Poynter announces the 2023 Media Transformation Challenge Program Fellows

These 27 executives will begin the yearlong program, recognized for its unique tools, coaching support and interconnected alumni network, on Jan. 9.

January 9, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Jan. 9, 2023) — The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, fact-checking and media literacy education, is pleased to announce the 27 senior executives selected for the 2023 Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) Program: A Poynter Institute Executive Fellowship.

Since 2007, more than 350 senior media executives have realized critical performance results, built lifelong career skills and relationships, and made major contributions to industry transformation through this yearlong program (known industry wide as the original Sulzberger Program).  

Fellows learn and apply MTC’s well-known tools of performance-driven change, have yearlong access to a full slate of diverse executive coaches (including a personal coach), and connect with a world-class set of former Fellows who share common language and program experiences. 

The 2023 Fellows represent some of the biggest media brands in the world, including ABC News, The Associated Press, BBC, CNN and Los Angeles Times, as well as leading-edge nonprofit news organizations testing new audience approaches and business models. This year’s program will also welcome a highly diverse group of media professionals including the first Fellow from Africa — a renowned Nigerian investigative journalist — and newer organizations such as one that blossomed from the exchange of fact-based information about COVID-19 over WhatsApp.  

“I’m deeply grateful for this very diverse, talented incoming class, and we’re excited to begin a new set of MTC journeys,” said executive director Charlie Baum. “As we enter our 17th year, I want to thank all the program alumni and supporters who helped bring together this particular group of Fellows, and more generally, the AP’s 38 Fellows and ABC News’ 20 Fellows since the program inception in 2007.”

Fellows will begin the MTC program during an in-person kick-off at Poynter on Jan. 9, 2023, under the leadership of Baum, joined by returning coaches Robyn Tomlin, Amanda Barrett, Stéphane Mayoux and Lauren Gustus. Danyelle White, a 2022 Fellow, will also join the coaching staff and bring extensive experience in developing for-profit and nonprofit journalism business models and mentoring. Quentin Hope and Karen Gordon will retire as longtime coaches of the program but continue to serve as faculty in leadership and strategy. 

Throughout the fellowship, participants will identify and pursue their most significant business performance challenges with help from MTC’s trademark tools, concepts, coaches, peer group and alumni network. In years past, the program has focused on helping newer enterprises deploy quality journalism to deliver audience impact, build capacity and gain financial strength; innovating new business models, service offerings and digital ventures; delivering more powerful audience-focused experiences and outcomes through integrating efforts across internal operations; and strengthening relationships and building audiences across fault lines of race and class. 

“The 2022 class achieved millions of dollars in incremental revenue, deeper audience and newsroom engagement and impact, and rapid cycle experimental testing of new ideas and opportunities,” said Baum. “And built lifelong relationships with each other.”

Several Fellows are supported through the generosity of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Poynter welcomes the 2023 MTC Fellows:

MTC 2023 Coaches:

  • Charlie Baum
    Executive Director
    Charlie Baum has been associated with MTC since the very opening dinner of the Sulzberger program in January 2007.  While helping build the foundation, accomplishments,...
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  • Amanda Barrett
    Deputy Managing Editor, Associated Press
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  • Lauren Gustus
    Lauren Gustus became executive editor of The Salt Lake Tribune in the fall of 2020. The Utah news organization was the first and remains the...
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  • Stéphane Mayoux
    Stéphane Mayoux is an executive coach whose professional DNA is rooted in 25 years of BBC international journalism. Stéphane has been closely supporting media companies...
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  • Robyn Tomlin
    Robyn Tomlin is a veteran journalist, media executive and leader with a passion for using performance-driven change efforts to help news organizations transform and grow....
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  • Danyelle White
    Danyelle White is the vice president of strategic initiatives & community engagement at The Salt Lake Tribune, the first and only major metro to transition...
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Thank you for supporting MTC:

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Mel Grau is the senior product specialist at The Poynter Institute, focusing on Poynter's training experiences and newsletters. She previously edited The Cohort, Poynter’s biweekly…
Mel Grau

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