Board of Directors
The DTH Media Corp. Board of Directors has added six new members since January 2018, including media professionals with expertise in journalism, public relations, nonprofits and the revenue side of the news industry.
The additions are part of a move to create a more robust Board of Directors to guide DTH Media Corp. through difficult times. The new members are professionals Livis Freeman, Will Lingo, Jen Wing Rothacker, Erinn Whitaker and Jed Williams and UNC junior Anamay Viswanathan.
For years, the Board of Directors was primarily populated by UNC students. Under the new structure, the board will continue to have a strong student leadership that is accountable to the campus. But the increase in professionals should ensure greater financial oversight, more strategic planning and an increased focus on fundraising.
"Failure is not an option," Lingo said, "and not just because the DTH is a beloved campus institution but because it does great work now just as it has done great work for 125 years, and continues to train some of the best journalists in the nation."
New members since January:
Livis Freeman, faculty/staff member
Assistant Teaching Professor in the UNC School of Media and Journalism and owner of 4ourFans, Inc.
Livis brings extensive experience in nonprofit boards and fundraising to the DTH. After graduating from UNC, he started a successful public relations company that helps professional athletes create their philanthropic identities. Now, he teaches the capstone PR campaigns classes at the MJ-School and this fall, he’ll teach the School’s first class in career preparation.
"I'm excited to be on the board because the DTH has been such a big part of my Carolina experience since I was an undergrad! It's as iconic and meaningful as the Bell Tower and Old Well. I will use my public relations expertise to help them continue making a difference in the lives of the locals and students they serve while navigating the ever-changing communications, journalism and media environment."
Will Lingo, community member
Will Lingo, ‘89, found both his calling and his wife, Kristen, at the DTH. Will recently stepped down as publisher of Baseball America, a publication that has employed countless DTH sportswriters over the years. Will knows that good journalism and good business aren’t mutually exclusive, and he brings to the board experience with niche publications.
“(The DTH) is as vital now as it has ever been, so we just need to figure out how the business and the journalism need to evolve. … I’m all about finding pragmatic solutions to problems, not dying over principle, and from what I’ve already seen from the staff, the board and the community around the DTH, we have the spirit and the smarts to figure this out.”
Jennifer Wing Rothacker, community member
Community engagement officer, Trees Charlotte
Jennifer Wing Rothacker, ‘92, was editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel (fun fact: she was hired by Kristen Lingo). In nearly 20 years as a reporter and editor with the Charlotte Observer, Jen spearheaded many of the Observer’s new revenue projects, including the Charlotte Five newsletter and a budding events model. She’s now working for the nonprofit Trees Charlotte. Jen is known for her energy and ability to cut to the chase and ask smart questions.
“When the DTH gives so much to you as a student, the least you can do is give back to it as an alum. It's a befuddling yet promising time for newspapers as they transform into smart, digital products. Can't wait to see how we figure it out!”
Jed Williams, community member
Chief innovation officer, Local Media Association
Jed’s undergraduate college media experience came at the Cavalier Daily at UVA, but he joined the DTH Board of Directors the first time when he came to the j-school for a master’s in the media business concentration in 2008-10. Jed returns to the board to bring extensive expertise in building new revenue lines for local media. He is chief innovation officer for the Local Media Association, a nonprofit that helps local media organizations of all types and sizes manage the digital transition.
Erinn Whitaker, faculty/staff member
Senior researcher and writer, UNC School of Media and Journalism
Erinn might be the first DTH Board member with security clearance. She came to the UNC from the State Department, where she was a foreign service officer specializing in Europe and Russia. Now, she researches news deserts and the digital transition in local news for the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media.
“Working on the academic side of local media, I’m excited to taste the real-life challenges and victories of a news organization…particularly one as vital as the Daily Tar Heel.”
Anamay Viswanathan, student member
Anamay is from London, England. He studies Political Science and Neuroscience, with the hope of better understanding how people think. Anamay also serves as Senior Adviser on the Student Advisory Board of UNC’s Institute of Politics. He is a class of 2019 Morehead-Cain Scholar.
"I joined the board because I’ve always been in awe of the way that the DTH balances a strong moral compass with engaging storytelling. Journalism that brings people together, uncovers the truth, and fights for change is the bedrock of a healthy democracy, and I wanted do my bit in sustaining this mission”
Matt Queen, president
Matt is from Asheboro, NC. He is a class of 2019 Morehead-Cain Scholar who joined the Board in January 2017. Matt studies Economics and Political Science, and he is particularly interested in social inequities within the framework of criminal justice. He is an active advocate at the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), a nonprofit devoted to empowering community members struggling with or affected by homelessness. Additionally, Matt serves on the worship team for UNC’s Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) campus ministry organization.
“I joined the board because I love the Daily Tar Heel. Although I never wrote for the paper, it always made me feel more connected to Chapel Hill. My goal is to leave the DTH in a better financial position than when I found it, and I’m so excited to continue working with this team of talented journalists, staff, and board members!”
Katherine Whyte, vice president
Katherine is a sophomore from New York, NY. She is studying computer science and pre-business studies.
“As a lifelong admirer of the DTH, I joined the Board of Directors as a first-year, hoping to apply my previous experience working with nonprofit boards to this organization. I aim to assist in the establishment of financial security and longevity, so I can continue to pass on a love of The Daily Tar Heel to my friends and family in the same way my mother passed it on to me as a child.”
John Hess, treasurer
John is a senior from Smithfield, NC, majoring in History and Political Science. He studies modern diplomatic relations and related practical applications for the present-day policies of the European Union. In 2017 John was on study abroad in Germany and South Africa, and has completed internships with the U.S. Department of State and Lawyers for Human Rights in Cape Town.
In addition to his Board membership, John serves UNC as a Vice Chair of the Undergraduate Honor Court and the Chapel Hill community as a Senior Advocate at the Community Empowerment Fund. Prior to joining the DTH, John was a member and Secretary of the Board of Directors of CEF.
“The DTH has been an institution in college journalism since its inception. I joined the Board because I’m focused on how we can continue to hold the university and our community accountable in the twenty-first century.”
Andrew Brennen, student member
Andrew is a Robertson Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, where he is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Policy Journalism and Media Studies. Andrew co-founded the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team in 2012 as a junior in high school. In this capacity, Andrew helped launch and lead a number of projects to amplify and elevate students as partners in improving Kentucky schools. He has assisted a wide range of organizations in engaging students including the White House, The Hewlett Foundation, Google, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Volley Education and South By SouthWest Education.
Andrew Dunn, community member
Editor, Charlotte Agenda
Andrew is the Editor of Charlotte Agenda, ultimately responsible for all content at a rapidly growing digital news company. He joined the Agenda after five years in newspapers, at The Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington, NC. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Tar Heel in the 2009-10 school year.
“The Daily Tar Heel did so much for my career, and now I want to help preserve that irreplaceable experience for the next generation of journalists.”
Elizabeth is a junior from Atlanta, GA. She is majoring in Peace, War and Defense while minoring in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. Outside of her Board membership, Elizabeth is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, Pi Beta Phi, and is involved with student government. Elizabeth has a longstanding interest in journalism, previously serving as editor for her high school paper and interning for an international media outlet.
The Board of Directors of Daily Tar Heel Media Corporation is a student-majority board composed of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and community members. The general manager, editor-in-chief, student advertising manager and brand studio managing director serve as ex officio members of the board.