CPM announces Goli Sheikholeslami as new CEO

April 1, 2014

Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media (CPM) announced today that Goli Sheikholeslami has been selected by the board of directors as the organization’s new chief executive officer and president.

Sheikholeslami is a highly regarded media executive who has served in a number of executive roles at leading news organizations, including The Washington Post. Sheikholeslami will begin her new position May 5.

“The search committee engaged in a very rigorous process, screening qualified candidates locally and nationally, to ensure that we found the right leader to effectively guide the organization forward,” said Steve Baird, chairman of the board of directors. “Goli brings the perfect blend of experience to this role. Her extensive media background, proven leadership in digital innovation and enthusiasm for the mission of public media will be invaluable as she focuses on growing the audience for existing programs and engaging the next generation of fans across all of Chicago Public Media’s platforms.”

Sheikholeslami has nearly 20 years of experience in bringing high-quality, enterprise journalism to the public. As a senior executive for The Washington Post, Sheikholeslami helped build washingtonpost.com and led the successful integration of digital operations with the company’s legacy newspaper. Her strategic vision and commitment to maintaining The Washington Post’s high journalistic standards were integral to the success of the newspaper’s historic digital expansion.

“Public media play an increasingly central role in producing independent and in-depth journalism and original storytelling,” Sheikholeslami said. “I am excited to lead an organization that is recognized both in Chicago and across the nation for its journalistic excellence and deep commitment to listeners and the community. It will be a great privilege to have the opportunity to work alongside so many talented people, building on their accomplishments.”

She has also served in key leadership roles with major news organizations Conde Nast and Time Warner. Her most recent position was as chief product officer and executive vice president of business operations for Everyday Health, a leading health information platform for consumers and medical professionals.

Sheikholeslami earned her MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in 1994 and her BS in international economics from Georgetown University in 1989.

As CEO of Chicago Public Media, Sheikholeslami will be responsible for CPM’s multiple platforms, including broadcast and digital. She will also lead the search for a new programming and content manager who will collaborate on continuing the great storytelling that CPM has always fostered, as well as creating more informational, cultural and entertaining shows like Sound Opinions, This American Life and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me.

“We want to thank the Chicago Public Media staff for their hard work and commitment through the search process,” said Alison Ranney, head of the Chicago Public Media board of directors search committee. “It is their stellar journalism and the important mission of public media that we honor and protect with the selection of Goli as CEO.”

Ann Blinkhorn and Blinkhorn, L.L.C. partnered with the CEO search committee in conducting the search. Blinkhorn, L.L.C. is a boutique retained search agency specializing in senior level executive searches in the media industry.

You can follow Goli Sheikholeslami on Twitter @GoliSheik