Neil Budde to Head WPF-Funded Journalism Initiative at Temple

Publication Date: February 23, 2012

After a national search, WPF joins Temple University in welcoming Budde, who will lead the Foundation’s $2.4 million effort to advance public interest journalism in Greater Philadelphia. The veteran journalist and entrepreneur brings experience with the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News, and several internet start-up companies.

Temple University’s announcement of his hire follows below:


Neil Budde named founding CEO of Philadelphia Public Interest neil budde headshot medium.jpgInformation Network

PHILADELPHIA – The Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater 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 (WSJ.com). Budde was also involved nationally in the Online News Association, serving on its board for five years, and The News Literacy Project.

“The center’s leadership is thrilled to have attracted a leader of Neil’s caliber to the region,” said Thomas Jacobson, director of the center and interim dean of the School of Communications and Theater. “He will provide immediate leadership and vision for this important effort to improve public affairs in Philadelphia through journalism, information sharing and data transparency and analysis. His mix of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, technologist and journalist will provide a strong foundation for PPIIN.”

Budde, who will serve as a consultant to the center while he develops a strategic plan and incorporates PPIIN as a corporate entity, plans to reach out to public interest journalism stakeholders as a first step in establishing priorities for PPIIN.

“The Philadelphia region is a dynamic hotbed of news innovation, and I’m excited to join the existing network of journalists and newsmakers here,” said Budde. “I look forward to working with them to develop a sustainable organizational model to support our mission of deploying public interest news and information to pursue good government, transparency and accountability.”

Budde is expected to begin work at PPIIN in March. While developing PPIIN as an organization, he will be supported by the staff of the Center for Public Interest Journalism.

“Our investment is intended to advance the public interest through high-quality journalism. We are eager for Neil to build an innovative, networked organization that will increase the amount and quality of public interest news in the region, particularly on issues that aren’t covered well now,” said Jeremy Nowak, president and CEO of the William Penn Foundation.

Press inquiries:
Temple: Jeff Cronin, Asst. Director of Communications; 215 926 2519
WPF: Brent Thompson, Director of Communications; 215 988 1830