Philly’s top venture capitalist will also be board chairman of the city’s largest news organization.
Josh Kopelman, 45, who took a seat on the Philadelphia Media Network board last May, will take over for former PMN sole owner H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, 86, according to an Inquirer report:
Kopelman is “young, he’s smart, and he’s dedicated to PMN and its future,” Lenfest said. “Journalism is important, but how it’s going to survive in the digital age takes people like Josh Kopelman to help us figure it out.”
The move comes as PMN looks to make good on its innovative (if unproven) restructuring plan announced earlier this year, which put the papers under the nonprofit Institute for Journalism in New Media. That followed a major round of layoffs last fall. In March, Philly.com rolled out a nice website redesign.
With First Round Capital — his University City-based, nationally oriented venture firm — Kopelman has largely shied away from media investments over the years. The PMN position seems to fit into Kopelman’s portfolio of civic-minded passion projects, which includes the management of the City of Philadelphia’s StartUp PHL seed and angel funds. (Full disclosure: Technical.ly was a tenant at First Round from 2012 to 2015, as part of an in-kind trade with favorable terms.)
“Great cities need a great independent source of journalism,” Kopelman told the Inky Tuesday night. “They need investigative reporting. I think the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com play a critical role in our city.”
According to the report, Kopelman has “no plans to dramatically change the goals of the company.”