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(From left to right) Business Manager Dane Greisiger, President Isabella Simonetti, and Executive Editor Ben Zhao will lead the DP in 2020. Credit: Ethan Wu

With a new decade comes a new group of students set to take the reins as leaders of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. College junior Isabella Simonetti will lead the organization as president, while Wharton junior Ben Zhao and Wharton sophomore Dane Greisiger will take charge as executive editor and business manager, respectively.

Together, Simonetti, Zhao, and Greisiger comprise the “big three,” the top leaders of the organization. They aim to collectively guide the DP with a focus on growing the publication to serve the needs of a fast-moving and diverse student body.

As president, Simonetti will oversee all aspects of the organization, which includes The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine, and Under the Button. She will be responsible for developing the DP’s strategy and culture, serving as the external leader, and assisting the business manager and executive editor in implementing their ideas. Zhao will be tasked with developing the editorial strategies and operations of the three publications as executive editor. As business manager, Greisiger will work to improve the operations and financial sustainability of the multimillion-dollar company.

Simonetti, an English major from New York City, will prioritize improving relations between the DP and the Penn community, cultivating a positive internal culture, and generating a viable business model to ensure the DP’s longevity. At a time when student journalists face much criticism, she wants the DP to be “mindful of its impact on campus,” and continue to produce high-quality journalism.

“This job will not come without difficulties, but I am never one to shy away from a challenge. Neither are my team of editors and managers, whom I have the utmost confidence in,” Simonetti said.  

In her previous role as Opinion editor, Simonetti said she “strived to represent a variety of different voices on campus,” and she will continue this commitment to diversity in both staff and coverage.

Simonetti’s motto for this year is “Ask the right questions.” She wants her board of editors and managers to stay curious.

“In order for the DP to adapt to meet the needs of the Penn community in the digital era, students and faculty must ask the right questions of us at the DP too,” she said.

Zhao, a finance and marketing concentrator from Northbrook, Ill., aims to establish a clear and consistent voice for each of the three publications. He will also continue to emphasize accuracy and quickness in editorial coverage. As a past design editor and digital director, Zhao is looking to elevate standards not just for the DP’s writing, but for its visuals and digital presence as well. 

“Whether through our social media, websites, newsletters, or print, I am encouraging our editors to think bigger and to pursue projects that create impact,” Zhao said.

Greisiger hails from Bryn Mawr, Pa., and is concentrating in finance and legal studies. He will bring his insight and past experience as a member of the Analytics Department to streamline and optimize decision-making.

“Analytics are able to reveal hidden opportunities and improvements and, in general, will allow us to add a new level of sophistication and rigor to our organization,” Greisiger said.

As business manager, Greisiger will look to develop new revenue streams in addition to the company’s traditional advertising. He plans to help grow the Product Lab, an arm of the company that produces sponsored content, ancillary publications, and other innovative products.

The big three are poised to continue the DP’s 136-year commitment to informing the Penn community and to teaching the next generation of journalists and businesspeople.

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