Shay Totten joins API as Newsroom Success Manager for Metrics for News.

The American Press Institute is excited to announce that Shay Totten has joined our team as Newsroom Success Manager. In his role, Totten will work with the Metrics for News team, supporting publishers in their use of analytics to inform content strategy.

Metrics for News is a product of the American Press Institute. The highly customizable tool simplifies analytics, automates insights and offers dashboards for every newsroom role from staffer to senior manager. It can transform how a newsroom operates, guide editorial and product decisions, and answer important audience questions. 

Totten brings a wealth of experience to API. Most recently, he led the growth and membership strategy at The Compass Experiment (a collaboration between the Google News Initiative and McClatchy) that launched digital newsrooms in underserved communities. As part of this work, community listening was essential. During the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Totten conducted listening sessions, focus groups and surveys to learn more about the communities The Compass Experiment served. It’s also when he first started using Metrics for News. The combination of qualitative and quantitative data helped him learn the types of election news that were of most interest to his audiences and how they wanted to receive that information through election guides and newsletters. 

“We are so excited to have Shay join our team,” said Liz Worthington, the director of Metrics for News and Source Matters at API. “His experience, passion for listening and focus on understanding audiences will help us better support our newsroom partners on their journey of using data to better understand, engage and serve their communities.”

Totten has also previously worked as a consultant for the News Revenue Hub, LION Publishers and Inside Climate News, as well as other mission-driven organizations on audience engagement and membership best practices. Before his experience in audience and membership roles, Totten spent more than 15 years in publishing and communications. He held top positions at the national nonfiction book publisher Chelsea Green Publishing and worked as an investigative reporter, political columnist and newsroom editor. He was the founder and publisher of a digital-print hybrid news organization in Vermont in the early 2000s.

“I am excited to be joining API’s Metrics for News team as this important tool was extremely useful in helping the Compass Experiment newsrooms determine how best to help our readers navigate the 2020 election,” Totten said. “I look forward to helping newsrooms build trust and loyalty with their readers and engage with the broader communities they serve.”

In his new role, Totten will work closely with newsrooms in the United States and internationally that are using Metrics for News to help answer important audience questions, identify better ways to engage users, improve loyalty and drive subscriptions. To contact Totten, please email To learn more about API’s tools and to request a demo, please visit Metrics for News or Source Matters. To reach the larger team as a whole, please email



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.

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