Susan Leath

Lecturer and Interim Project Director

Susan Leath is the former Regional President of the USA Today Networks media groups in Delaware and Maryland where she directed the strategic, financial, and operational success of the Network and its associated products, successfully repositioning the brand as multi-media platform in the minds of consumers and business leaders. Leath led and developed a 400-person team, built strategic partnerships that improved marketplace positioning, and established sustainable value propositions managing/optimizing core and new growth revenue streams.

She started a management consulting firm, Leath Consultant Group, LLC to help organizations operate more effectively, identify and develop new revenue streams, establish and activate a strong communication strategy, and build relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Leath begins every assignment focusing on the needs of the client and then implements operational strategies to improve performance. Leath has a knack for spotting and developing talent, ensuring the long term success of the organization and the team members.

Leath is an accomplished leader recognized for excellent strategic and operational skills with a passion for connecting people and strengthening communities. Her career spans over two decades in the media industry.

Leath is a lecturer at the UNC School of Media and Journalism in Chapel Hill, NC. specializing in media management and public policy and public relations case studies. She is a former lecturer at the School of Mass Communications at NC Central University in Durham, NC specializing in media ethics.

Leath is currently directing the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media. She’s responsible for the strategic, financial and operational success of the Center. The Center supports existing and start-up news organizations through its dissemination of applied research and the development of digital tools and solutions. The economic and business research of UNC’s Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics and the Knight Chair in Digital Advertising and Marketing.  In addition, it supports professors and students associated with the Reese News Lab, which designs, tests and adapts digital tools for use in small and mid-sized newsrooms. The Center is funded by grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and UNC’s Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost.

Leath is a Maynard 200 Executive Coach and Mentor. She serves on the Board of Directors of Carolina Public Press and Public Media NC (UNC-TV) Black Issues Forum Advisory Council. Her prior roles include almost five years as the President and Publisher of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, she climbed through the advertising ranks at newspapers owned by the New York Times in Florida, Alabama and Florida’s largest newspaper the Tampa Bay Times.

Susan is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelors in Advertising with a concentration in marketing.

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