43. Kevin Riley

Kevin Riley
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Media
Age 53
When Riley took over as editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in early 2011, morale at Georgia’s largest daily newspaper was in the toilet. Falling ad revenue had forced his predecessor to pare the newsroom by almost half, to 230. Riley, the son of a Cleveland cop who’d come up the ranks at Cox newspapers, inherited a paper ill-equipped to cover metro Atlanta with the same rigor as it once had. Fast-forward to 2015: The AJC’s newsroom is now even smaller (around 160), but the paper is scrappy again. Look at recent investigations into the VA hospital, coverage of Vine City, or the fact that they finally have a metro columnist in Bill Torpy.

Old dogs, new tricks Taking a page from NPR’s Serial, the paper dispatched veteran reporter Bill Rankin to create a seven-part podcast investigating a 2007 arson case.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.