Amy L. Kovac-Ashley

Amy L. Kovac-Ashley was a 2022 RJI fellow. She built the Leadership Succession Guide.

This planning guide was created for small, independent local nonprofit and for-profit news organizations to help them grow into mature, thriving businesses that serve their communities and transition gracefully past their founding, startup stage.

“What happens when a leader who’s been around for a while — who might even be a founder — leaves? They can leave a pretty huge vacuum, and the organization can experience a lot of turmoil during the transition,” Kovac-Ashley said. “You want the news organizations to survive past these particular individuals and continue serving their communities.

Kovac-Ashley worked at the American Press Institute for six years, most recently as executive vice president and chief of news transformation, and is now transitioning to a new role as head of national programs at the Lenfest Institute. She has more than two decades of experience in the industry as a working journalist, educator, and executive, and she currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on higher education.