Inside Publici

Published — September 20, 2011

Ellen Weiss named executive editor

Introduction

Ellen Weiss has been named executive editor at the Center for Public Integrity, one of four recent hires of top journalists at one of the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit investigative news organizations.

Weiss will oversee the Center’s domestic investigations and editorial staff. She comes to the Center with deep journalism and management experience as former senior vice president of news at NPR. There Weiss managed 36 bureaus, more than 400 U.S. and international staffers and a $75 million budget. Under Weiss’ leadership, the audience for NPR.org grew from four million unique monthly visitors in 2006 to 12 million in 2010. During that timeframe she also oversaw a 10 percent growth in audience for NPR’s news programs to more than 27 million weekly listeners.

Weiss also created and helped lead the NPR News investigative reporting unit and the Planet Money economic reporting team.

“Ellen Weiss is one of the best and most creative news executives in the business,” said the Center for Public Integrity’s Executive Director William E. Buzenberg. “I know the Center will gain enormously from her knowledge of investigative reporting and digital media.”

Weiss spent 29 years at the public radio network, leading the NPR news division for five years. For 12 years she was executive producer of All Things Considered and served as senior editor of the National Desk where she organized and led domestic news coverage for all NPR programs and NPR.org. Weiss had a major role in leading the network’s coverage of the 9/11 attacks and edited large award-winning investigative reporting projects, including reports on abuses that led to changes in U.S. government detention center policies, and reports on soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder that sparked Senate and Pentagon investigations.

“It is an honor to be joining this remarkable group of investigative journalists in one of America’s most respected independent news organizations. I am thrilled to be part of a strong and exciting future for CPI.”

During her time leading NPR news, the public radio news network has won a multitude of prestigious awards, including Peabody Awards, Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Awards, George Polk Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, and Overseas Press Club Awards among others.

Weiss currently serves as a project consultant for Pew Research Center. She is a graduate of Smith College. Weiss will start at the Center on October 3.

Weiss is one of four key new hires made by the Center in recent weeks. The others are former Washington Post reporter R. Jeffrey Smith, who will be the Center’s managing editor of the National Security Reporting Desk; award-winning Australian journalist Gerard Ryle, who is the new director of the Center’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; veteran investigator John Dunbar, who is managing editor of the financial desk and PBS.org managing editor Christine Montgomery, who is the Center’s new chief digital officer.

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