Press Releases

WCNY Board of Trustees names Mitch Gelman president, chief executive officer

(Syracuse, NY)–The WCNY Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Mitch Gelman, WCNY president and chief executive officer, effective Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Gelman succeeds Robert J. Daino who served as WCNY’s president and chief executive officer for more than 13 years.

Gelman brings more than 30 years of experience to WCNY. A media executive and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, he has led innovation and catalyzed growth in news, education, entertainment, and digital technology across public and private sector organizations.

“Mitch has a wealth of experience in the traditional and digital broadcast industries that will help WCNY undergo a digital transformation, while continuing to provide the high-quality programs and services our members, listeners, viewers, and the community count on,” said Jeffrey B. Scheer, WCNY Chairman of the Board. “Mitch embodies strong leadership qualities which the WCNY Board of Trustees believes will help WCNY continue to build its innovative portfolio of programs and services on the local and national levels.”

Prior to joining WCNY, Gelman served as chief technology officer at the Newseum, where he helped the Washington D.C.-based group expand its commitment to using emerging technology to promote, explain, and defend the freedoms of the First Amendment.

His background includes a record of success in digital and traditional media.

As vice president of product at Gannett Co., a Fortune 500 company, he oversaw digital product development for more than 150 national, regional and local newspaper and broadcast television properties including USA TODAY. Prior to Gannett, he was senior vice president and senior executive producer at CNN, where he managed the expansion of the global news group’s digital operations, and led to its position as the world’s top digital news and information service. He also served as the first editor-in-chief of, as a reporter for New York Newsday, and as a consultant for the John S. and James K. Knight Foundation.

He has written books and articles on criminal justice, national and local politics, economics, health care, music, culture and sports, and teaches interactive media at the School of Global Communications and Journalism at Morgan State University. A pioneer in virtual and augmented reality development, Gelman recently produced a virtual reality module on the history of the Vietnam War that will be introduced in high schools this spring.

“My goal is to help elevate WCNY’s commitment to the people who live and work in the Syracuse and Central New York area,” Gelman said. “WCNY has developed a nationally-recognized entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and a commitment to this community as a media and education asset. This will allow our team to focus on delivering even more innovation, creative content, educational programs, and transformative experiences to open minds and spark change.”

Gelman published the following:

  1. Co-author, “Viewing the Future? VR in Journalism,” Knight Foundation, 2016
  2. “Crime Scene: On the streets with a rookie police reporter,” Times Books, 1992

Gelman earned the following awards:

  1. National Press Foundation, Best Use of Technology in Journalism, 2016
  2. National Edward R. Murrow Award, Harvest of Change VR experience, 2015
  3. Knight Foundation News Innovation Award, 2008
  4. Online News Association, General Excellence, 2008
  5. National Edward R. Murrow Awards for Election and Hurricane Coverage
  6. National Press Association, Best Web Site, 2006
  7. Pulitzer Prize, 1992, New York Newsday Staff for Spot News

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from University of California, Berkeley, studied Economic History at the London School of Economics and Executive Finance at Harvard Business School, and attended the National University of Singapore on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.

Gelman is a native New Yorker. He is relocating from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area with his wife and son.

Haley Dubnoff
Director, Marketing, Communications & Creative Services
415 W. Fayette St.
Syracuse, NY 13204
(315) 385-7317

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