Futuro Media names co-CEOs

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Futuro Media has promoted Marlon Bishop and Peniley Ramírez to the roles of co-CEOs and executive directors.

Marlon Bishop, co-CEO of Futuro Media

In their new roles, Bishop will also be Head of Podcasts and New Business, while Ramírez will serve as Head of News and Investigations. Bishop, who joined Futuro in 2014, most recently held the position of VP of podcasts. Ramírez was previously EP of Latino USA, Futuro Investigates and special projects. She started at Futuro in 2022 and continues as Latino USA co-EP alongside Futuro founder Maria Hinojosa.

As leaders of the organization, they succeed former President Julio Ricardo Varela, who left his role in September. Varela announced his departure shortly after Futuro reduced staff. The organization cited “months of economic uncertainty that have affected the podcast and news industries, as well as funding for public media.”

Peniley Ramírez, co-CEO of Futuro Media

Futuro laid off 11 full-time staff, according to Stacy Parker Le Melle, VP of development and communications. The organization also declined to fill three positions vacated by staffers who left voluntarily. It suspended production of In the Thick, a politics podcast, and its digital news and opinion site Latino Rebels.

Following the layoffs, Futuro staged a “Futuro Fénix” fundraising drive supported by funders including Board Chair Deepa Donde, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Fiona Druckenmiller, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Tow Foundation and Agnes Gund. It raised $926,430, according to Le Melle.

“I am grateful to our entire staff, and to our Board and to our supporters, for coming together to pull our organization out of crisis and into stability,” Hinojosa said in a press release Monday.

“Futuro Media, like many other legacy media organizations, has faced profound challenges to survive,” Donde said. “With the support of our funders, major donors, and fans of our work, Futuro has emerged in 2024 with a new mindset, which is optimistic but tempered with the desire to share lessons learned during our most difficult times.”

Along with the leadership changes, Futuro promoted Le Melle to her current position. She had previously served as director of development and marketing.

In addition, Yolanda Moore, VP of administration and operations, is supervising a new Production Management Unit. The unit is led by Jessica Ellis, newly appointed as supervising senior production manager. She was previously senior production manager on contract.

Futuro’s board also approved making a current Futuro Interim Executive Committee into a permanent Futuro Executive Committee that includes Hinojosa, Bishop, Ramírez, Moore and Le Melle. The committee will “make major financial and organizational decisions collaboratively” and “add checks and balances to the new executive leadership,” the release said.

Maria Teresa Rojas has been named vice chair of Futuro’s board, and Brenda Camacho is treasurer. Rojas previously worked with the Open Society Foundations and is a management consultant and associate director of the Herstory Writers Network. Camacho is an executive and leader in the nonprofit sector.

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