CHICAGO (December 21, 2021) – Celeste LeCompte has been appointed Chief Audience Officer for Chicago Public Media, home of WBEZ Chicago. LeCompte will start in February 2022 to lead the organization’s audience development efforts, build and implement a digital audience strategy, and lead the station’s growth marketing and brand-building initiatives.
LeCompte joins Chicago Public Media from ProPublica, where she currently serves as Vice President of Strategy & Operations. She brings vast experience in leading strategic initiatives, product development, digital strategy, research and audience development. Since joining ProPublica in 2015, LeCompte has launched new products, helped guide the development of new regional reporting teams and led efforts to grow the reach and impact of ProPublica’s journalism in partnership with news leadership.
“Celeste will lead our plans to grow audience size, diversity and engagement across our platforms so our journalism can have its greatest and deepest impact, and we are thrilled to have her join our team,” said Chicago Public Media CEO Matt Moog.
She previously served on the launch team for Gigaom Research, a digital subscription business that provided data and insights on emerging technologies, and she was the co-founder and business manager of Climate Confidential, a crowdfunded environmental reporting project that collaborated with national and local media partners.
LeCompte is also an award-winning journalist and former editor. Her writing on technology, innovation and environmental issues has appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, Outside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Nieman Reports. She was a 2015 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and graduated from Harvard in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies (where she wrote her undergrad thesis on sustainable agriculture in Illinois).
She is a trustee with AwesomeNYC, the local chapter of the Awesome Foundation that gives monthly micro-grants to people making the city more awesome, and an active board member of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club in Brooklyn. Celeste is originally from Illinois and is looking forward to returning to her Midwest roots.
“Chicago is a leading laboratory for news innovation today, and Chicago Public Media’s legacy of high-quality work and its forward-looking team make this a unique opportunity to show the rest of the country what it looks like when “the public” is at the heart of public media,” said LeCompte. “I’m excited to join a community of Chicagoans, inside and outside the organization, working to build a truly inclusive and expansive local media.”