated Press. Herman has been appointed Director of Innovation Projects, and will head the Institute’s work with the latest news platforms, start-ups, and both private sector and non-profit innovation efforts.
“I’m pleased to announce the appointments of Ken Herts and Burt Herman to our executive management team,” said Jim Friedlich, executive director and CEO of the Institute for Journalism in New Media. “Ken and Burt each have terrific track records operating successfully at the intersection of news and technology. The expansion of our team supports our mission of advancing great local journalism, and as we continue to back creative and innovative news platforms and products, I am confident that we will attract and retain more top-tier talent.
The Institute will invest in and support innovative news initiatives nationwide, with a special emphasis on opportunities in metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia. With the opportunity to partner closely with Philadelphia Media Network – made up of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com – and other local media as a “test kitchen” for innovation, the Institute can create a blueprint for other legacy news organizations across the country.
In January 2016, Lenfest launched the Institute for Journalism in New Media and subsequently donated The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com to the newly formed tax-exempt organization. The Institute operates under the TPF Special Assets Fund associated with The Philadelphia Foundation.
For more information regarding Philadelphia Media Network, please visit www.philly.com. For more information regarding The Philadelphia Foundation, please visit www.philafound.org.
About Philadelphia Media Network, PMN
Philadelphia Media Network, (PMN) is the owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. With its multiple brand platforms and integrated print and digital products, PMN is the region’s largest news media network and the industry’s technological leader and innovator. PMN reaches an average weekly audience of 1.9 million adults – more than the combination of the four evening television news shows or the combination of those radio stations ranked in the top ten during drive-time programming.
About The Philadelphia Foundation
One of America’s oldest community foundations (founded in 1918), The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) is committed to improving the quality of life in the Pennsylvania counties of Greater Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia). A foundation and a public charity, TPF connects philanthropic resources to societal needs. TPF manages assets of approximately $370 million and more than 900 charitable funds established by its fund holders. It distributes about $25 million annually to nearly 1,000 nonprofits as grants and scholarships, and promotes greater philanthropy and stronger nonprofits in service to community needs. To learn more, visit www.philafound.org.
About The TPF Special Assets Fund
The TPF Special Assets Fund is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Philadelphia Foundation. Its purpose is to support The Philadelphia Foundation, including through the receipt of assets other than cash or publicly traded securities. Donations to TPF Special Assets Fund are tax-deductible to the same extent as are gifts to The Philadelphia Foundation itself. To learn more, visit www.philafound.org.