The National Catholic Reporter has named Joe Ferullo as its publisher and CEO, succeeding Bill Mitchell, who is retiring.
Ferullo was the unanimous choice of NCR’s board of directors after a national search that attracted 50 applicants. As publisher, he will be responsible for editorial-related matters at NCR, EarthBeat and Global Sisters Report as well as advertising, circulation, fundraising and marketing. He will report to the board.
« I am exceedingly grateful that NCR will be under Joe’s leadership, » NCR board chair Steve Miller said in a statement. « Joe has shown himself to be an extraordinary individual, and one who is well qualified with the gifts and the vision to lead the National Catholic Reporter. »
An accomplished journalist and media executive, Ferullo has been a member of NCR’s board since 2018 and has served as a vice chair for the past year.
« I can’t tell you how excited and very humbled I am by the opportunity to lead one of the finest journalism organizations in this country and the Catholic world, » Ferullo said in a video posted with the announcement. « The next couple of years are going to be vitally important to the church. Next year, Francis will mark 10 years as pope and in ’23 and ’24, will oversee two worldwide bishop synods, meetings that may usher in a brand new era in the life of the church. That means NCR’s role in reporting on all this will be more vital than ever. »
Ferullo has spent the bulk of his career working in network television, filling producer and executive roles at both CBS and NBC.
At CBS, he was an executive vice president of programming, overseeing several long running programs while developing new television shows. He also helped guide his division’s move into the world of streaming video. At NBC News, he was a senior level producer for Dateline NBC and other programs. He was on the management team that oversaw the merger with Universal Studios and helped place NBC News content on iTunes — a first for a network news division.
Throughout his career, Ferullo has played leadership roles in the sort of innovation and new audience development that was especially important to NCR’s search committee, a group made up of both board members and staff.
In sharing the news with NCR staff Monday night, Miller noted the enthusiastic support for Ferullo in feedback from both staff and board members after they interviewed him in person at NCR’s Kansas City headquarters and via Zoom for staff working remotely.
In addition to his television work, Ferullo has also written for a wide array of print publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times and NCR. His essay about growing up in a parish inspired by changes in the church — « When Vatican II came to the Bronx » — was published by NCR in print and online in 2009. More recently, he has written a column for The Hill, a Washington, D.C. news outlet, focused on the nexus of politics and media.
Ferullo grew up in the Bronx, attending Immaculate Conception School and Fordham Prep on the campus of Fordham University before enrolling at Columbia University. He edited the school papers in both high school and college.
Ferullo will take up his post Nov. 14, and Mitchell will remain on staff for a transition period.
Miller thanked Mitchell for his service to NCR: « A former NCR board member, Bill joined the staff in 2019 as the first editor of EarthBeat and then agreed to lead the company during a time of transition. We are grateful for Bill’s generosity, and his dedication to NCR. »