Kamaria Roberts headshot

Kamaria Roberts joins API as the new Deputy Director of Local News Transformation.

The American Press Institute is excited to announce that Kamaria Roberts joined our team as Deputy Director of Local News Transformation on Monday, Oct. 18. In her role, Roberts will work with the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program, an innovative yearlong change management program supported by the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund.

The Table Stakes program teaches change management skills to people working in news organizations. The organizations that participate in Table Stakes undertake specific — and significant — change management initiatives, including diversifying their revenue streams, embracing new digital platforms and expanding the audiences they serve. Many of the lessons gained from the Table Stakes program are shared by the participating newsrooms on BetterNews.org, so that others can replicate their successes.

Roberts joins API from McClatchy, where she worked as the senior digital producer for the company’s West region. In that role, Roberts led newsrooms’ efforts to expand digital content types and grow subscriptions by collaborating with the audience, video and product teams. In 2019-20, Roberts took part in the Gannett-McClatchy Table Stakes program as a coach to a team from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The program helped boost her understanding of how to lead effectively in the newsroom and was her first introduction to API.

“We are so excited to have Kamaria join our team, help us manage the Table Stakes program and spread its lessons,” said Emily Ristow, the director of local news transformation at API. “Her experience coaching in the program and applying its concepts to initiatives she worked on will be beneficial in helping other organizations as they take on transformational change. With her deep industry knowledge, she will help us better serve our news organization partners in the program.”

Amy Kovac-Ashley, executive vice president and chief of news transformation, and Tricia Cantor, program operations manager, are also part of the core Table Stakes team at API.

During her time at McClatchy, Roberts served as a co-chair to the news division’s first Advisory Team, which focused on diversity and inclusion efforts in newsrooms and in the content that they produce. In that role, she and nine other colleagues delivered significant recommendations of many consequential initiatives, including McClatchy’s mugshot policy and the company’s style change to capitalize Black in references to people and culture. Prior to McClatchy, Roberts worked as an online production assistant at PBS NewsHour where she covered a variety of beats and national stories. An alumna of Howard University, Roberts is excited to return to Washington, D.C., join API and work on the Table Stakes program.

“I am so excited to be joining the Table Stakes team here at API. Table Stakes was an amazing opportunity for me, so to be able to share the program with others is something I am truly looking forward to,” Roberts said. “Emily, Amy, Tricia and the whole API team have been so welcoming, I can’t wait to see what all we will achieve together.”

In her role at API, Roberts will help manage the Major Market Table Stakes program, monitoring and ensuring the success of participating news organizations and leaders. She will also oversee communications strategies that spread the lessons of the Table Stakes programs across the news industry, including BetterNews.org. To get in touch with Roberts, please email her at Kamaria.Roberts@pressinstitute.org or message her on Twitter at @kamarialeyla. To learn more about the Table Stakes program, please visit tablestakes.org or contact tablestakes@pressinstitute.org.




About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change. It is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News Media Alliance.

About the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

With a focus on sustainability and equity, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund is designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, by supporting journalistic excellence and serving the information needs of communities. The Knight-Lenfest Fund collaborates with news organizations, leaders and communities to grow capacity and meet journalism’s technology, business, and audience realities of the future. It believes that journalism is at its best when it is of service. The Knight-Lenfest Fund is an independent joint venture of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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