Window To The World Communications, Inc. (WWCI), parent of WTTW and WFMT, announced today that Jay Smith has been promoted to news director/executive producer for WTTW News effective today. Smith will have responsibility for leading, planning, reporting, producing, and editing news content and engagement across platforms and in the community, and will serve as executive producer of WTTW’s flagship news franchise Chicago Tonight. He will report to President and CEO Sandra Cordova Micek and support the organization’s purpose to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration.
“Jay is an experienced and innovative leader and journalist with a deep understanding of the responsibility WTTW has to inform and engage the public about the news and issues that matter to the Chicago region,” said Micek. “It is gratifying to be able to promote someone of his caliber from within the organization to lead WTTW News successfully into the future.”
“I’m excited to have the chance to lead and collaborate with WTTW’s outstanding team of journalists as we report on stories with care and depth, reflect the voices of our region, and serve as an essential source of trusted, independent news and information for the community,” said Smith.
Since 2005, Smith has served as a senior supervising producer for WTTW News, overseeing the day-to-day operations of flagship programs Chicago Tonight, Week in Review, Chicago Tonight: Black Voices, and Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices. He is the recipient of six Midwest Emmy Awards, two Peter Lisagor Awards, a Bronze Plaque from the Columbus Film Festival, a Russ Ewing Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Chicago Association of Black Journalists, an Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Award, and a Herman Kogan Media Award from the Chicago Bar Association. He is currently a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative Fellow, and has served on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Chicago.
Smith’s appointment follows four recent WTTW newsroom staff additions including Joanna Hernandez, Reporter/Content Producer; Aida Mogos, Producer/Black Voices; Jillian Melero, Associate Digital Editor/Producer; and Marissa Nelson, Associate Producer.
WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions – such as Chicago Tonight; Chicago by ‘L’; Chicago Stories; digital-first series FIRSTHAND, Urban Nature, and Foodphiles; and national productions Prehistoric Road Trip and Nature Cat – WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.