Co-Founder Of Is New CEO Of WBEZ And Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Public Media (CPM) has appointed Melissa Bell, former Vox Media publisher and co-founder, as its new CEO.

The CPM Board of Directors announced the decision Thursday, highlighting Bell’s extensive experience in media leadership and her role in shaping Vox Media’s innovative content strategy.

“Melissa brings an incredible depth of experience as a media executive and publisher, a product leader and as a reporter,” said CPM Board Chair Robert Pasin. “With her proven, visionary leadership and collaborative approach, Melissa will bring tremendous expertise and a strong track record of success to help Chicago Public Media develop a sustainable model for high-quality local journalism in the digital age.”

Bell in 2014 co-founded, where she pioneered their distinctive explainer journalism style. As publisher of Vox Media, she oversaw its editorial publications, including Eater, The Verge, and SB Nation, and played a crucial role in its merger with New York Magazine and other premium brands. Under her guidance, Vox Media grew significantly, reaching millions across various platforms and earning numerous awards.

Previously, Bell restructured The Washington Post’s digital strategy as Director of Platforms and has a background in journalism, notably as a founding Features Editor for Mint in India. She also served as a visiting fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.

“It is an honor to take on this role, where there is both a massive opportunity and an urgent necessity to strengthen the role of public media in our local communities,” said Bell, who earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. “There is a declining trust, and more worrisome, a declining interest in news at a critical time in Chicago and for our country. There are challenges facing CPM, but they are not insurmountable. In fact, there is so much potential that comes from the collaboration between WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times. I’m excited to return to Chicago to work alongside the many talented, passionate journalists and staff to build sustainable and scalable solutions for producing quality, accessible local news.”

Bell will assume her new position Sept. 3, succeeding Matt Moog, who led CPM for the past four years.

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