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INN names board chair and four member directors to guide growth of the nonprofit news field

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021 — Los Angeles, CA — CalMatters publisher and COO Marcia Parker on Wednesday was named chair of the INN board of directors, which also ratified election of four member representative directors as the INN network of independent, nonprofit newsrooms drives strong growth in public service journalism across North America. 

(from left to right) CalMatters publisher and COO Marcia Parker is named chair of the INN board of directors. INN also welcomes two new members to the board: Kelsey Ryan, founder and publisher of The Beacon, and Kyra Kyles, CEO of YR Media.

Parker, who has served on INN’s board since 2017, is known for her leadership at the intersection of media and journalism education. At CalMatters, she oversees foundation and institutional revenue and relationships for the $8 million news outlet covering California politics, policies and personalities that provides reporting to more than 250 news media across the state and directly serves Californians with daily news and in-depth coverage.

INN leads and supports a fast-growing network of more than 350 nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations that report the news as a public service and collaborate on innovation in reporting, community engagement and new revenue models to support strong, independent news media. Growth of the nonprofit news field is accelerating, with 75 startups and other news organizations joining the INN network in 2021, the largest increase since the INN network formed 12 years ago. 

“I am honored to step into this role as INN’s board chair. There has never been a more auspicious time for nonprofit news,” Parker said. “INN is uniquely positioned to ignite our extraordinary network, advocate for our field, and advance the growth and development of nonprofit news to serve more communities across America.” 

The INN board also ratified the election of four member representatives as INN directors: Kyra Kyles, CEO of the national youth-focused news organization YR Media and Kelsey Ryan, founder and publisher of The Beacon, covering communities in Missouri and Kansas, were newly elected to three-year terms. Members re-elected representative directors Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of OpenSecrets, and Ron Smith, editor/program director of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Parker takes the helm from Laura Frank, who moves to an emeritus director position as past-chair. Frank is executive director of COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative and is past vice president and president & general manager for news at Rocky Mountain PBS. 

Prior to joining Calmatters in 2017, Parker was executive director of content for Penton Technology, served as an innovation mentor for news media in the Matter accelerator, led the West Coast Patch network for AOL, served as launch director for the Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch service and was editorial director for London-based State, a global opinion network. She lectures for Northwestern University and is former assistant dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Parker is also on the boards of the Emma Bowen Foundation and El Tímpano, an INN member, and serves on the selection committee of Stanford University’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships.

Before joining YR Media, Kyles was previously the editor in chief of EBONY and senior vice president in charge of digital editorial. She started at the historic Black-owned brand as a senior editor for JET magazine. 

Ryan leveraged her experience as an investigative reporter for The Kansas City Star to found The Beacon at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and opened a sister newsroom in Wichita this year.

As executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, Krumholz oversaw its merger this year with the National Institute on Money in Politics to become the nonpartisan watchdog group OpenSecrets, which tracks money in politics and publishes findings.

Smith, in addition to leading Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, teaches at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication. He was previously the managing editor for news at USA TODAY. 

“These journalists bring the same level of commitment to in-depth reporting that marked INN’s founding while also bringing fresh perspectives about who and how we tell stories that can empower and connect people,” said Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of INN. “We’re energized by the new ideas and spirit of public service they show as leaders in the growth of nonprofit news.”

The INN board is composed of six member representatives and six appointed directors, plus the board chair. More information can be  view on our Board of Directors page.

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