We’re excited to announce the next 38 LION members participating in the GNI LION Sustainability Audits and Funding program, which helps independent news businesses identify and overcome barriers to reaching sustainability. So far, 137 LION members have participated in the program, receiving funding and an action plan tailored to their organizational goals.
The program includes a thorough assessment of each participating news business, including actionable recommendations, resources, and up to $20,000 of funding to help them take the next steps toward organizational sustainability (see how we’ve charted the path to sustainability via our maturity model). These organizations will work with dedicated expert analysts who will offer guidance based on each organization’s needs and ambitions.
Applications will reopen in early 2024 and all LION members who have not yet received an Audit are encouraged to apply. LION intends to complete an additional 170 Sustainability Audits in 2024.
You can read more about each participating organization and their interest in the Audit below. Congratulations to these 38 news businesses as they continue along their journey to organizational sustainability!
Billy Penn at WHYY
Based in: Philadelphia, PA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Billy Penn has grown organically for nine years now, with half of those as part of WHYY, but the process is still very hands-on and not as systemized as it could be. Additionally, recent hires mean we’re back in the red. We could greatly use an outside eye and voice to help assess the best ways to get organized and make sure we’re moving forward strategically. Thank you for the opportunity!
Mission: Billy Penn at WHYY is a local news team with a mission to connect Philadelphians and improve Philly by reporting on and explaining the city’s political, physical, and cultural infrastructure.
Based in: Ann Arbor, MI
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: For nearly a decade, we have followed a national nonprofit best practice of thoughtful growth that maximizes organizational sustainability. Along with that growth, the Center for Michigan / Bridge Michigan has entered into a new stage of development, with significant leadership changes taking place across the organization. We look forward to participating in the Sustainability Audit to ensure that we identify and implement best practices for maintaining a healthy balance of operational resilience, financial health, and journalistic impact.
Mission: Making Michigan better through high-quality, nonpartisan journalism & engagement.
Based in: Great Falls, VA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Broadband Breakfast has built an avid, even cult-like following among those who follow broadband policy and Internet technology. We’ve proven our staying power through our commitment to aggressive fact-based reporting and engaging weekly events, including Broadband Breakfast Live Online every Wednesday at noon ET. As the publication of record for the United States’ broadband buildout, Broadband Breakfast is seeking to tap new revenue opportunities within the broadband community through deeper engagement, more robust reader interactions, and ongoing in-person events.
Mission: Better Broadband, Better Lives
Carolina Public Press
Based in: Asheville, NC
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: As the development director for CPP, I am very interested in this opportunity so that we can ensure sustainability.
Mission: Carolina Public Press is an independent nonprofit news organization dedicated to nonpartisan, in-depth and investigative news built upon the facts and context North Carolinians need to know. Our award-winning, breakthrough journalism dismantles barriers and shines a light on the critical overlooked and under-reported issues facing our state’s 10.4 million residents.
Based in: Charlottesville, VA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We are at a growth phase that is challenging to manage, but we’re also facing uncertainties in the nonprofit landscape that I want to steward us through well.
Mission: Charlottesville Tomorrow delivers in-depth reporting and analysis that improves local decision-making. We seek to expand civic engagement to foster a vibrant, inclusive, and interdependent community.
Based in: Columbia, MO
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We would like to find strategies to add value and grow digital subscribers without a hard paywall.
Mission: The Columbia Missourian strives to serve the Columbia community through its journalism, telling the stories of the community while serving as a watchdog for elected officials and university administration. The Missourian also serves as a training ground for journalists and a lab for the broader industry. We strive to prepare students to enter newsrooms as ethical journalists.
Based in: Phoenix, AZ
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Conecta Arizona was born as an experiment; I became an entrepreneur in the pandemic with zero experience in leading a news organization. I want CAZ to grow and expand and I do not want my inexperience to be an obstacle to getting there. We want to learn and grow.
Mission: Our mission is clear: to create dialogue between Spanish-speaking communities in the border region with accurate, engaging, and accessible news from a bicultural and bilingual perspective.
Based in: Scottdale, GA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: I want to make more money so I can hire more reporters and cover more stories.
Mission: At Decaturish, it is important that coverage recognizes and represents our diverse community. We will do our best to present factual information that represents multiple points of view.
Based in: Seattle, WA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: To best serve my community, Future Tides needs to consider sustainability every step of the way. The Sustainability Audit is an opportunity to open up to analysis and benefit from tailored guidance. It’s an opportunity to tap into deep experience and refocus.
Mission: Future Tides provides news and information for people who work, play and live on the Pacific Northwest’s waterways, to help them understand the modern maritime community and navigate what’s next.
Based in: Brooklyn, NY
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Greenpointers started as a passion project that served as a personal creative outlet. It has since grown into a respected resource that would be a huge loss to our community if it closed. As my circumstances have changed, I would like to position Greenpointers to thrive in the long run, beyond me, in case I need to take a step back.
Mission: Greenpointers is committed to delivering news when it is most critical. We believe that trusted information is essential to the democratic process and community-driven impact. At a time when local news is collapsing and misinformation is rampant, our hyperlocal focus gives us the ability to stay connected to the community we serve, online and offline. We are on the ground, living and breathing in the area that we serve and keeping an authentic pulse on what is happening.
Based in: Halifax, NS
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: For nine years, we have done well for a subscriber-based publication; despite our steady growth and loyal, engaged, and generous supporters, we have reached the limit of the writers and admin staff we can hire, and therefore the number and depth of stories we can cover. To do our job effectively, we need to reach potential subscribers who still haven’t heard of us and convert readers who have been hesitant to subscribe; we also need the financial support of unions, businesses, and government agencies. During earlier participation in the GNI program, we learned how to streamline our processes and improve our publication; we hope this Sustainability Audit will help us identify new opportunities, expand our reach, and build a solid base for future growth.
Mission: The Halifax Examiner is an independent, adversarial news site devoted to holding the powerful accountable. We pry the lid off Halifax City Hall and offer a fresh look into Province House. We expose grifters, bullshitters, and business interests putting profit over people and the environment. We keep an eye on the police, and amplify the voices of the marginalized. And we focus on the health, housing, and climate crises of our time.
Based in: San Diego, CA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: inewsource is interested in participating in the Sustainability Audit to get a thorough assessment of our business, including our revenue sources, staffing resources, workflows and tools. Through the Audit, we hope to gain insights from the experts on ways we can improve and reach sustainability.
Mission: inewsource is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom dedicated to improving lives in the San Diego region and beyond through impactful, data-based investigative and accountability journalism.
Based in: Corona, NY
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We believe that the Audit would help us identify any areas where we can improve our efficiency, effectiveness, and financial stability. The Audit would provide us with access to expert advice and resources that we can use to strengthen our news organization. The Audit would be a valuable opportunity for us to learn and grow, and to become a more sustainable news organization.
Mission: Khasokhas is the number one Nepali news source in the USA.
KHOL – Jackson Hole Community Radio
Based in: Jackson, WY
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We have grown a lot over the past four years – tripling our annual revenue – but how do we sustain what we’ve built? How do we grow from here?
Mission: To serve the Jackson Hole community of residents and visitors through independent local and regional news and by creating a forum for the free exchange of ideas and music discovery that informs, entertains and promotes a deeper understanding of the world around us.
Long Beach Post
Based in: Long Beach, CA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: The Long Beach Post is at a critical juncture in terms of our ability to sustain our journalism into the future. Our brand and editorial product are strong, but what we need is a solid business plan, clear leadership and a strategy for execution.
Mission: The Long Beach Post aims to create an informed and engaged community by providing a platform for our city’s diverse voices, holding those with power and influence to account and reporting the truth with authority, integrity and heart. Our coverage should always inspire the public to think, feel, question and act. We continue to ask, “What’s next?”
Montana Free Press
Based in: Helena, MT
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Montana Free Press was created to cover a gap in statehouse and statewide news at a time when legacy papers were laying off reporters en-masse, but the recent and rapid decline of corporate-owned daily papers in Montana has created a new and significant news gap at the local level. As MTFP continues to meet the growing news needs of Montanans, it is critical for us to grow strategically and sustainably. This means finding new ways to generate reliable revenue, identifying new product opportunities, and developing strategies to serve new audiences.
Mission: Montana Free Press is an independent, nonprofit source for Montana news, information, and analysis. Our mission is to produce in-depth public-service journalism that creates positive change and helps move society toward justice and equity.
New Jersey Urban News
Based in: Newark, NJ
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: To strengthen our editorial and operational capacity. To help us assess our next best areas of focus for growth and gain access to insight and resources that will help our long-term sustainability.
Mission: Journalism that informs, enriches, and inspires.
Oil City News
Based in: Casper, WY
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: I’m interested in learning and incorporating best practices for digital-only publishing businesses. I believe that participating in the Sustainability Audit will help us to uncover new efficiencies to help us continue to build our platforms AND the digital news industry in our state.
Mission: Our mission is to build more informed and connected communities.
Queen City Nerve
Based in: Charlotte, NC
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We started from the scraps of a shuttered alt-weekly. As we’ve built our organization and grown over the past five years, we need the assistance of experts on how to maintain that growth sustainably and manage ourselves to make the best impact on our community.
Mission: Our community-based local journalism helps Charlotte residents who want to be informed by a range of diverse voices by reducing focus on the narratives of those in power, and intensifying focus on residents and establishing trust in our community to identify solutions, with a diverse range of writers to ensure representation in our long-form storytelling. Our mission is to promote diversity and inclusion in all areas of our daily lives through making informed decisions.
Based in: Vancouver, BC
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Ricochet Media is focused on accountability-driven, public-interest investigative journalism and on-the-ground coverage of Indigenous movements. These are very resource-intensive types of journalism, so increasing revenue is a top priority at Ricochet Media. We want to expand the coverage we do best and our readers depend on.
Mission: Independent, dedicated to investigative journalism and incisive opinion, Ricochet seeks to illuminate the cultural and political diversity within Canada. We practise public-interest journalism.
Right Down Euclid
Based in: Cleveland, OH
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Independent news is essential. Having a trusted source to help clarify what’s happening in your neighborhood is fundamental to living an informed, connected life. Right Down Euclid’s focus and goal is to provide Clevelanders and Northeastern Ohioans with a reliable community asset to fuel and assist in keeping everyone informed.
Mission: Right Down Euclid’s vision is to build a nonprofit news network that ensures all people in the greater Cleveland community have free, unfiltered access to trusted independent news throughout Northeastern Ohio.
San Antonio Report
Based in: San Antonio, TX
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We’re always looking for additional ways to achieve greater long-term sustainability for the organization. Sustaining a local news enterprise has constant challenges, and we believe it’s our responsibility to continue to not only sustain but grow in our reach and coverage to better serve even more of our community.
Mission: To provide journalism and civic engagement opportunities, enabling citizens and institutions to build a better city to live, work and play. We aim to go beyond simply reporting the news to deeply engage our readers and mobilize people to make San Antonio a better city in which to live.
Santa Cruz Local
Based in: Santa Cruz, CA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Santa Cruz Local’s largest revenue stream last year was major gifts from local donors. To become more sustainable, we need to figure out an operational way to scale this high-touch revenue stream with a tiny team until we can hire more help. We also would like to grow advertising and corporate sponsorship, but feel limited by staff time.
Mission: Santa Cruz Local produces fair and accurate local journalism that holds power to account.
Based in: Hellertown, PA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: I want to feel like I’m controlling my business. Far too often, it feels like the business is controlling me. I want help with developing higher and more consistent revenue streams so I don’t have to constantly worry about making ends meet month-to-month, and my hope is that this Audit will give me the insight and tools to do that.
Mission: Saucon Source is a hyperlocal news site and information hub for Pennsylvania’s Saucon Valley area.
Shawnee Mission Post & Blue Valley Post
Based in: Shawnee, KS
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We’re proud of the work we’ve done to get the fundamentals of a working business model in place. But we know there are a number of areas we need to improve to guarantee we can continue to serve our community for decades to come. We’re looking to gain insights into what’s worked — and not worked — for other publishers in our space.
Mission: We started the site because we believe the most populated and prosperous county in Kansas deserves its own source for community news. Our goal is to be the “user’s guide to Johnson County” — a resource available for anyone who wants to make sure they’re plugged in to what’s happening in the place they call home.
Silicon Hills News
Based in: Austin, TX
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Silicon Hills News is looking for sustainable revenue to continue to service the Austin-San Antonio community. We are also interested in launching new products and would like to do so profitably.
Mission: At Silicon Hills News, our mission is to empower and inform the Central Texas communities of Austin and San Antonio through insightful and inclusive coverage of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. As a women-owned media company with over 12 years of dedication, we strive to connect, inspire, and celebrate the diverse voices and stories shaping our region’s tech ecosystem. We are committed to fostering a vibrant, equitable, and informed tech community that thrives on knowledge, collaboration, and opportunities for all.
The Atlanta Voice
Based in: Atlanta, GA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: As we compete in an everchanging dynamic media ecosystem, it is imperative that we grow as an organization and not just as individuals. This Audit would assist in providing an external unbiased look at how we are utilizing our current tools, give insights into our structure and provide recommendations for improvement and establish the necessary foundation for organizational sustainability. It is an evaluation we need and most certainly welcome.
Mission: The Atlanta Voice serves the African American community, giving voice to the voiceless, without fear or favor with honesty, integrity and truth.
The Austin Chronicle
Based in: Austin, TX
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: The Chronicle is in a unique position from a funding perspective, and I don’t believe that will be the case indefinitely. I believe our current revenue can be sustainable, without outside help, if the organization transforms holistically. Creating that new model is difficult when you’re in the middle of the old one.
Mission: The Austin Chronicle is an independent, locally owned and operated newsweekly that reflects the heart and soul of Austin, Texas. Founded in 1981 and committed to a progressive point of view, the Chronicle addresses the community’s political and environmental concerns, expresses Austin’s rich cultural scene, and provides in-depth coverage of the Capital City’s live music and entertainment venues, performing arts centers, restaurants, and recreational activities.
The Bowie Sun
Based in: Bowie, MD
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: As a one-woman startup, The Bowie Sun welcomes expert feedback on a growth strategy for 2024.
Mission: The Bowie Sun is the hometown alternative to other local media that are countywide or statewide in scope and only occasionally cover Bowie. Our core mission is to provide authentic community journalism focused on greater Bowie, a population of 100,000.
Based in: Hinchinbrooke, QC
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: The Gleaner serves a minority language population in a rural area, so critical mass is a key issue for the publication’s long-term viability. Our core subscribers, advertisers and supporters are solid but limited, so we need to look at other ways to serve audiences and generate revenues without compromising our mission that is anchored on quality local news. We’ve become a not-for-profit, acquired charitable status and undertaken some projects to move towards sustainability, but we still need to do more.
Mission: The Gleaner is an independent not-for-profit media outlet that publishes in English and in French. We are dedicated to providing accurate news and features, reflecting the needs and interests of all those in and from the Chateauguay Valley in southwestern Quebec. We chronicle the social, cultural and economic life of our communities and celebrate our rural heritage. The Gleaner informs readers, promotes discussion, facilitates connections, and contributes to the well-being of individuals, groups, and businesses, just as it has since the newspaper was founded in 1863.
The Green Line
Based in: Toronto, ON
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: More than any other organization, LION seems to know exactly what local indie publishers need to get to the next level. The Green Line is at a critical point in development just over one year after launch; we’ve won awards and are profitable, but with the C-18-driven Canadian media blackout underway, my team and I have to navigate additional barriers to building and converting audiences, which is key to reaching financial sustainability.
Mission: The Green Line investigates the way we live to help young and other underserved Torontonians survive and thrive in a rapidly changing city. Together, let’s breathe new life into Toronto’s conversations so we can build a livable city for all.
The Jersey Bee
Based in: Bloomfield, NJ
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: I’d like to develop a plan and secure resources to grow revenue and editorial production while maintaining fair wages and working conditions.
Mission: The Jersey Bee works with the people we serve to produce news and reporting that meets local information needs, inspires civic participation, and improves the quality of life in our community.
The Mendocino Voice
Based in: Ukiah, CA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Our goal is to develop a clear plan for long-term sustainability by growing existing revenue streams and funding sources, along with streamlining operations and our tech stack, to ensure we can continue to provide and expand reliable community-centered local journalism for our readers. Founded in 2016, we are at an important stage of growth in which building long-term revenue plans and operational capacity is crucial to expanding on our existing editorial impact, and having the guidance of an external auditor to identify actionable priorities will be a useful opportunity for our outlet to effectively navigate future growth.
Mission: Useful news for all of Mendocino: The Mendocino Voice is a community-centered local news outlet providing accessible tools and original reporting towards a more engaged and equitable Mendocino County.
Based in: Atlanta, GA
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: I have seen too many peer newsrooms shutter despite having more resources at their disposal. We want to develop a replicable, scalable model of science journalism that challenges the way coverage has always been done, because it is not working.
Mission: We grow science with words. Gen-Z-led nonprofit exploring the communities influencing and shaped by science.
Based in: Victoria, BC
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We have been operating the Dispatch for two and a half years. We have not been able to make enough progress towards making the outlet sustainable.
Mission: The Tri-Cities Dispatch is a local media non-profit covering the Tri-Cities area of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. Our mission is to provide residents of the Tri-Cities area with the news and information they need to stay in touch with their community, along with quality original reporting and journalism.
Twice As Good Media
Based in: Halifax, NS
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: I’m at a point where I’ve gained some positive attention and recognition, as well as grant funding, but I need to work on sustainable income and audience growth/engagement.
Mission: Help Black journalists and the people who engage with their work tune in to what matters by consuming mindful journalistic narratives on Black life so they can experience the news without burning out.
Based in: Portland, OR
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: We want Underscore to grow and help make Indigenous-centered reporting accessible across the Pacific Northwest. To fulfill our mission we need to steward our resources effectively and grow both our organization and revenue streams thoughtfully—that’s a tall order for a newsroom that only has two folks working on the business/operations side. We are grateful and excited for the opportunity to learn where our strengths lie and discover new strategies to overcome the challenges facing start-up newsrooms.
Mission: Underscore produces Indigenous-centered journalism that illuminates the intersections of sovereignty and justice and showcases the rich diversity of Native communities in the Pacific Northwest.
Based in: Montpelier, VT
Interest in the Sustainability Audit: Solving for sustainability (financially and individual capacity wise) is the key to our future, and being able to produce the journalism Vermonters deserve and need.
Mission: VTDigger produces rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, promotes public accountability and fosters democratic and civic engagement.
These news organizations will be working with our expert analysts who will offer guidance and recommendations based on each organization’s needs and ambitions. The analysts for 2023 are:
Anne Galloway is the founder and editor-at-large of VTDigger, the statewide newspaper of record for Vermont. In addition to her work as an investigative journalist, she has 13 years of experience in business planning, financial projections, management, growth strategies and fundraising. When she stepped down as ED in 2022, the organization had 35 employees, a budget of more than $3 million, 10,000 contributing members and 600,000 readers a month.
Ariel Zirulnick is the senior editor for community engagement at LAist. She works at the intersection of community engagement, editorial, product, and revenue strategy to ensure LAist’s journalism consistently serves and centers Angelenos’ needs. She also leads an interdisciplinary team experimenting with ways to link engaged journalism and revenue. Prior to KPCC/LAist, she led the Membership in News Fund and Membership Guide at the Membership Puzzle Project, a global public research project studying membership models in news. She previously led The New Tropic, a news startup in Miami; reported from Nairobi; and edited the Christian Science Monitor’s Middle East coverage. She is passionate about doing journalism with communities and building systems that make that sustainable. She’s a member of the 2023 cohort of CUNY’s Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership. She’s an alumna of the Poynter Women’s Leadership Academy and Miami Fellows.”
Ashley Woods Branch is the executive director of the Fund for Equity in Local News and manages its digital training program for news publishers. Ashley was founder and CEO of the Detour Detroit newsletter, a visiting Nieman fellow, a Marshall Memorial Fellow and a proud LION award winner. She is now a consultant who loves partnering with startup news publishers to help them tackle their biggest challenges and stay sane through the process. Ashley also worked with the Google News Initiative on initiatives like the GNI Startups Lab and coached more than 100 publications through a partnership with the Center for Cooperative Media. Before startup life, she led digital strategy for the Detroit Free Press.
Bene Cipolla is an organizational consultant and coach working with news organizations, media companies, and nonprofits. She loves to connect big ideas to on-the-ground execution and to build things — organizations, teams, workflows, projects — using a design thinking framework. In 2022, she wrapped up a five-year tenure at Chalkbeat, first leading the newsroom as editor and then, as publisher, setting up structures and practices to establish a multi-vertical operation, now known as Civic News Company. Over the course of her career, Bene has tackled just about every facet and format of journalism and media across film, video, radio, print, and digital. Her time in digital startups taught her about launching products, scaling organizations, managing operations, and driving revenue — experiences that enriched her work back in journalism when she returned. She’s a systems thinker with a creative streak (or a creative with a passion for systemic analysis), and she’s never believed in the left brain vs. right brain dichotomy. Bene lives in New York City and spends most of her free time cooking, eating, and talking about cooking and eating.
Christian Skotte (he/him/his) is an independent consultant who works with non-profits and media brands to grow their audience, deepen their impact, and craft sustainable futures. During his 20+ year career, he has created impactful digital campaigns, overseen organizational rebranding efforts, and built and mentored high performing teams. He’s passionate about journalism and its place in a functioning democracy. Christian was most recently Director of Growth and Innovation and Grist, where he oversaw the audience growth, product, and partnership efforts. Before that, he spent eight years at Science Friday overseeing their digital, audience, and commercial income strategies. A former RJI fellow, he’s spoken at conferences in the U.S. and abroad on topics like digital media and audience growth. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and child.
Christina Shih is an independent consultant focused on journalism sustainability, revenue growth and entrepreneurship. Previously, she served as the Senior VP of Revenue at the News Revenue Hub. Christina has been involved with major initiatives like NewsMatch and the Sustainable Publishing Solutions grant. She has over 10 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and recently obtained her MBA from UC San Diego.
Elaine Díaz is the Senior Manager of Coaching at LION Publishers. She was most recently Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Periodismo de Barrio, an independent investigative publication in Cuba, where she led coverage on social, environmental issues and climate change alongside fundraising and institutional development work. She has worked with SembraMedia, a non-profit that helps independent media in Ibero-America find and develop sustainable business models. Her work there included serving as an Ambassador Manager for a team of 16 ambassadors representing the digital media ecosystem across Latin America and as a mentor for Metis, a business mentorship program for women founders of independent digital media projects in the region. Additional career highlights include seven years as a professor of digital journalism at the University of Havana and a 2014-2015 Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.
Frances Dinkelspiel is the co-founder and former executive editor of Cityside, which runs Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside in California. Dinkelspiel and two journalist friends started Berkeleyside in 2009 and developed it from an all-volunteer, bootstrapped organization to a nationally recognized award-winning nonprofit with a staff of 24 and a budget of more than $4 million. Since stepping down in 2022, Dinkelspiel has served as an audit analyst for LION, joined the board of Highway 29, an organization working to strengthen the news ecosystem in Napa Valley, and informally advises other news start-ups. She continues to freelance (Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, and elsewhere). She is the author of two bestselling nonfiction books, Towers of Gold and Tangled Vines.
Graham Ringo, a 20-year journalism veteran, is a senior director at the News Revenue Hub in charge of client success and the point of contact for the organization’s newest tech venture, the News Revenue Engine. A proud Mizzou graduate and Online News Association board member, Graham has worked for major metros, digital behemoths, and scrappy digital nonprofit startups, and is a lover of the full-funnel approach, well-crafted CTAs, killer UX, and insider journalism speak.
Joanne Griffith is the chief content officer for APM Studios, the podcast-production division of American Public Media. She is also the founder of En(title)d! Leaders, a conversation and coaching space for leaders of color in media. Joanne was the founding managing editor of the California Newsroom, an NPR regional news hub, where she worked closely with local newsrooms and independent online news organizations, developing strategies for audience engagement, guidance on editorial projects and training of newcomers and established newsroom leaders. Joanne is committed to diversity and inclusion in content creation, and the audiences that need it.
Lisa Heyamoto is the Programming Director for Membership Education at LION Publishers, where she helps LION members reach sustainability by designing and overseeing the creation of training programs, coaching/consulting opportunities and practical resources that help news businesses become more operationally resilient, financially healthy and journalistically impactful. She was previously a journalism educator and program coordinator at the University of Oregon and a reporter at The Seattle Times and The Sacramento Bee.
Maple Walker Lloyd is the director of development and community engagement at Block Club Chicago. She is working extensively on their fundraising strategies through philanthropic support, individual donations, events and corporate sponsorships. Previously, she was team coordinator for the Journalism and Media program at the MacArthur Foundation and weekend news anchor for WGN Radio.
Neil Chase is the Chief Executive Officer of CalMatters. He was formerly Executive Editor at The Mercury News and the East Bay Times and has worked as a journalist at the San Francisco Examiner, Arizona Republic, CBS MarketWatch and The New York Times.
Todd Stauffer currently serves as the association manager for the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and AAN’s lead digital specialist and lab director for grant-funded revenue labs. Before joining AAN, he was the publisher and co-founder of the Jackson Free Press, an alternative newsweekly (sometimes bi-weekly, sometimes monthly) that served Jackson, Miss., from 2002 until 2022 when its journalism assets were acquired by the non-profit Mississippi Free Press. Todd has enjoyed the opportunity to participate in sustainability audits and revenue coaching for LION Publishers in the past. As a staunch believer in the First Amendment and a proponent of the Fourth Estate, Todd enjoys working with startups and legacy publishers who seek to improve revenues, add a revenue stream or dig deeper into opportunities to sustain their journalism.
Introducing LION’s 2023-2024 board and executive leadership
Gunita Singh, from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, will be this year’s board chair.
Focusing on People Operations for Innovation and Training
How La Converse and École Converse prioritized hiring and onboarding processes to support their growth.
Stel Duncan joins LION Publishers as our Associate Director of Technology
Stel designs and manages LION’s technology systems that support our products and programs.