Kinsey Wilson is a leading digital news executive. He has held top editorial and business positions at The New York Times, NPR and USA TODAY and played a key role in the digital transformation of their businesses. He is currently an executive with Automattic Inc., where for two years he served as President of WordPress.com, the company’s flagship commercial product, whose namesake powers over a third of the web. In February he handed responsibility for the business back to the founder to devote more time to Newspack, a grant-funded technology initiative he developed to help small and medium-sized news organizations find a path to financial sustainability. To date, nearly 50 news sites have launched on the platform and more than 100 have signed on.
At The Times, Wilson held dual masthead titles as Editor for Innovation and Strategy and Executive Vice President for Product and Technology. A member of the company’s executive committee, he led a team of more than 900 technologists, designers, product managers and editors responsible for guiding the company’s digital strategy and creating products that give expression to New York Times journalism, including its pioneering podcast, The Daily. Widely heralded for the excellence of its digital report, The Times saw its online audience grow to 100 million monthly unique users and more than 3.5 million paying digital subscribers during his tenure.
Wilson joined The Times in February 2015 after six years in senior leadership positions at NPR. As EVP and Chief Content Officer he oversaw NPR’s worldwide news gathering, programming and digital operations. Under his leadership, NPR became known as a leading digital innovator, pioneering new forms of listening including NPR One, a popular one-touch digital listening platform. During that time, NPR’s journalism was recognized with major honors including duPont-Columbia, Peabody and Emmy awards.
Wilson began his journalism career at Chicago’s storied City News Bureau, covering cops and working the overnight desk. He was a newspaper reporter for 15 years, including seven at Newsday. He moved into executive leadership in 1995 at Congressional Quarterly, where he helped move the organization beyond its weekly magazine roots through the development of a lucrative legislative tracking service. Later, as Editor-in-Chief of usatoday.com and Executive Editor of USA TODAY he helped define the standards for online journalism through coverage of major news events including the 2000 presidential election, 9/11, the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina.
Wilson is a member of the board of visitors for the Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University and sits on the Board of Directors of the Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts. He has been a visiting fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, a trustee of the Poynter Institute, and a member of the advisory board of The Telegraph in London. He was an early leader of the Online News Association and president of the organization in 2007. And he has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism.
Wilson is a graduate of the University of Chicago and lives in Cambridge, MA.