Politico Media Group announced Monday that New York Public Radio CEO Goli Sheikholeslami will become its new CEO.
Sheikholeslami, who has led NYPR since 2019, will begin the role in February.
Cynthia King Vance, an NYPR trustee and former board chair, will lead the organization on an interim basis, NYPR Board Chair Timothy Wilkins said Monday in a email to staff.
Wilkins said Sheikholeslami “brought a strategic, committed and values-driven ethos to the organization, and invested significantly in our DEI efforts, including the launch of the Race Equity Action Plan. She hired a talented executive leadership team, strengthened our financial position, increased the size of the newsroom, and led the creation of a three-year strategic plan to better serve and expand NYPR’s audiences and bolster our position as a leader on the local journalism and cultural landscape.”
During her tenure, Sheikholeslami cut 14 staff positions, including those of newsroom leaders, citing financial challenges. Following the layoffs, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union filed an unfair labor practice claim against NYPR. At the time, SAG-AFTRA’s president said she was “shocked” by the decision to terminate staff.
The union later filed a lawsuit that centered on the termination of longtime reporter Fred Mogul. The two sides told a federal judge last week that they had reached a settlement in the case.
In her first year on the job, Sheikholeslami faced backlash from staff for her hiring of Audrey Cooper as WNYC’s editor-in chief. At the time, Richard Yeh, a supervising senior producer, told the New York Times that staff were “blindsided” by the decision and “befuddled by the fact that our leaders chose someone who didn’t meet any of our qualifications.” He was later laid off.
Prior to her work at NYPR, Sheikholeslami led Chicago Public Media for more than five years. She also served on the NPR board.
“What I admire most about POLITICO is the tenacity that underpins the organization’s fearless, fact-based journalism and its successful business model,” Sheikholeslami said in a press release. “With this strong foundation, no other media organization is better positioned for growth, and I look forward to working with such a talented group of journalists and professionals to write POLITICO and Protocol’s next chapter.”