As The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. embarks on its 136th year covering Penn’s campus, its new student leaders prepare for a year driven by digital media strategy and internal board change. Led by President and College junior Isabella Simonetti, the Board of Editors and Managers consists of student leaders from The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine, and Under the Button.
The new board actualizes a series of structural changes, including reducing the number of board members from 42 to 28, centralizing visual departments, and creating an editor-in-chief position for the DP's publication. The DP, Inc. also hired a fourth professional staff member, Director of Development Steven Molberger, who will pioneer the company’s fundraising program.
Simonetti said implementing these changes seamlessly will be a priority this year. She said she will also focus on breaking news faster, developing a sustainable business model for the DP, and representing more voices on campus.
Executive Editor and Wharton junior Ben Zhao will lead the DP, Inc. Editorial Board, which consists of 22 student leaders, a marked reduction from last year’s 36 members. Zhao, the DP, Inc.’s former digital director, is supported by several senior editors: DP Editor-in-Chief Max Cohen, Street Editor-in-Chief Tamsyn Brann, UTB Editor-in-Chief James Morrison, Audience Engagement Editor Najma Dayib, Design Editor Ava Cruz, Photo Editor Sukhmani Kaur, Web Editor Peter Chen, Podcast Editor Alec Druggan, Video Editor Sage Levine, and Copy Editor Zoey Weisman.
”Today’s media landscape has changed the way we reach our audience. By having a clear, consistent voice for each publication, I believe the DP will gain a wider, more engaged readership,” Zhao said. “Whether through our social media, websites, newsletters, or print, I am encouraging our editors to think bigger and to pursue projects that create impact.”
Cohen, a former news editor and politics reporter, will oversee the News, Opinion, and Sports departments and help solidify the DP’s brand as a digital-first news publication. He will report directly to Zhao, the company’s chief content officer, and work alongside other senior editors. Cohen, who covered the 2018 midterm elections as a politics beat reporter for the DP, said the 2020 presidential election will be a coverage priority as well as enterprise sports reporting.
Wharton sophomore Dane Greisiger will lead the DP, Inc. Business Board and work closely with the four professional staff members to oversee all business operations at the company. With a background in the Analytics Department, Greisiger will look to implement more data-driven business strategies and work to establish the DP Consulting Group, for which he said he will be hiring student analysts in the coming weeks.
The Daily Pennsylvanian celebrated 135 years covering the Penn community last fall. For the past 40 years, the students and staff at the company have been supported by General Manager Eric Jacobs, who plans on retiring at the end of the semester. The DP Board of Directors oversees the ongoing search process for his replacement.
“Eric Jacobs has been an invaluable asset to the DP throughout his 40 years of service to the organization. His leadership has motivated generations of student leaders, and his legacy will continue to inspire all of the editors and managers at the DP long after his retirement,” Simonetti said.