Education Week has a new leader for its newsroom.
Scott Montgomery, the managing editor of audience and partnerships at NPR, takes on the new position of editor-in-chief and chief content officer of Education Week and its parent, Editorial Projects in Education Inc.
The selection was announced Tuesday by Michele J. Givens, EPE’s president and CEO, and was greeted with a burst of applause and cheers at a newsroom meeting.
“Scott is a digitally progressive news executive,” said Givens. “There were quite a few highly qualified candidates who came from both within the field [of education journalism] and outside of the field. Scott emerged as the candidate who had what we were looking for.”
In a perhaps unintended symbol of his digital chops, Montgomery tweeted the news moments after EPE’s meeting and an NPR meeting where he had shared the development with his colleagues.
“Friends, a little personal news: Excited to announce I’ll be joining @educationweek as new head of content. Many thanks to @npr!” the tweet said.
“We’re at a really interesting moment both for education and for Education Week,” Montgomery said in an interview. “There is a transition going on at this organization. It is financially stable, but like other media organizations it needs to be rethinking how it does things.”
Montgomery has worked in journalism positions for such outlets as the St. Petersburg Times newspaper and CQ Roll Call, before joining NPR in 2012 and serving in various digital news positions. At the St. Petersburg newspaper (now the Tampa Bay Times), he led a team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for PolitiFact, an online political-reporting effort.
Montgomery will join Education Week just as its longtime executive editor, Gregory Chronister, is retiring. The new position was envisioned as a role that will lead Education Week and EPE’s digital efforts.
Chronister said at the newsroom meeting that the new job encompasses some of what he has done, some of what was done by Virginia B. Edwards, who was editor-in-chief of Education Week and president of EPE before leaving last year, “and more.”
Givens added that she believed that eventually Montgomery would “make the job his own.”
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, Education Week‘s managing editor, was one of 17 newsroom staff members who met with finalists and provided feedback to Givens.
Manzo said she found Montgomery highly impressive, but was also struck that the candidate thought highly enough of Education Week to consider leaving a major news organization to come work for it.
“I find him to be a dynamic thinker who can help us innovate and go on to have a greater impact,” she said.
Montgomery said he hopes to lead a conversation when he arrives at Education Week about the more-competitive landscape for education journalism and where the organization aims to fit and who it is competing against.
“Education Week is a really unique place,” he said. “There is real thought leadership going on there, not just in the field of education, but in the field of media.”
Montgomery is slated to start his new job on July 10.
Photo credit: Kainaz Amaria/NPR-File
A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.