Chicago Sun-Times names Jennifer Kho as executive editor, first woman and first person of color to lead newsroom in 178-year history

Jennifer Kho
Jennifer Kho

The Chicago Sun-Times, the city’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper, has named Jennifer Kho as its executive editor. Kho is an experienced journalist, strategic editorial leader and digital innovator, with a track record of growing audiences, building community and creating inclusive newsroom cultures.

She previously served as managing editor for the Guardian US, managing editor for HuffPost, and senior director of strategic innovation at HuffPost, where she led the development of new audience engagement, storytelling, and revenue models, including membership. Kho will be the first woman and first person of color to lead the Sun-Times’ newsroom in the paper’s 178-year history.

Kho comes to Chicago from Los Angeles, where she currently works in her own practice as a digital media consultant. She also serves as vice president of journalism and information equity for DoGoodery, a full-service agency helping organizations reach their impact goals, and president of the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), which advances the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and advocates for more inclusive coverage of the diverse experiences and cultures that comprise our society. She serves as an adviser for the Bay City News Foundation, The Pivot Fund, The Diversity Pledge Institute, and other news organizations. She is also a member of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Online News Association (ONA), News Nerdery and Journalists of Color.

“The Chicago Sun-Times is widely known as the hardest-working newsroom in the country, and Jennifer has that same tenacious spirit, as well as a transformative view of what local journalism means to the community,” said Nykia Wright, CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times. “She has a passion for local journalism, community engagement, deepening audience connections, and serving news audiences across digital platforms. I am thrilled to have her leadership and her vision to carry us into the Sun-Times’ next era.”

As the Chicago Sun-Times newsroom’s new leader, Kho will expand and deepen coverage throughout Chicago’s 77 communities and develop new ways to connect and engage with residents across greater Chicagoland.

“I couldn't be more excited to join the historic Chicago Sun-Times at this pivotal moment, with its new public media ownership, to create a strong sense of connection and community throughout Chicago,” Kho said. “I’m determined to build on the paper’s incomparable legacy and make the most of this huge opportunity to create a new model of community-supported journalism as an inclusive, trusted source of cohesion, empathy, and positive change.”

Kho underscored the important role local journalism plays in improving people’s lives and in strengthening communities.

“More than any other type of news, I believe local journalism can serve as a counterpoint  to much of what people say they dislike and distrust about news today,” said Kho. “The Sun-Times has a unique and exciting opportunity to truly democratize news and to demonstrate what the future of local journalism looks like — innovative, deeply engaged  in its communities, and making valuable contributions to its audiences’ lives every day.”

Kho’s appointment comes after a national search led by Koya Partners, an executive search firm focused exclusively on mission-driven leadership. The search was announced in January 2022 as Chicago Public Media completed its acquisition of the Chicago Sun-Times, creating one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the country. Together, the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ Chicago reach more than 2 million people a week in the Chicago area across broadcast, print and digital channels.

In the first 100 days since the Chicago Sun-Times’ acquisition, the Sun-Times and WBEZ have already partnered on more than 50 editorial collaborations, joint reporting and investigations, content sharing, and amplification of one another’s journalism. As Kho begins her tenure with the Chicago Sun-Times, she will focus on further advancing the groundbreaking partnership between the Sun-Times and WBEZ.

“Jennifer’s appointment marks a major milestone as we look to strengthen local journalism in Chicago, foster civic engagement, build stronger communities, and provide coverage to underserved areas across the Chicagoland area,” said Matt Moog, CEO of Chicago Public Media. “With Jennifer joining the Sun-Times’ leadership team, she will help chart a bold path forward for the Chicago Sun-Times, and we look forward to welcoming her to Chicago.”

About the Chicago Sun-Times:

Winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes, the Chicago Sun-Times is the “hardest-working paper in America” and Chicago’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city. It features hard-hitting investigative reporting, in-depth political coverage, timely behind-the-scenes sports analysis, and insightful entertainment and cultural coverage. Subscribe to the Chicago Sun-Times here.


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