Read on to learn more about the media managers participating in this year’s conference that takes place June 21 and June 22 via Zoom. Read more about the event and find links to register here.
Session one: Print media
Crain’s Detroit Business
Kelley Root is Executive Editor of Crain’s Detroit Business. She joined Crain’s in 2020 after 15 years at The Detroit News, where she served in multiple editing roles, including managing editor. Prior to that, she spent 15 years as a reporter and editor at The Grand Rapids Press. A native of Oak Park, Mich., Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. She is a board member for the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The Detroit News
Gary Miles was named Editor and Publisher of The Detroit News on May 10, 2019, the first Michigan native to lead the newsroom since 1986. Previously, Gary served as managing editor for five years and in various other editing roles at The News since 2000. He has been a propelling force for investigative journalism and in the digital transformation of The News, which leads the market in digital reader loyalty and engagement. A native of the Detroit area, Gary grew up in Midland and has served in reporting and editing roles in Port Huron, Lansing, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He serves on the board of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors and the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation. He and his wife Dorothy, a physician, have four children.
Laurén Abdel-Razzaq is the Digital Director at The Detroit News, overseeing a team of journalists that includes breaking news reporters, social media, editors and web producers. She has been with the organization for nine years and during that time has worked as a county and business reporter and overseeing social media.
Laurén was born in Detroit and raised in Sterling Heights. After graduating high school in Gothenburg, Sweden, she returned to Michigan to attend Wayne State University.
She’s a two-time graduate of the school, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA acquired in 2018.
She is grateful for her family and her cats, who have kept her sane during this pandemic. When the world isn’t in isolation, she enjoys going to concerts, especially the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and playing music with her friends.
Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press
Peter Bhatia, a multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning editor who has spearheaded meaningful journalism and digital advances at numerous news sites across the country, is editor and vice president of the Detroit Free Press and freep.com.
He joined The Free Press in September 2017, after two years as editor and vice president of The Enquirer and cincinnati.com. He also serves as the Michigan regional editor for the USA TODAY network, overseeing multiple news operations in the state.
He received the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year award from the National Press Foundation in 2021.
At the Free Press, he has focused news efforts on investigative and enterprise journalism, and building the paper’s digital audience.The entire staff was mobilized for coverage of the COVID pandemic, resulting in more than 300 million page views on freep.com in April-June this year.
His time in Cincinnati was noteworthy for the paper’s commitment to watchdog and investigative reporting, digital transformation and innovative work such as the “Accused” podcast. The unsolved-murder mystery series drew more than 6 million downloads. The Enquirer won a Pulitzer prize for work done during his tenure on the opioid epidemic.
Bhatia previously was director of the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism. He joined the university in June 2014 as visiting professor in journalism ethics after a two-decade career at The Oregonian in Portland, where he was editor.
His resume includes helping lead newsrooms that have won 10 Pulitzer Prizes, including six in Portland. He is a seven-time Pulitzer juror. He is the first journalist of South Asian descent to lead a major daily newspaper in the U.S., running The Oregonian from 2010 to 2014. He previously was the paper’s managing editor and executive editor, teaming with then-editor Sandra Mims Rowe. Rowe and Bhatia were named editors of the year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2008. He served as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2003-04 and is a regular speaker on contemporary journalism issues.
Bhatia was executive editor of The Fresno Bee, managing editor of The Sacramento Bee, editor of the York (Pennsylvania) Dispatch and Sunday News, managing editor of the Dallas Times Herald, deputy managing editor of the San Francisco Examiner, and a reporter and editor at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington.
He also is a leader in journalism education, having served for 12 years as president of the national organization that accredits college schools of journalism and mass communication from 2007-14 and 2016-today. He has led or served on more than 20 Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications accrediting teams in the U.S., Middle East and New Zealand.
Peter and his wife, Liz Dahl, have two grown children, who live in Portland and New York City, and one grandchild.
Peter is a 1975 graduate of Stanford University with a BA in history and a double major in history and communication. He has served on the board of directors of the Stanford Alumni Association and Stanford Associates. He serves on an advisory board for Stanford magazine. He co-chaired his 40th class reunion in 2015. His son is a 2012 Stanford graduate.
Session two: Television news
Channel 4 WDIV
Kim Voet has spent more than 35 years in newsrooms telling stories and watching history be made. She is celebrating 10 years as the News Director at WDIV-TV/ClickonDetroit.com in Detroit, and came up the management ranks in the newsroom. WDIV is the MAB Station of the Year for the past 7 years. Loves big breaking news, enterprise news stories and tackling challenges – 2020 & 2021 have provided plenty of them. Murrow and Emmy Award winner. Proud University of Missouri graduate: M-I-Z! Happy wife and mother of two.
Fox 2 Detroit
Kevin Roseborough has been News Director at FOX 2 Detroit since 2013. Previous Fox 2 roles include managing editor, investigative producer and assistant news director. Kevin worked as an editor at the Detroit Free Press for 11 years. Kevin earned his BA in journalism from the University of Michigan.
Cynthia Smith has been the Director of Human Resources at Fox 2 Detroit since 1998. Smith has helped negotiate contracts and has created policies that helped increase diversity and well-being in the newsroom. Smith also executed the start of annual on-site internships and work-study programs at the station. She helps direct college recruiting programs at several universities and colleges. Smith held previous personnel and human resources roles at the Lucas County Board of MRDD in Toledo, the University of Illinois – Champaign in Illinois and Volkswagen of America, Inc., in Troy, Mich. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in business administration from Wayne State University.
Session one: Online and radio
Bridge Michigan Managing Editor Joel Kurth has spent more than two decades in journalism in Michigan. He worked 17 years as an editor and reporter at The Detroit News, the last five of which he served as editor of investigations and projects. He’s overseen projects that prompted a reassessment of property taxes in Detroit, changed laws about tax foreclosure sales, prompted reforms at the Detroit Medical Center and led numerous investigations into municipal corruption. Kurth also worked at The Saginaw News and in the Upper Peninsula and has won more than 50 national and state journalism awards. You can reach Joel via email at email@example.com, or call him at 586-306-4708.
Vincent Duffy has been News Director at Michigan Radio (NPR) since May 2007. In his fourteen years leading the Michigan Radio news room, the news team of 12 journalists has won scores of national journalism awards for news coverage, including a recent Peabody Award for the podcast Believed, and a DuPont Award and Scripps-Howard Award for their coverage of the Flint water crisis.
Michigan Radio covers statewide news with bureaus in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids. Reporters at the station frequently file national stories with NPR and other public radio programs.
Duffy has twice been Chairman of the Radio/Television/Digital News Association (RTDNA), the nation’s largest organization representing electronic journalists. He still serves on the RTDNA board as a Foundation Trustee.
He also has been a member of SPJ for almost 30 year and serves on the Journalism and Mass Communications Accreditation Committee.
As a journalist he covered news in Europe, Australia and Africa.
He is a frequent speaker on journalism issues, both in the USA and abroad.
Duffy graduated from Kent State University with degrees in political science and telecommunications, and has a Master’s Degree in mass media from Miami University of Ohio.
Session two: Independent/online
Allan Lengel, a co-founder of Deadline Detroit, is a veteran journalist who has worked at major publications including the Washington Post and the Detroit News. He served as an intern under the late investigative columnist Jack Anderson, taught journalism at the University of Maryland and was a contributing reporter for the ABC News Brian Ross Investigative Unit. He is also editor of a website on federal law enforcement news called ticklethewire.com.
Ashley Woods Branch
Ashley Woods Branch is founder and CEO of Detour Detroit.