The 74 Names Nicole Ridgway New Editor in Chief of National Education Newsroom

She previously spent more than a decade as a top digital editor at CNN, steering innovation & award-winning coverage at the site’s business vertical.

The 74 Editor in Chief Nicole Ridgway (Claudine Whittley Williams)

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The award-winning nonprofit education news site The 74 today announced the addition of Nicole Ridgway as the organization’s next Editor in Chief. She takes the reins from founding editorial director Steve Snyder, who was recently appointed CEO by the board of directors. 

Ridgway arrives at The 74 with more than 25 years of experience leading newsrooms, steering news coverage, overseeing editorial and product strategy, and driving innovations at some of the world’s largest digital media brands. 

Most recently, she served as Managing Editor of CNN Business, where she guided breaking news, analysis and enterprise coverage, managed multiple teams of writers and editors, and played a leading role in driving the site’s editorial expansion. Among the CNN initiatives Ridgway helped spearhead was a new editorial team focused on the growing wealth gap in America, which put a national spotlight on efforts to offer underserved communities more opportunities in education, healthcare and the workforce. She also launched CNN Business’ first investigative team, which went on to produce several award-winning investigations. 

Prior to CNN, Ridgway held various leadership positions at AOL, Forbes and Dow Jones. She’s also the author of the 2005 book The Running of the Bulls: Inside the Cutthroat Race from Wharton to Wall Street. 

Her arrival completes Snyder’s new senior leadership team, with Ridgway serving alongside Chief Development Officer Nicole Harris and Chief Creative Officer Emmeline Zhao. Jim Roberts, previously the site’s publisher, continues to assist with the leadership transition as a contributing editor.

Under the joint leadership of Snyder and Roberts in recent years, The 74 has been recognized widely for its journalistic excellence with top industry awards, including The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award presented by the Online News Association, top news prizes from the Education Writers Association and the Insight Award for Visual Journalism from the Institute for Nonprofit News. The 74 has also quadrupled its overall readership and audience, and partnered in its storytelling with a growing universe of national outlets, including The Atlantic, Axios, The Guardian, Fast Company, The Texas Tribune, The Trace, Honolulu Civil Beat, The Boston Globe, AMNY and MinnPost.

In his announcement to The 74 team, Snyder wrote that he had already found himself inspired by Ridgway’s “energy and enthusiasm — for empowering journalists to identify and craft impactful journalism, maintaining the highest of journalistic standards, and helping her teams elevate their work through awards, community impact and reaching new audiences.” 

He also noted Ridgway’s “passion for our mission, and her repeated celebration of The 74 as a student-focused newsroom that sets out daily to ‘challenge the status quo, expose corruption and inequality, spotlight solutions, confront the impact of systemic racism, and champion the heroes bringing positive change to our schools.’ ”

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