Chronicle Names Bloomberg Editor as Its New Chief Executive

Michael G. Riley
April 17, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education Inc. has named Michael G. Riley, editorial director of Bloomberg Government, to be its chief executive officer and editor in chief.

He succeeds Philip W. Semas, who is retiring after 44 years at The Chronicle, the last 10 as president and editor in chief. Mr. Semas joined the company in 1969 as a reporter and later served as managing editor, founding editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and editor of new media.

In addition to the weekly printed newspaper The Chronicle of Higher Education, the company publishes the biweekly Chronicle of Philanthropy, Arts & Letters Daily, daily online-news services for those newspapers, and a number of specialized Web sites.

Early in his career, Mr. Riley was a correspondent for Time magazine in Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, and Atlanta. He was named Southern bureau chief at age 32. In a joint venture of Time and CNN, he created and managed, one of the first national political Web sites.

For eight years Mr. Riley was editor of The Roanoke Times, where he re-engineered the news department to focus on Internet strategy and foster rapid growth in online revenue. During his tenure the newspaper won numerous awards for both its print and digital operations.

In 2007 Mr. Riley became editor and senior vice president of Congressional Quarterly. Following CQ-Roll Call's acquisition by the Economist Group, he became editorial director of Washington-based Bloomberg Government.

"I am delighted that Mike is joining us," said Corbin Gwaltney, founding editor and chairman of The Chronicle of Higher Education Inc. "His combination of journalistic leadership, business acumen, and digital savvy is a perfect fit for our needs."

Mr. Riley praised The Chronicle's reputation, describing it as one "built on fundamental journalistic values practiced for some 47 years."

After focusing on coverage of Washington and government issues in recent years, Mr. Riley said he found the values embedded in higher education and philanthropy "immensely attractive."

"I believe the publications will act—as they have in the past—as a beacon for those who care deeply about the shape of our world," he said.

Mr. Riley, 54, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters.