First 100 days as CEO of the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network: advice for Neil Budde

Neil Budde in July 1997 as Wall Street Journal interactive editor. Photo by Ted Thai for LIFE magazine.

A leader for a major public affairs journalism project at Temple University in Philadelphia began his role last week.

I was excited to find in February that Neil Budde, whose claim to fame is being the founding editor of, would be the CEO of the new, temporarily-named Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network. Everyone closer to the project than I and others who know Budde in other ways have all had positive remarks.

The impact of an organization like that on information communities in Philadelphia can be a thrilling thing to watch. By way of full disclosure, I did have early-stage conversations about the position and the project on the recommendation of others. That said, I’m eager to have further discussion with Budde.

With all that said, I wanted to share some thoughts on what goals Budde might seek in his first 100 days the PPIIN CEO.

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Neil Budde named founding CEO of Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network [Press Release]

Neil Budde, founding editor and former publisher of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Online

News has broken of the new CEO of the multi-million dollar journalism initiative housed at Temple, a project I’ve written about before here, but I hadn’t seen any confirmation posted yet, so I thought I’d share the press release from Temple that was sent my way.


PHILADELPHIA – The Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater (www.cpijournalism) has named Neil Budde as the founding CEO of the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network (PPIIN).

Budde (pronounced buddy) will lead the development of PPIIN (a placeholder name until the organization is founded and branded), a collaborative organization intended to help increase the amount and quality of news and information in the Greater Philadelphia region. It is funded through a $2.4 million grant to the School of Communications and Theater from the William Penn Foundation.

Budde was hired for his demonstrated management skills in enterprises involving journalism and technology, and his experience in anticipating and successfully accommodating for innovations and trends. Budde was most recently executive vice president at ePals and president of DailyMe, a start-up focused on delivering personalized news and information. Prior to this, Budde served as editor in chief of Yahoo News and founding editor and publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online ( Budde was also involved nationally in the Online News Association, serving on its board for five years, and The News Literacy Project.

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NBC Philadelphia ‘Request for Proposals Cooperative Arrangement with Non-Profit Local News Organization’

As part of its agreement with FCC to take over majority stake in NBC Universal, Comcast pledged to, among other things, bolster local news.

A half dozen NBC local affiliates, including Philadelphia, announcing a request for proposals to partner with nonprofit news organizations is just that.

I’d sure hope attention is being paid by WHYY and its NewsWorks initiative and the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network, both of which could create some dynamic, interesting partnerships with a broadcast outlet with a large online audience to boot.

Applications are due next Friday, July 22. Details and applications here.

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