Poynter Institute President Tim Franklin is resigning to become senior associate dean at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University.
Franklin joined the St. Petersburg-based nonprofit journalistic foundation in 2014, leading “a financial turnaround at the Institute and adapted Poynter’s business to the changing industry,” according to the news release. Franklin’s career includes a stint at the Chicago Tribune before becoming the top editor at The Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and The Baltimore Sun.
Franklin said the decision was based on both Medill’s reputation for excellence in education and an opportunity to return to the Chicago area, where his wife, Alison, works at a law firm.
At Medill, Franklin will oversee campuses in Chicago, Washington and San Francisco. He will also head Medill’s efforts to collaborate with major media companies and nonprofits on strategic initiatives with foundations. Franklin will report to Medill’s Dean Brad Hamm.
“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to lead The Poynter Institute and the remarkably talented and hard-working faculty and staff here who every day change lives and have an impact on the journalism industry,” Franklin said in an announcement Monday morning. “Together, we’ve strengthened the Institute and broadened its reach and impact. I’ve been grateful every day to call folks here colleagues.”
Under Franklin’s tenure, Poynter enacted several improvements to its business model, including offering training to individual journalists as well as large media and technology companies such as Gannett, The Associated Press, Google, Facebook, and Univision, among others.
Poynter also is close to completing and overhaul of its News University online learning platform, as well as a new redesign of its media news website. Last year, the institute taught more than 100,000 journalists, journalism educators and journalism educators from 92 countries and all 50 states, according to Poyner.org.
Margie Manning of the Tampa Bay Business Journal points out the changes under Franklin have had a significant impact on Poynter’s finances, with “three consecutive quarters of operating surpluses in the institute is budgeted to break even for 2017.”
Paul Tash, Times Publishing Company chair and CEO, celebrated Franklin’s record.
“While I regret Tim’s departure, I take great satisfaction in the strides that Poynter has taken while he’s been president these last three years,” Tash said in a statement. “Poynter’s work has never been more important, and its standing has never been higher. The opportunity to be its next president will attract terrific candidates from all corners.”
Franklin begins at Medill June 12. Florida Trend magazine president and publisher Andy Corty will take over for Franklin in the interim, while Poynter’s board of trustees begin a search for his replacement.