Susan Goldberg was hired as the next president and CEO of GBH in Boston.
Goldberg succeeds Jon Abbott, who announced plans to leave the station earlier this year and will step down Dec. 14. Goldberg will be the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1951, according to a news release.
“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 savvy to understand what resonates with our audiences, along with deep experience in executing a multi-platform transformation,” said Ann Fudge, board chair for GBH and head of the search committee, in a news release.
From 2014 to February of this year, Goldberg was editor-in-chief at National Geographic. In 2015, she took on the additional role of editorial director. She was the first woman in that top editorial role, where she oversaw multiplatform programs, expanded the publication’s partnerships and led initiatives to acknowledge National Geographic’s past racist coverage.
Since leaving NatGeo, she has been working as vice dean and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory’s College of Global Futures.
“Susan is a committed advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in terms of the work and those doing the work, and is a strong believer in the power of storytelling in education. Journalism and education are the keys to our future,” said Lee Pelton, CEO of the Boston Foundation and a GBH board member, in the news release. “She’s charismatic and energetic and is committed to being a community leader.”
Goldberg started her media career as a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1981. She went on to work for the Detroit Free Press and USA Today. She was executive editor for the San Jose Mercury News, top editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg.
“GBH is a trusted local and national media leader, steeped in excellence, with a proud history of investigative journalism, groundbreaking innovation, and care for its community,” Goldberg said in the news release. “I have spent my life telling stories that make a difference. As a journalist who is committed to helping and reflecting the communities we serve, I’m honored to be a part of GBH’s next chapter.”