The core of this program focuses on the projects that Fellows identify at their news enterprises. We call these projects "challenges" in the Sulzberger Program...Read More »
Our Fellows are executives from all media platforms including Web, eReaders, social media, television, magazine, newspapers, radio, mobile and tablets.Read More »
The Sulzberger Program is designed as a tool for senior news executives and managers who have the potential to run their organizations. Applications are due on December 10.Read More »
Experience: Marcus Wilford
What was your challenge?
My challenge was to come up with a new structure for our international news coverage.
What were your results?
After a 20-year history of shutting and closing foreign bureaus, the challenge allowed us to open seven new international bureaus. Through the Sulzberger program, we came up with an expanded international network of digital news bureaus and correspondents. Each new bureau consisted of one person using digital technology in cities around the world. The journalists worked with our local news partners.
This structure produced substantial original content, not only for our core business legacy broadcasts like World News and Nightline, but also for these new digital platforms like ABCNews.com. It is a far less costly way of covering the world. And it's become the model for much of the rest of the industry and for further domestic changes at ABC.
How did the Punch Sulzberger Program affect your challenge and your career?
My challenge succeeded. I've taken a lot from this program. By employing all the tools that the program gave me, I understand how to work on significant change within an organization.
Secondly, it was invaluable to hear about similar change in other organizations. Listening to the kind of experiences people were going through was enormously informative and strengthening. Analysis of problems by my peers and their cross analysis of these issues was stimulating, interesting and vital.
The minute I got back from the Sulzberger program, I received a promotion. ABC News was very enthused by the ideas and the external analysis I brought to their problems. The last assignment of the program was to find your next challenge, and that became my next job. I was made vice president of growing ABC's international digital business.
In all ways, the program was a win-win situation for me. I would encourage anyone at my level or above to enroll because I think within today's news organizations you get very buried in your own silo. There is so much change in this industry. It's a wonderful opportunity to understand what other people are doing, and to be guided through the changes by Doug Smith and his team, who are just terrific in encouraging you and pointing you in the right direction.
I don't think I would have had the courage to become a consultant to the organization had I not had the Sulzberger Program behind me. ABC has since sent additional people to the program. It's been a terrific asset to us and to ABC News.