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.
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
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 is the former spokesman and senior vice president of CBS News. He also led on a number of public policy issues for Primedia.
CEO, American Media Institute
Richard Miniter is an award-winning investigative journalist and best-selling author.
Dick Patten has been an influential voice for business communities in America for over three decades. Many major publications have run his work, and he has spoken across the United States and Europe. Patten is the founder of the American Family Business Foundation and the Family Business Defense Counsel. He previously ran two hugely successful businesses, and has an extensive business background.
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.
Michael Barone is a political analyst, commentator and journalist. He is the primary author of The Almanac of American Politics and appears regularly on Fox News. He was based at US News & World Report for 18 years, and has been with the Washington Examiner since 2009.
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.
Mark Burg is the former president of Island Pictures and has produced many films, including The Sandlot and the Saw franchise. He also produced the hit show Two and a Half Men. He has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and has received multiple awards for previous films.
Ahmed Charai is the publisher of the Moroccan weekly news magazine L’Observateur du Maroc et d’Afrique. as well as The Panafrican Magazine Pouvoirs d’Afrique. and is President of Kifache and Kifache.tv. He serves as Chairman and CEO of MED Radio national network Broadcast, and Chairman of the daily newspaper Al-Ahdathal-Maghrebiya. In the United States Mr. Charai sits on the Board of directors of the Atlantic Council of United States, is an International Councillor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sits in the Board of Trustees of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and sits in the Advisory Council of National Interest Center.
American Talk Radio Executive & Producer
Lee Habeeb is vice president of content development at Salem Radio Network, the nation’s largest syndicator.
VP of Sinclair Broadcasting
Mark Hyman is vice president of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest owner-operator of television stations.
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.
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.
Michael Moroney is the Senior Director of public affairs at Story Partners. He previously held positions at the Franklin Center and was a media executive at Berman and Company.
Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service.
Robert Norton brings over 20 years of film and television experience. He began his career at Lucasfilm, and has held senior executive positions at Endgame Entertainment, Real D, Landscape Entertainment and Scott Free, Ridley and Tony Scott’s company. He is a member of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What does the Media Advisory Board do?
Sara A. Carter is a national and international award winning investigative reporter whose stories have ranged from national security and terrorism-related issues to ground breaking immigration coverage. She has reported for the Los Angeles News Group, The Washington Times and wrote a national security column for The Washington Examiner. She spent the past year working along the Southwest border covering national security for the hit TV documentary For The Record.
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.
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, 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.
J. Peder Zane
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 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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 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 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.
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).