The 74 Reveals Leadership Change, Steve Snyder Selected as Next CEO of Education News Outlet

Steve Snyder, the Editor-in-Chief of The 74, will soon take on the role of chief executive officer, according to an announcement made by the nonprofit newsroom today. Jim Roberts, a news veteran with 46 years of experience, will step down from his position as publisher and instead become a contributing editor.

“Jim and Steve have led The 74 with distinction, turning it into a vibrant and influential newsroom focused on the most critical issue of our time,” said Romy Drucker, co-founder of The 74 and chair of the board of directors. “Jim has been a legendary figure in journalism, leaving a lasting impact on The 74 with his thoughtful approach to strengthening the nonprofit newsroom model. With Steve as CEO, The 74 is well-positioned to continue delivering insightful education stories to readers across the country.”

In his new role, Snyder will have oversight over both the publication’s content and its operations, including strategic growth initiatives. He has been with The 74 since it was founded in 2015 and has worked closely with co-founders Campbell Brown and Romy Drucker in shaping the newsroom’s voice, focus, and broader strategy within the 74 network. Prior to joining The 74, Snyder held leadership positions at Time Magazine, People Magazine, and NBC, where he oversaw national news coverage and drove editorial innovation.

During Snyder and Roberts’ joint leadership, The 74 has gained widespread recognition for its journalistic excellence, receiving top industry awards such as The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, Education Writers Association awards, and the Insight Award for Visual Journalism. The publication has also quadrupled its readership and audience, collaborating with national outlets like The Atlantic, Axios, The Guardian, and more to share its storytelling.

Snyder commented, “Given the historic decline in student scores, the rise in school absenteeism, and the growing mental health crisis, The 74’s journalism is now more urgent and necessary than ever. I’m honored to take on this new role at such a crucial time and am grateful for our exceptional team of journalists who make The 74 a must-read every morning. I’ve learned invaluable lessons from Jim over the past three years about the digital news landscape, and I’m committed to continuing his legacy of ensuring that our coverage, which prioritizes students, reaches an even larger audience.”

Roberts, prior to joining The 74 in 2020, held various leadership positions at Cheddar, Mashable, Reuters, and The New York Times, where he spent over 25 years of his career. As publisher, Roberts substantially increased The 74’s revenue by expanding its base of institutional donors, launching a membership program and major gifts effort, and introducing new sponsorship opportunities. These financial resources were used to expand the newsroom by hiring more journalists and initiating new reporting initiatives. Roberts also revamped the organization’s distribution system, broadened its content’s reach, and led efforts to modernize the design and brand identity.

Roberts also led the establishment of a program in collaboration with the USC Annenberg School of Journalism for training the next generation of education journalists.

Reflecting on his time as publisher, Roberts said, “As a long-time reader of The 74, I’ve always admired their commitment to bringing readers closer to what’s happening in American schools. In the past three years as publisher, I’ve focused on expanding The 74’s audience and providing the editorial team with the necessary resources to deliver award-winning journalism on the successes and failures of American education. Stepping away from my day-to-day role, I’m truly inspired by what The 74 has accomplished and what lies ahead. With Steve leading the way, The 74 has a CEO who deeply cares about journalism, captivating storytelling, and expanding the reach of this news outlet. Education news has never been more crucial, and The 74 is well-positioned to continue leading the way in bringing these stories to students, parents, and educators across the nation.”

The leadership transition is expected to be finalized by early February. The 74 has now initiated a nationwide search for its next Editor in Chief, who will be responsible for overseeing the publication’s daily news operations.

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