Frank Mungeam

VP Digital Audience Engagement • TEGNA Media
Last edited January 18, 2019

Frank Mungeam is a passionate digital leader with a track record of creating a culture of collaboration and innovation.

As TEGNA VP of Digital Audience Engagement, Mungeam partners with journalists at the company’s 39 local news stations to transform our newsrooms for the digital age. He’s led company-wide trainings on strategic use of social media to find and tell better stories; led pilot projects in immersive VR storytelling, podcasting and voice, and other emerging platforms. He manages TEGNA’s key platform content partnership relationships with Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter and has helped TEGNA be first to market among local media companies on emerging partnership initiatives.

His leadership focus is to be forward-looking, to engage our audiences, and smartly apply and capitalize on emerging digital and social tools to insure the future health and sustainability of local news.

Mungeam has a degree in Psychology from Harvard and a Masters degree in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga. He is the proud author of two books (including a book profiling innovators, “Dream It, Do It”) and one son. On weekends, you’ll find Mungeam recreating in the outdoors near his home in Portland, Oregon.

As a candidate for the 2019-20 Board of Directors election, Frank delivered a lightning talk at the ONA18 conference and submitted the following information. Learn more about the election process.

ONA Involvement

Longtime member of ONA, was an active participant and speaker in ONA Portland before relocating to DC to join the Corporate Digital Content team of TEGNA, for the past 4 years I’ve been the leader of TEGNA’s large attendance at the annual ONA conference, where I’ve produced an “in-conference” at our TEGNA Salon, partnering to leverage the best ONA speakers to enhance the growth of our digital storytellers.

Vision for ONA

I’m passionate about four areas where I’d like to help ONA be a leader for digital journalism:

1.Improve media trust and advocate for the crucial role of the free press
2.Be the leader for training and innovation for digital journalists
3.Forge strategic, equitable relationships with the key platform companies
4.Collaborate to develop new, sustainable business models for our journalism

I believe transparency is key to restoring trust in the work of professional journalists. I lead TEGNA’s 39 local newsrooms in a collaboration with The Trust Project to implement key ‘trust indicators,’ and frequently counsel journalists on ethics issues.

When it comes to Press Freedom, I believe we as journalists have historically been far better at telling the stories of others than telling our own story: the story of the importance and value of a free press. In the current climate, journalists must speak truth to power now more than ever.

I have a track record at the local and national level of developing and implementing training programs to enable journalists to constantly update their skills and practices. Most recently, my focus has been to enable innovation experiments to apply the core skills and values of journalism to the many emerging platforms and story forms, from VR to podcasts and voice, to vertical video formats like Instagram Stories and Snap News.

I’m eager to bring those experiences to ONA to insure that we are the leader in enabling continuous learning among our peers, so that we can be relevant and impactful storytellers in our communities tomorrow as well as today.

Every legacy media company has a story about how their audience and business has been harmed by the pervasive influence of large platform companies. At the same time, we as journalists must recognize that this disrupted news ecosystem, with its bias toward search and sharing, is our new reality.

At TEGNA, I’ve worked to form strategic partnerships with each of the key platform companies that are truly win-win. I am proud of the relationships I’ve developed and the successes we’ve achieved, and I’m eager to scale that approach through ONA.

Journalism, especially at the local level, faces an existential threat. It is imperative that we collaborate and innovate to develop ways to sustain journalism through new business models. No one person or organization has this answer today. The path to sustainability requires collaboration, the willingness to challenge our existing practices and to experiment with new models. Through my role in Sprockit, a program that pairs startups with legacy media companies, I’ve been able to generate new revenue streams while preserving our core commitment to the principles of journalism. I’ve also developed new revenue streams through strategic partnerships with key platform companies. I’d like to help ONA bring together disruptive thinkers to innovate new models to insure the future business health of journalism.

Joanie Vasiliadis on Frank Mungeam

It’s hard to imagine a greater champion for digital journalism than Frank Mungeam. He is a leader of digital innovation and storytelling in local newsrooms across the country.

As TEGNA’s first-ever corporate executive focused on digital content, Frank set a standard, developed a strategy and created a culture that will carry this traditionally broadcast company into the future. He is always looking for new ways to advance our digital storytelling and commitment to quality journalism. He is the driving force behind TEGNA’s experimentation with UGC tools like Tagboard, audience participation tools like Megaphone and content creation tools like Videolicious. He’s helped our editorial teams become more data driven and audience first by introducing Chartbeat, CrowdTangle and other similar products. Frank’s list of contributions to TEGNA goes on and on: social listening and engagement training, an updated social media and ethics policy, expansion to YouTube, digital live-streaming studios, pilots in podcasting, VR and more.

Frank has helped countless digital leaders inside and outside of TEGNA discover their passion, find a voice for digital in a broadcast world and grow their skills to be better journalists. He’s also recruited change-makers who disrupt traditional thinking in our newsrooms. Frank cares about diversity and inclusion, and will never stop looking for the right people and right voice to help our company and industry evolve. Much like ONA, Frank has been at the forefront of a changing media landscape. Instead of backing down and resorting to legacy comforts, Frank leans in and pushes himself and everyone around him to run towards change.

Every year during ONA’s annual conference, Frank is in his element. He truly lights up being around other digital innovators. He studies, networks, teaches and recruits. He so appreciates and cares for the ONA community and its spirit.

Most importantly, Frank has unmatchable passion. He is not only a leader but a student, always reading, learning and growing to keep up with the ever-changing industry. I’m lucky to have him as a mentor and ONA would be lucky to have him on their Board of Directors, for he will approach it with the same passion he gives to his work. He is the epitome of servant leadership and I’m confident he’ll serve the ONA community exceptionally.

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