Jean Taylor will be the next CEO of American Public Media Group, the organization’s board of trustees announced Wednesday.
She succeeds Jon McTaggart, who announced plans to step down in September after leading the organization since 2011.
“Our goal throughout this seven month process was to identify and select a strategic leader with a passion for public media, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a vision that will inspire our employees, listeners and donors,” Jim Dwyer, chair of the search committee and of APMG’s board, said in a press release. “We are confident Jean embodies these attributes and priorities and believe she is the right leader to take APMG forward.”
APMG staffers have been openly critical of the organization’s leadership around DEI issues over the past year. A group of American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio employees launched Transform MPR, an effort calling for changes including commitments to transparency and to equitable pay and hiring. APMG is the parent organization of APM and MPR.
“We feel strongly that McTaggart’s successor should come from outside the company and that other executive leaders should be held accountable for their own failures,” the staffers said in a letter last year.
Taylor has served on APMG’s board of trustees since 2013. An APMG spokesperson told Current that Taylor “fully disengaged from the Board during her candidacy for the CEO job, and will be a member of the Board as CEO.”
She most recently served as board chair of Star Tribune Media, which owns the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. The newspaper was purchased in 2014 by Glen Taylor, her father and a billionaire business owner and former Republican state senator in Minnesota.
Prior to her role with the Tribune, she served as CEO of Taylor Corp., a company purchased by her father in 1975.
“It is an exciting and critical time for public media, with tremendous opportunities to deliver quality journalism in new ways, connect with new audiences and more intentionally serve diverse communities,” Taylor said in the release. “I am honored to lead this organization alongside the talented team at APMG.”
Taylor starts in the role Aug. 23.