Goli Sheikholeslami, former head of the Washington Post’s digital division, has been named chief executive officer and president of Chicago Public Media, parent company of public radio WBEZ FM 91.5.
Her appointment, effective May 5, was announced Tuesday by Stephen Baird, board chairman of Chicago Public Media. It culminates a nationwide search that followed the forced resignation of Torey Malatia last July after two decades as a visionary and controversial leader.
“The search committee engaged in a very rigorous process, screening qualified candidates locally and nationally, to ensure that we found the right leader to effectively guide the organization forward,” Baird said in a statement. “Goli brings the perfect blend of experience to this role. Her extensive media background, proven leadership in digital innovation and enthusiasm for the mission of public media will be invaluable as she focuses on growing the audience for existing programs and engaging the next generation of fans across all of Chicago Public Media’s platforms.”
Sheikholeslami, 45, who most recently was chief product officer at Everyday Health, a health information platform for consumers and medical professionals, previously was senior vice president and managing director of Conde Nast's Style.com. At the Washington Post, she was credited with helping build washingtonpost.com and leading the integration of digital operations with the newspaper.
“Public media organizations play an increasingly central role in producing independent and in-depth journalism and original storytelling,” Sheikholeslami said in a statement. “I am excited to lead an organization that is recognized both in Chicago and across the nation for its journalistic excellence and deep commitment to listeners and the community. It will be a great privilege to have the opportunity to work alongside so many talented people, building on their accomplishments.”
Sheikholeslami holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and a bachelor of science in international economics from Georgetown University.
Since Malatia’s departure, chief operating officer Alison Scholly has been serving as interim CEO of Chicago Public Media.