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Eighteen Industry Leaders to Participate in Inaugural Leadership Training Curriculum in Collaboration with the Google News Initiative

New York, NY (December 2, 2019) – MPA – The Association of Magazine Media and The Poynter Institute today announced the Magazine Media Executive Development Program, supported by the Google News Initiative. The two-day leadership program will take place on December 3-4, 2019 in New York City and will provide magazine media publishers with a unique and intensive leadership management opportunity.

“MPA is thrilled to have Poynter provide this exclusive and customized leadership training to a select and notable group of our members’ magazine media executives,” said Linda Thomas Brooks, President and CEO, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media. “As the media world continues to face new challenges and opportunities, it is crucial to facilitate professional development programs that will help ensure the longevity and success of the industry and its talent.”

The 18 executives selected to participate in this program are:
● Tracy Cho, General Manager, Domino
● Anni Cuccinello, Director of Audience Development, AFAR Media
● Daniel Harding, Editor-in-Chief, Active Interest Media
● Emilie Harkin, Executive Director, Customer Growth, The Atlantic
● Nicole Holtsmark, Head of Commercial Platforms & Data Products, Condé Nast
● Sharon Houghton, Vice President, Group Publisher and General Manager, Active Interest Media
● Michelle Kim, Senior Director, Programmatic & Yield, Trusted Media Brands
● Johanna Mayer-Jones, Senior Vice President, Partnerships, The Atlantic
● Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Executive Editor, Teen Vogue
● Anne Marie O’Keefe, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Mansueto Ventures
● Erin O’Mara, President, The Nation
● Christina Olney, Senior Director, Growth Marketing, National Geographic
● Andrew Parkinson, Editor-in-Chief, Active Interest Media | Passagemaker Magazine
● Cory Rotkel, Vice President of Digital Sales, Trusted Media Brands
● Laura Simkins, COO, AFAR Media
● JoAnn Thomas, Vice President of People, Active Interest Media
● Chris Thorman, Vice President, Consumer Growth, National Geographic
● Sandy Todd Webster, Editor-in-Chief, Active Interest Media/IDEA Health & Fitness Association

“In our mission to support exceptional journalism, we are excited to partner with MPA to provide a cohort of magazine media executives with essential leadership skills and insights,“ said Neil Brown, President, The Poynter Institute. “These magazine executives bring great creativity and dedication to their work, and we’re looking forward to helping them elevate their leadership of their organizations and the industry. We are grateful to Google News Initiative for its commitment and vision in funding the development and execution of the curriculum.”

The Magazine Media Executive Development Program includes two days of intense training, conversation and deliberation and is intended to grow the capacity of the next generation of magazine media leaders, focusing on how to lead through change, grow revenue and manage conflict. “We are pleased to be able to support Poynter in developing the Magazine Media Executive Development program to benefit 18 outstanding participants from MPA’s membership,” said Chris Jansen, Head of U.S. News & Publishing at Google. “We look forward to this cohort of leaders developing additional skills to evolve business models that support journalism, and to elevate quality journalism in their own organizations.”

Topics and teachings in the program will include:
● Insight into the characteristics of effective leaders
● How you can lead with values, discipline and intention
● How your direct reports, peers and bosses view your strengths and weaknesses
● Tips for priority setting
● How to develop creative partnerships, enterprises and best practices
● Fact-checking best practices from Politifact experts
● How to serve audiences in new and innovative ways
● How to lead your staff through ethical conversations to include balancing revenue ideas and
editorial independence
Performance-driven change
● Insight about what it takes for people to adapt to change
● How to handle the demands of change as a leader
● Why organizational change often fails and how to maximize your chances of succeeding
● Practical advice based on research and examples from media organizations
Revenue and growth
● Case studies and research into growing revenue online
● Best practices for creative partnerships
● Insights into digital subscriptions
● How to be a good coach and builder of talent
● How to manage conflict through effective collaboration
● How to approach difficult conversations
● Practical advice on words to avoid and methods to help deliver the message fairly
● How to use your time effectively
For more information about the Magazine Media Executive Development Program 2019, please visit

About MPA
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media is the primary advocate and voice for the magazine media industry, driving thought leadership and game-changing strategies to promote the industry’s vitality and increase its revenues and market share. Established in 1919, MPA represents more than 150 domestic, associate and international members. MPA is headquartered in New York City, with a government affairs office in Washington, D.C.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at conferences and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website,, produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a teen digital information literacy project. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

The Google News Initiative
The Google News Initiative represents Google’s largest-ever effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Through its partnerships, programs and products, the Google News Initiative works with thousands of organizations worldwide to support quality independent journalism, financial sustainability, and development of new technologies that drive innovation. Google invested $300 million over three years to energize these collaborations, and to lay the foundation for new products and programs for a diverse set of news publishers, to benefit the entire ecosystem. This includes supporting thought leadership on topics like consumer revenue, advertising and data that are critical to the future of the news industry.

Press Contact:
Susan Russ