In a note to newsroom staff Managing Editor Terence Samuel and Sr. Director for Digital News & Strategy Justin Bank announced the following update:
We are pleased to announce that Saeed Ahmed will be joining NPR as our new Director, Digital News.
Saeed will have oversight for the bulk of the daily operations of NPR's digital presence across the web — the homepage, social feeds, digital listening through NPR One and various smart speakers and the content that feeds them. We look forward to him collaborating across the newsroom and programming divisions with desks, shows, newscast, Visuals, podcast teams and so many others to continue to push all NPR staff to redefine the best expression of our journalism in a variety of digital forms.
He'll report directly to Justin, but with a dotted line to Terry. And our shared ambition is that we are creating this role as an entry point for Saeed to further bolster the relationship between leadership of desks, shows, the DME structure and various digital-focused teams to help us reach our target audiences across platforms.
Saeed comes to us from CNN where, most recently, he was the assistant managing editor of CNN Digital's National team. Over the course of an extraordinary 13-year run at that news network, he has held several roles with countless accomplishments along the way.
As we conducted our nation-wide search, Saeed stood out for his range of skills and experiences. He has reported and edited. He has managed a variety of news teams. He has launched products like CNN's most popular newsletter, '5 Things' — and helped expand that brand into other franchises, such as a twice-daily briefing for smart speakers.
A throughline of this work is his ability to work as a connector of teams, sharing ladders with others. At CNN, he created a class on digital storytelling that resulted in hundreds of new bylines from journalists who had, until then, been trained for TV. And he's especially proud of his internship program, focused on diverse talents, where every participant either landed a job at CNN or elsewhere.
Two years ago, he spearheaded a content diversity initiative that positioned him to commission, edit and inspire journalism from all around CNN's network. And it led to a month-over-month growth for its many verticals.
Saeed was born in Bangladesh, raised in the Middle East and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. Before CNN, he spent seven years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he was part of the breaking news team.
Outside work, he likes to run (and take photographs while doing it). After spending so many years in Atlanta, we were fortunate to have the running trails of Rock Creek Park as a selling point to join NPR. Though throughout the process it has always been clear, the biggest motivation for him is the mission and the opportunity to work with so many of you, whose journalism he has admired for so long.
Saeed joins our newsroom April 26th. Please drop him a slack or an email to say 'welcome.'
Justin and Terry