Staff & Board

Staff

  • Richard Miniter Staff Photo

    Richard Miniter

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Miniter is an award-winning investigative journalist and best-selling author. He writes is a national security contributor on Forbes.com. He was editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe and was a member of the famed investigative team of The Sunday Times of London. As vice president of The Washington Times, Miniter turned around an ailing division and managed a team of 17 journalists.

    He is the author of a number of New York Times bestselling books: Losing bin Laden, Shadow War, Mastermind and Leading From Behind. Miniter has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, Forbes, New Republic, National Review and others.

    He appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and hundreds of radio programs.

  • Andre M. Johnson Staff Photo

    Andre M. Johnson

    Vice President, Distribution

    Mr. Johnson is the founder of ProImage Communications, LLC. He has represented former Mayor of Washington, D.C Marion Barry, professional boxers Tony Thompson, Anthony and Lamont Peterson and former NBA star Steve Francis. Johnson orchestrated the earned media campaign that took the Rev. Al Sharpton from the pulpit to the leadership of the Democratic Party. He serves as both Publisher for the Urban News Service and Vice President of Distribution for parent company American Media Institute.

  • Niger Innis Staff Photo

    Niger Innis

    Editor

    Mr. Innis is the national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality. He is a frequent guest on network television and cable news. His appearances include MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. He is co-chairman of the Affordable Power Alliance. In 2014, he was elected to the executive board of the NAACP.

  • Deroy Murdock Staff Photo

    Deroy Murdock

    Editor

    Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service.

  • Eric K. Easter Staff Photo

    Eric K. Easter

    Editor

    Mr. Easter is the CEO of BLQBOX, a start-up streaming network featuring non-fiction films, shorts and original series on the global black cultural experience. A veteran of political media and campaign consulting, he served as press secretary to Rev. Jesse Jackson and advised on communications for many campaigns.

  • Joe Louis Ruffin, Jr. Staff Photo

    Joe Louis Ruffin, Jr.

    Director

    Mr. Ruffin served as a strategic management consultant to a variety of organizations, including Public Campaign, the DCCC, NATO, the President’s Council onY2K/Field Strategies and more. He served as Washington Museum’s political director for the arts and also as the director of a MLB-RBI training program. Most recently, he served as the director of outreach for DC Votes.

  • William Schulz Staff Photo

    William Schulz

    Managing Editor

    For almost 40 years, Schulz served as a senior editor for Reader’s Digest, the world’s largest circulation English-language magazine. As Washington bureau chief and later executive editor, he assigned and edited thousands of carefully crafted narratives, more than any other editor in Reader’s Digest history. He has an extensive Rolodex of leading writers and a broad network of contacts among print, radio and television editors. The key to the Reader’s Digest’s extraordinary growth was hard-hitting, fact-checked investigative stories. He brings back old-fashioned journalistic values to an industry much in need of them.

  • John M. Shoreman Staff Photo

    John M. Shoreman

    General Counsel

    John M. Shoreman specializes in media law and First Amendment issues. His clients have included radio broadcasters, wireless carriers, book publishers, literary agents, newspaper distributors and best-selling authors.

Board of Directors

What does the Board of Directors do?

The Board of Directors is the governing body of AMI. Directors help to guide the organization’s policies and strategic direction. Acting as a check on management, they scrutinize all finances including executive compensation. Directors are independent, term-limited, and hail from diverse backgrounds including network television, academia, private equity, government services, and charitable foundations.


  • Jeff Ballabon Staff Photo

    Jeff Ballabon

    Jeff Ballabon is the former spokesman and senior vice president of CBS News.

  • Richard Miniter Staff Photo

    Richard Miniter

    CEO, American Media Institute

    Richard Miniter is an award-winning investigative journalist and best-selling author.

  • Richard Perle Staff Photo

    Richard Perle

    Former Chairman, Defense Policy Board

    Richard Perle served as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, and as a staff member to Senator Henry Jackson (D-Washington).

  • Niger Innis Staff Photo

    Niger Innis

    Editor

    Mr. Innis is the national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality. He is a frequent guest on network television and cable news. His appearances include MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. He is co-chairman of the Affordable Power Alliance. In 2014, he was elected to the executive board of the NAACP.

  • Dick Patten Staff Photo

    Dick Patten

    Dick established and ran two hugely successful businesses. He employed 18,232 Seattle-area workers and Inc. Magazine listed him as CEO of the 353rd fastest-growing privately owned business in the nation. As his firms grew, he conducted six buy-out mergers, exponentially growing the success of the companies and its employees.

Media Advisory Board

What does the Media Advisory Board do?

AMI strives to pursue stories that can be proven (or disproven) on time and on budget. Our goal is to produce news articles that educate the general public about the workings of government, businesses, and interest groups to hold accountable those persons who claim to serve the public. On a regular basis, Media Advisory Board members review proposals for investigative news articles alongside our editors and other staff. Advisers draw on their decades of experience to help AMI select and prioritize the most promising proposals. Advisers may also draw on their industry relationships to suggest outside writers for certain topics. Advisers have no governing, financial, or fiduciary responsibility; instead, they are here to suggest, cajole, and quip.


  • Adam Bellow Staff Photo

    Adam Bellow

    Editorial Director of Broadside Books/HarperCollins

    Adam Bellow is editorial director of Broadside Books/HarperCollins and publisher of Liberty Island Media. Previously he was executive editor-at-large for Doubleday/Random House and editorial director of The Free Press/Simon & Schuster.

  • Robert Norton Staff Photo

    Robert Norton

    Chief Financial Officer, Endgame Entertainment

    Robert Norton serves as Chief Financial Officer of Endgame Entertainment Company, LLC. Mr. Norton has over 20 years of experience in the financing and production of film and television, holding. He began his career at Lucasfilm, Ltd. Mr. Norton is a member of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Mark Burg Staff Photo

    Mark Burg

    Vice Chairman of Primary Wave Entertainment

    Veteran film producer Mark Burg is the Vice Chairman of Management and Production Company Primary Wave Entertainment. Burg has compiled an impressive track record of hits; including the powerhouse horror franchise SAW, the Emmy Award-nominated CBS series “Two and a Half Men”, and top-rated cable sitcom “Anger Management”. From being President of Island Pictures, Owner of Evolution Entertainment, and now Vice Chairman of Primary Wave Entertainment, Burg has amassed a reputation as a top film and TV producer. Other notable projects include JOHN Q., starring Academy Award® winners Denzel Washington and Robert Duvall, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D which opened #1 at the box office, the faith based award winning GRACE UNPLUGGED, and Sundance dramatic competitor AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS.

  • Rob Barrett Staff Photo

    Rob Barrett

    Former Vice President at Yahoo!

    Most recently, Rob Barrett was the Vice President Media Strategy and Operations with Yahoo! Media. Previously, Barrett was in charge of Yahoo!’s news and finance unit and has worked with the Los Angeles Times, ABC and Time, Inc.

  • David Spady Staff Photo

    David Spady

    President of Media and Public Affairs

    David Spady is President of Media and Public Affairs Strategy based in Camarillo, California. He serves as Director of Government Affairs for Salem Communication Corp. Spady has been involved in media consulting for over 20 years. His work in the film industry includes clients such as HBO Films, the British Broadcasting Company, and IMAX.

  • John Tierney Staff Photo

    John Tierney

    Poynter Fellow at Yale, Media Fellow at the Freedom Forum at Columbia University

    John Tierney has had a long career at the New York Times. He is a best-selling book author and contributor to City Journal, Discover The Atlantic, Esquire, New York Magazine, Newsweek, Reason, Rolling Stone, Washington Monthly, Playboy, Outside, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

  • Lee Habeeb Staff Photo

    Lee Habeeb

    American Talk Radio Executive & Producer

    Lee Habeeb is vice president of content development at Salem Radio Network, the nation’s largest syndicator.

  • Mark Hyman Staff Photo

    Mark Hyman

    VP of Sinclair Broadcasting

    Mark Hyman is vice president of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest owner-operator of television stations.

  • Rob Long Staff Photo

    Rob Long

    Writer and Television Producer

    Rob Long is a writer and producer in Hollywood. He began his career writing and producing TV’s long-running Cheers, and served as co-executive producer in its final season. During his time on the series, Cheers received two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes. He is co-founder of Ricochet.com, an online news and opinion portal.

  • David Martosko Staff Photo

    David Martosko

    US Politics editor at the Daily Mail

    David Martosko is U.S. political editor at The Daily Mail, the world’s most-read newspaper website. Globally, The MailOnline reaches more than 200 million visitors per month, including more than 67 million in the United States — dwarfing The New York Times’ 34 million U.S. readers.

  • Deroy Murdock Staff Photo

    Deroy Murdock

    Nationally Syndicated Columnist

    Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service.

  • Michael Pack Staff Photo

    Michael Pack

    President of Manifold Productions, Inc.

    Michael Pack is former senior vice president for television programing for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Today, he produces award-winning nationally broadcast documentaries for PBS.

  • John Tamny Staff Photo

    John Tamny

    Editor at RealClearMarkets

    John Tamny is the editor of RealClearMarkets, Political Economy editor at Forbes, a senior economics advisor to Toreador Research and Trading, and is the author of the new book: Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James can teach you about Economics.

  • Brian Timpone Staff Photo

    Brian Timpone

    Local News Entrepreneur

    Brian Timpone is CEO of LocalLabs, a leading producer of local news for newspapers and other media. LocalLabs is 30%-owned by Tribune Media. He is a former local reporter for CBS television affiliates.

  • Chris Zarpas Staff Photo

    Chris Zarpas

    Producer of The Sandlot , GI Jane, and many other major films

    Chris Zarpas is the former vice president of production and acquisitions at the Walt Disney Company and CEO of Scott Free, the motion picture and television production company founded by Ridley and Tony Scott. His producer credits include The Sandlot, G.I. Jane, and for HBO, the movie RKO 281, for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Television Movie or Miniseries. He is the chairman of American Media Institute’s Media Advisory Board.

Our Writers

  • J. Peder Zane

    Reporter

    J. Peder Zane has worked at The New York Times and The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., where he was the book review editor and books columnist. His work has won several national awards, including the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has written and edited four books, including a collection of his newspaper columns, “Off the Books: On Politics and Culture” (2015). He is a graduate of Collegiate School, Wesleyan University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

  • James Varney

    Reporter

    James Varney was a member of the Times-Picayune reporting team based in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina that won 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for deadline reporting and public service. He embedded twice with the U.S. Marines and Army in Iraq in 2003. He was the Times-Picayune’s Latin America correspondent, based in Costa Rica, from 1999 to 2004. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

  • Arthur Kane

    Reporter

    Arthur Kane is an award-winning investigative reporter, editor, producer and executive producer, having worked in print, online and broadcast news. Over more than two decades, his work has prompted indictments, changes to state law and the removal of incompetent and corrupt officials. Stories he wrote at the Denver Post changed the way Colorado oversees problem doctors. Stories he produced and oversaw at the Denver ABC affiliate uncovered contract corruption; the state’s failure to protect children; and delayed ambulance responses to an airplane crash. And his work at Watchdog.org uncovered government waste and problems with court transparency. He has been honored with two duPont-Columbia awards, a Peabody, a national Emmy, and a Society of Professional Journalists award.

  • Monica Showalter

    Reporter

    Monica Showalter, before joining AMI, was an editorial writer at Investor’s Business Daily in Los Angeles. Before that she covered bonds for The Bond Buyer and billionaires for Forbes. She started as copy editor at Dow Jones & Co. in New York, and moved to a Singapore posting in time for the Asian financial crisis of 1997-8 – writing stories for the newswire, the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Far Eastern Economic Review. She has a 1994 M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

  • Curtis Bunn Staff Photo

    Curtis Bunn

    Reporter

    Mr. Bunn is a national award-winning journalist and best-selling author of seven novels. He covers general news and has written about some of the largest events and personalities in sports for more than three decades at The Washington Times, N.Y. Newsday, The New York Daily News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and various other media outlets. His work spans coverage of the Olympics, NBA Finals, Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours, World Series, championship boxing, college football bowl games, six Masters golf championships and more. Among honors received are awards from the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The Associated Press Sportswriters Association and the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists.

  • Avis Thomas Lester

    Avis Thomas Lester is an award-winning journalist who serves as the president and CEO of Thomas Lester Communications LLC, a public relations and media consulting company. She spent 22 years as a staff writer, editor, producer and blogger for The Washington Post. After leaving the Post, she served for two years as the executive editor of the AFRO-American Newspapers in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Prince George’s County.

  • Douglas Rogers

    Douglas Rogers, an award-winning author, travel writer and journalist, writes for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and The Times of London. He is the author of The Last Resort: A Memoir of Mischief and Mayhem on a Family Farm in Africa, (Crown/Random House), selected as the 2010 British Guild of Travel Writers Book of the Year

  • Ralph K. Bennett

    Ralph K. Bennett is a veteran journalist who has reported and written for The New Haven Register, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and, for more than three decades, the Reader’s Digest. His reporting has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

  • Norman Leahy

    Reporter

    Norman Leahy has written about Virginia and national politics since 2002. He co-authors a weekly online column for the Washington Post and covers Virginia politics for the AMI NewsWire.

  • Kevin P. Chavous Staff Photo

    Kevin P. Chavous

    Reporter

    Mr. Chavous is our special correspondent for education reform.As a leading national advocate for educational choice, Mr. Chavous helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation’s capital, which now serves nearly half of D.C.’s public school children. He assisted in shaping the District’s three-sector education partnership with the federal government which brought$60 million in annual federal dollars for D.C.’s public schools, public charter schools, and the first federal scholarship program which has provided access to private schools for nearly 6,000 children from low-income families since inception.In recent years, Mr. Chavous has worked to advance charter school and parental choice programs in a host of jurisdictions around the country. A prolific writer and much sought after speaker, Mr. Chavous’ opinion editorials have appeared in many major newspapers and he has given education reform speeches in nearly every state. His books on the subject include Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education, and Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds.

  • Michael H. Cottman Staff Photo

    Michael H. Cottman

    Reporter

    Mr. Cottman, award-winning journalist and author, is senior correspondent for BlackAmericaWeb.com, part of the nation’s largest black-owned media company. Mr. Cottman covers the White House, focusing economic, education and health-care policies. Mr. Cottman’s article on Eric Holder for Ebony magazine was the attorney general’s last lengthy, sit-down interview before his resignation. Mr. Cottman is heard regularly on XM Satellite Radio, Radio One, National Public Radio, and has co-hosted the nationally-syndicated radio show Keeping it Real with Rev. Al Sharpton. Cottman has received numerous awards including journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, which he shared with a staff of reporters and editors at Newsday in 1992.

  • Del Walters Staff Photo

    Del Walters

    Reporter

    Mr. Walters is the morning anchor for Al Jazeera America, and one of Washington’s most prolific investigative reporters. During a broadcast career that spanned three decades he was awarded more than 20 Emmys for investigative reporting and hundreds of other national and international awards. For two decades he was an investigative reporter at ABC News Washington D.C. An award winning documentary film producer, political columnist, and broadcaster, Walters has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, been a commentator on the Chris Matthews show, and Unsolved Mysteries to name a few. His film, Apocalypse Africa made in America premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival.

  • Clem Richardson Staff Photo

    Clem Richardson

    Reporter

    Mr. Richardson is an award-winning newspaper reporter, editor, special projects writer and columnist, whose work has appeared in The Anderson Independent, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Miami Herald, New York Newsday and the New York Daily News.He is a two time winner of the New York City Press Club’s Father Mychal Judge “Heart of New York” Award, and received the New York Association of Black Journalists’ 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Nick Chiles Staff Photo

    Nick Chiles

    Reporter

    Mr. Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. Over  his 29-year career, Mr. Chiles has become known as one of the nation’s foremost chroniclers of African-American life, culture and celebrity. He has won over a dozen major journalism awards, and recognition from Publisher’s Weekly, Blackboard, Essence, and others. He won the Pulitzer Prize while writing for New York Newsday and while he was on the staff of The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, he won three consecutive New Jersey Press Association awards. In 2014 and 2015, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the website AtlantaBlackstar.com, the largest Black-owned news site on the web.

  • Yolanda Woodlee Staff Photo

    Yolanda Woodlee

    Reporter

    Ms. Woodlee is a former Washington Post reporter who has covered local politics and government for some of the country’s major newspapers, including The Detroit News, The Miami Herald and The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. She is particularly known for her coverage of the historic re-election of the late Mayor Marion Barry after his conviction on drug possession in 1994. She was the lead reporter in uncovering the forged and fraudulent signatures on Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ nominating petitions. Yolanda began her career in her hometown writing for The Louisville Defender. She is a graduate of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, then located at the University of California, Berkeley. Yolanda has a B.A. in Communications from Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Josh Peterson Staff Photo

    Josh Peterson

    Reporter

    Mr. Peterson covers technology, politics, culture, and national security for Urban News Service. His work has been featured by major news publications including US News & World Report, Yahoo News, RealClearPolitics, and the Drudge Report; citations by major outlets include TheNew York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Reuters, and The Hollywood Reporter. Past radio and television appearances include BBC Radio 5 Live, Voice of Russia, and One America News Network.

  • Terry Johnson Staff Photo

    Terry Johnson

    Photographer

    Mr. Johnson is a retired Naval Officer with 40 years of experience making photographs in the United States and elsewhere around the globe. He has significant specialized history in photography of ships and weapon systems and has recently gained experience with portraits and landscapes. He lives in Reston, Virginia and takes pleasure in documenting life in Washington DC.

  • Curtis L. Taylor Staff Photo

    Curtis L. Taylor

    Reporter

    Mr. Taylor is an award-winning journalist, best-selling author and communications executive based in New York City. He is a former investigative reporter for Newsday, where he was a finalist for journalism’s most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize for his series on real estate fraud. He began his career as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

  • Sheila R. Cherry Staff Photo

    Sheila R. Cherry

    Reporter

    Ms. Cherry is a journalist with more than 20 years experience covering local, national and international government, politics and policies to publications as diverse as People magazine and the Washington Post. Cherry was inaugurated on Jan. 31, 2004 as the 97th president of the National Press Club. She was the seventh woman and first person of color to hold that post. The National Press Club is the largest and most prestigious private club for journalists and media professionals in the world.

  • Araia Tesfamariam Staff Photo

    Araia Tesfamariam

    Reporter

    Araia is our consulting creative director. He is also the President of and Creative director for Liberator Media LLC, a digital media production company in Alexandria, Virginia. For the past fifteen years, Araia has held key roles in various aspects of film and video production.  He has impressive production experience and has won a “Telly” award for his work as a copywriter.

  • Jennifer Carroll Staff Photo

    Jennifer Carroll

    Reporter

    Jennifer Carroll is an Urban News Service contributor covering defense, technology and entrepreneurship. She also appears regularly on WJXT CHANNEL News4Jax Jacksonville, Florida, as a political analyst addressing state and national political issues, ballot initiatives, government, local and national races. Her autobiography When You Get There is a best seller.

  • Jocelyn Augustino Staff Photo

    Jocelyn Augustino

    Photographer

    Jocelyn Augustino is a Washington, DC-based photographer. Her work appears in USA Today, The Guardian, and Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Newsweek, The New York Times, on news websites such as-MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and in other prominent worldwide publications. Her work includes coverage of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) responses to the crash site at the Pentagon on 9/11/2001, to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina, and to New York following Hurricane Sandy. Her work is included in the National Archives, serving as a permanent historical record. She has photographed every sitting president in the last 20 years.

  • Taylor Gordon Staff Photo

    Taylor Gordon

    Reporter

    Ms. Gordon is a recent Georgia State graduate who has spent several years covering world news and analyzing global issues for a variety of digital publications. Her reporting for Atlanta Blackstar includes an in-depth analysis of the impact social media played in the months following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and an investigative piece the death of the Charles Smith in Savannah. In addition to writing, Ms. Gordon’s expertise includes video production, live event coverage and technical writing.

  • Susan Katz Keating

    Susan Katz Keating writes for People and Time. Her work has also appeared in Reader’s Digest, The New York Times and Air and Space magazine. She covered the SEAL assault on Osama Bin Laden for People, and she is the author of Prisoners of Hope (Random House).