Campbell Brown, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the education news site The 74, announced late last week that she is taking a news-related job at Facebook.
“I have some exciting news to share,” Brown wrote late on Jan. 6 on—where else?—her Facebook page. “This month I will be joining Facebook to lead its News Partnerships team. This is a different role for me, but one where I will be tapping my newsroom experience to help news organizations and journalists work more closely and more effectively with Facebook.”
Brown explained in a post at The 74 that she will be “stepping away from my editorial role” at the education news site, but will remain on its board.
“My excitement about the impact and growth of the site and its mission—standing up for America’s 74 million children—is unchanged,” said Brown, adding in the post that the project that “frankly seemed a little crazy” at its inception has now grown to several separate websites and 20 newsroom employees in New York City, Washington, and Los Angeles.
Brown drew attention in November when President-elect Donald Trump tapped Betsy DeVos as his nominee for U.S. secretary of education. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation was an initial funder of The 74 (its grant dollars were used up by the end of 2016). Brown announced that she would recuse herself from editing any news coverage of DeVos, but she also wrote an op-ed essay on The 74 defending her friend.
Besides taking over LA School Report and its Spanish-language version, The 74 recently attracted the two top editors of Real Clear Education, Andrew J. Rotherham and Emmeline Zhao, who will be starting an education news aggregation site there in a few weeks.
Romy Drucker, the other co-founder of The 74 and its CEO, said in her own post on the site that “Campbell leaves us ready to take our work to the next level.”
“We’ll ... focus on better integrating multiple verticals—news, video and books—to help deliver the best thinking and reporting on education to our audiences, and in doing so to grow those audiences and make the conversation smarter,” Drucker wrote.
Brown, a former TV news anchor for CNN and other outlets, says in her Facebook post that the new job with the giant social media network will be “a different role for me, but one where I will be tapping my newsroom experience to help news organizations and journalists work more closely and more effectively with Facebook.”
“Right now we are watching a massive transformation take place in the news business—both in the way people consume news and in the way reporters disseminate news,” Brown wrote. “Facebook is a major part of this transformation. This change comes with enormous challenges for journalists, but also with great opportunities. Being given the chance to work on these complex issues with an industry full of people I care so much about is thrilling for me.”
Facebook’s corporate news site has no release about Brown’s hiring, and an email to its press relations department did not bring an immediate response.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.