Melody Kramer and Betsy O’Donovan have a combined 35 years of experience in creating, executing and assessing media projects. Their collaborations began in 2014, when Melody was creating NPR’s digital strategy and Betsy was building journalism-first business models for nonprofit, public and student media after a fellowship at Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. In 2017, while working on “F is for Future: How to Think About Public Media’s Next 50 Years” for Knight Foundation, they formed a consulting partnership to work on public and community media projects.
Melody focuses on audience development, digital experimentation, and tools for teams to track their workflows, experiments and outcomes. Betsy leads editorial strategy, revenue development, project design and execution, and training. They have developed audience, editorial and revenue projects and/or led workshops for the New York Times, the State Department, WBUR, KQED, WNYC, several New York Times bestselling authors, Tiny Spark, WFYI, WHYY, The Duke Chronicle, the Online News Association, the BBC, Publishers Weekly, the Knight Foundation, Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society, the Association of Independents in Radio and Localore: Finding America, the Daily Tar Heel, Northeastern University’s Student Media Innovation Conference, Johnson C. Smith University’s Summer Institute for Technology & New Media, and the Society for Professional Journalists Southeast.
Melody Joy Kramer leads audience growth and development for the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and its mission of free knowledge for all, and frequently works with journalism organizations on projects related to audience growth and development, digital strategy, engagement and analytics. She has completed a number of similar assessments for newsrooms around the country.
She also writes a weekly column on the future of news for the Poynter Institute, and is the 2017-2018 Reese News Lab Fellow at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, where she's completing research to better understand the needs of journalists across North Carolina. Melody has spent the majority of her career in public media, where she served as a Kroc Fellow, and later directed, produced, edited and wrote material for several shows, including “Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me” and “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” She also worked as an editor and digital strategist at NPR, where she launched and directed projects that helped NPR build and engage audiences on- and off-air.
She was a 2014-2015 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where she studied the public media membership ecosystem, and recently served as a Visiting Journalist at the Duke University student newspaper, The Duke Chronicle.
Her bylines include pieces in National Geographic, Esquire Magazine, NPR and a variety of media-related publications. She has guest-lectured at the Columbia University School of Journalism, the University of Maryland, Drexel University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, Ohio State, the University of Florida, Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania, and routinely speaks at conferences and organizations about various topics related to journalism and civic technology.
She lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, with her family, tweets @mkramer, and runs a newsletter for several thousand subscribers who make creative and magical projects together.
Betsy O’Donovan is an editorial adviser and media business strategist with 19 years of experience as a journalist, educator and executive.
After a 2013 Nieman Fellowship at Harvard that focused on digital media and revenue development, Betsy joined the Association of Independents in Radio as an editor and digital strategist, where she led the redesign and launch of a series of AIR’s digital platforms, and contributed to the development and editorial strategy for Localore: Finding America, a $3.2-million, CPB-supported project that spanned 15 public media newsrooms.
In 2016, Betsy became the executive director of The Daily Tar Heel, the independent, nonprofit news organization that serves the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and surrounding communities. In that role, she developed newsroom- and diversity-first revenue products to sustain excellent, independent journalism, supervised the most-awarded student training program in college media, and developed training for student media entrepreneurship and audience development. As a strategist and editorial adviser for college and public media, she focuses on creativity and inclusivity in digital media, how stories work (and why, and how that’s measured), and how to bring professional journalism's standards to citizen media.
Betsy is an alumna and fan of community newsrooms in Alabama, Idaho, Nebraska and North Carolina, and of ESPN and the Association of Independents in Radio. She has written for The Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Nieman Reports and Nieman Storyboard, the Knight Foundation and national and regional magazines. She holds an M.Phil with highest distinction from Trinity College Dublin, where she wrote about digital disruption and innovation in book publishing.
She has taught feature writing, media literacy and media ethics at Harvard and Northeastern universities; edits “Change Your Life,” a monthly newsletter of grants and fellowships for creative professionals; and is a mentor-editor with The OpEd Project and a member of the N.C. Newsroom Cooperative’s board of directors. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, and tweets @ODitor.