GBH appoints Susan Goldberg first female CEO


Goldberg will be the first woman to lead the company in its 71-year history.

Susan Goldberg will take over as CEO on December 1. Courtesy of GBH

Susan Goldberg will be GBH’s next CEO, the nonprofit public outlet announced on Monday.

Goldberg is a seasoned journalist whose career spans more than 40 years. She most recently served as editor of National Geographic Magazine for eight years and is currently associate dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

Selected by GBH’s board of directors, Goldberg will succeed Jonathan Abbott, who announced his departure in February. She will be the first woman to lead the company in its 71-year history.

“At a time when the media industry is changing at a rapid pace, Susan is a direct, focused, empathetic and visionary leader who has the operational and editorial know-how to understand what resonates with our audience,” said Ann. Fudge, president of the GBH. Board of Directors and head of the search committee, said in a statement.

As National Geographic’s first female editor, Goldberg “reinvented the newsroom and its editorial strategy,” GBH said in a statement. They praised his efforts to diversify staff and coverage, as well as expand the brand’s cross-platform content.

“She is a champion of diversity, equity and belonging,” said Lee Pelton, president and CEO of the Boston Foundation and GBH board member. “I prefer ‘belonging’ to ‘inclusion’ because you can be included but not feel like you belong. I think the record shows that this is something that is important to her, and she will lead us brilliantly in that direction.

Prior to National Geographic, Goldberg spent four years at Bloomberg’s Washington office as an editor. She was also the first woman to run The ordinary merchant in Cleveland and news from mercury in San Jose.

Goldberg joins a list of newly appointed women in the Boston news media – last week Nancy Barnes was announced as editor of The Boston Globeand Margaret Low took over as CEO of WBUR in 2020. In a statement, Goldberg said she was grateful for the historic “first,” but also felt “conflicted.”

“When there are a lot fewer female ‘firsts’, we will be in a much better position as a society because we will have reached a point where a woman is in charge, whether in journalism, banking, law or politics, is just the normal course of business, and it’s not national news every time it happens.

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