Lenfest Constellation News Leadership Initiative

The Lenfest Constellation News Leadership Initiative is a program designed to provide career development support to mid-career media professionals of color.

The seven-month fellowship will support mid-career media makers of color in the Greater Philadelphia area with world-class training from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, mentorship from Executive Advisors who have advanced to positions of leadership in news enterprises, and career coaching from Crawford Leadership Strategies, a Black-owned leadership development firm. The program is open to candidates who work in editorial, product, business, or technology at Philadelphia-area news media enterprises. 

Applications are now open for the 2021-2022 Constellation News Leadership Initiative

We are now accepting applications for fellows and the executive advisors in the program. Both fellows and executive advisors will be provided a stipend for their time. The deadline to apply is June 30 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

For more information on applying to the Constellation News Leadership Initiative please visit our FAQ or watch this video overview.

Lessons from The Constellation News Leadership Initiative

The inaugural Constellation News Leadership class completed its fellowship in spring 2021. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, 40% of fellows reported a job promotion during the program and 90% reported an expansion of job responsibilities. Every fellow said the fellowship increased their confidence at work. And 70% of the fellows said the program helped raise their profile in the industry, while 90% said they made new connections with fellow journalists and media professionals. 

Learn more about the 2020-2021 Constellation News Leadership Initiative and read essays from the first cohort of fellows about what they learned and their vision for the future of local journalism.

The 2020 Fellows and Executive Advisors were: 


Executive Advisors:

  • Emma Carew Grovum, Newsroom Consultant, Kimbap Media
  • Sandra Clark, Vice President for News and Civic Dialogue, WHYY
  • Anthony Cuffie, Vice President-Local Advertising, Labor, & Advertising Operations, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Michael Days, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Jos Duncan, Director of Product Management, WURD Radio
  • Gabriel Escobar, Editor and Vice President, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Jim Friedlich, CEO and Executive Director, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism
  • Ric Harris, President & General Manager, NBC10/Telemundo62
  • Danese Kenon, Visuals Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Melony Roy, Director of Digital News, WHYY
  • Daniel Tsao, Publisher, New Mainstream Press

The Fellows and Executive Advisors were chosen through an open application process that sought to identify news leaders of color who have exhibited leadership in Philadelphia’s news organizations, expressed a desire to continue to grow their careers, were recommended strongly by their co-workers, and have a passion for equity. The applications were reviewed by a team of Lenfest Institute staff members and other industry experts. 

The Lenfest Institute will share key lessons and best practices from the Constellation courses as the program progresses.