“The 74 Embarks on a New Chapter”

The Board of Directors of The 74 offered me the position of Publisher a little over three years ago. They asked me to help secure a brighter future for The 74.

Since 2017, I’ve been a reader of the site and have always been impressed by the high quality reporting on the top issues in U.S. education. I’ve known some of the staff and have admired their dedication to human-focused and fact-based storytelling.

When I became publisher, I immediately identified several opportunities to improve The 74 and help it reach its full potential. These included expanding our donor base to hire more journalists and cover more stories, revamping our distribution system to increase visibility, and elevating The 74’s presence in the education and news industries.

After many months of hard work, I’m excited to announce that The 74 has made significant progress toward these goals and more. The future of The 74 is bright, and its current state is robust and vibrant.

However, it is also time for a new era.

Today, I am stepping down as publisher of The 74. My colleague, Editor-in-Chief Steve Snyder, will take on an expanded role as CEO, overseeing both the content and financial operations of the organization. Having witnessed Steve’s leadership during the pandemic and the challenges in the education landscape, I am confident he is the right person to guide The 74 into the future.

Steve is one of the original members of The 74, having helped launch the publication in 2015. Since becoming editor-in-chief in 2017, he has worked diligently to make education a prominent news story every day. He has maintained the highest standards of journalism, ensuring that every piece of content resonates with students and their families.

As CEO, Steve will lead a publication and nonprofit company that has evolved significantly since I joined as publisher. We faced immense uncertainty in education in the summer of 2020, but we persevered. Our base of institutional donors has grown from 6 to 19, and we have implemented a membership program and major gifts effort. The additional funding has been reinvested into our journalism, enabling us to hire journalists at various stages of their careers and with diverse backgrounds.

Our reach has also expanded, with distribution agreements with platforms like Apple News, Flipboard, MSN, and Yahoo News. We have partnered with the Solutions Journalism Network and other syndicators to reach an audience four times the size we had before the pandemic. In addition, we have given our publication a fresh, visually appealing design and produced engaging articles and videos.

Our efforts to broaden our donor base, enhance distribution partnerships, and improve visual impact have enriched the excellent journalism of The 74. Over the past three years, we have received numerous awards and collaborated with the USC-Annenberg School of Journalism to train the next generation of education journalists. We have also explored new ways of covering educational topics through contests and newsletters.

The 74 has thrived as a nonprofit news organization without a paywall or traditional advertising. Our journalism and supporting infrastructure are in a strong position as I pass the torch to Steve.

For the next few months, I will continue to contribute as an editor. My focus will be on maintaining our momentum as Steve develops his vision for the future of The 74.

As for my own future, I have yet to determine what lies ahead after spending 46 years in the news business. It’s been an incredible journey, from my early days as a reporter to my time at The New York Times, Mashable, Cheddar, and finally, The 74. Now, I plan to take mandolin lessons, improve my French, and contemplate what’s next.

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