Jean Taylor Named President/CEO of American Public Media
Jean Taylor has been serving as chair of the board for Star Tribune Media, the largest media organization in the state. But she’s stepped down from that role for a new gig with the state’s other large media operation: American Public Media. Taylor has been tapped as the new president and CEO of St. Paul-based American Public Media Group, parent of Minnesota Public Radio.
Taylor replaces Jon McTaggart, who announced that he was stepping down last September.
“I think we’re at just such an important time for public media to be very strong and to be an important presence in our communities. American Public Media is, I think, the premier public media organization in the country,” Taylor said in an interview Wednesday.
Taylor has been on the APMG board since 2013 and will remain on the board in her new position.
“It’s also a time of transformation and digital transformation,” said Taylor. “One of the things in my career is really a throughline of working with digital transformations of all sorts. Those kinds of challenges are challenges that I really embrace.”
APMG was affected by the pandemic which prompted a drop in underwriting revenue. MPR implemented both layoffs and buyouts to ride out the storm. But Taylor said that the nonprofit organization is now in solid shape.
“The organization is in really good shape. We laid out a plan that was a multiple-year return plan, but we’re way ahead of that,” said Taylor. “We still may have challenges with the pandemic ahead, who knows? But I feel confident in the resilience of this organization.”
Taylor is the daughter of billionaire Glen Taylor, who bought the Star Tribune in 2014. The newspaper previously slid into bankruptcy in 2009 when it was owned by a private equity firm.
“Jean has brought great strategic insight and passion to her role as the chair of the Star Tribune board,” said Michael Klingensmith, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune, in a statement. “We are grateful for her years of leadership and service to our board and Star Tribune as a whole. Jean leaves our organization a better place, and APMG is very fortunate to have a skilled leader like Jean as its CEO.”
Amid media business challenges, nonprofit media outlets have been growing in recent years.
Does this mean that APMG will now buy Star Tribune?
“Neither Star Tribune nor APM are for sale, so no – I don’t see that at all,” said Taylor.
Taylor previously served as president and CEO of North Mankato-based Taylor Corp., the company her father founded, from 2001 to 2010.
Taylor officially starts on August 23. In preparation for her new job, she has stepped down from the Star Tribune’s board.