ANF Announces Ellen J. Meany as First Executive Director

ANF Announces Ellen J. Meany as First Executive Director



WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Alternative Newsweekly Foundation (ANF) is pleased to announce the appointment of  Ellen J. Meany as its first-ever executive director. Ellen brings decades of relevant experience to this role, most recently serving as the organization’s president, and guiding ANF into its current form as fiscal sponsor to independent news organizations throughout the country. 

     A graduate of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Ellen worked at community newspapers in New York and Illinois before settling into her longtime role as creative director with Isthmus alt weekly in Madison, Wisconsin. She served on the board of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) for ten years, as its inaugural design chair and then as treasurer. 

     Most recently, Ellen has been the publisher at The American Prospect, a nationally renowned nonprofit public policy magazine, where she built a digital membership model from zero to sustainable in just three years, and managed grant relationships with major foundations and individual donors. With her demonstrated leadership skills and passion for journalism, Ellen is poised to lead ANF into its next phase of growth and impact. 

     “I am excited to be working with so many indie news outlets and the great people affiliated with ANF,” Ellen said. “We are making a difference in the local media landscape, which has been in desperate need of assistance from funders large and small. The services ANF offers are designed to build sustainability in local journalism. It’s an honor to be a part of this effort.” 

     ANF was established in 2002 by a slew of newspaper people in affiliation with AAN, and has long been dedicated to the promotion and support of independent journalism. In late 2020, in the depths of the pandemic, ANF’s board of directors became determined to push the foundation in a new direction, as a fiscal sponsor for indie news outlets both legacy and startup. As president of ANF’s board, Ellen built out the services and capacity for this new direction to the point that ANF is now the fiscal sponsor for more than 20 organizations across the country. 

ANF’s current board includes Graham Jarrett (Chava Communications); George Thurlow (Buzz Publishing); Kevin Goldberg (Freedom Forum); Blair Barna (SceneThink); Jimmy Boegle (AAN president, Coachella Valley Independent and Reno News & Review); Ron Burke (National Newspaper Publishers Association); Evelyn Castro (La Prensa De Houston, and National Association of Hispanic Publications); Julie Ann Grimm (Santa Fe Reporter); and Jason Pramas (Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism). Among many alt weekly luminaries, ANF’s original board of directors included Fran Zankowski (Boulder Weekly); Paula Routly (Seven Days); Patricia Calhoun (Westword); Phyllis Britton (Arkansas Times); Stuart Folb (Dallas Observer) and Tim Redmond (48 Hills). 

“Ellen has gone above and beyond in her role as president to get this off the ground,” remarked Graham Jarrett, who takes over as president of ANF’s board with Ellen’s move into the executive director role.  

     “Ellen’s experience,” George Thurlow, ANF treasurer added, “ will ensure her continued success with ANF as she builds a legacy that is important to journalism and our democracy.”  




Contact: Ellen J. Meany


About Alternative Newsweekly Foundation: ANF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) incorporated in the District of Columbia. As part of its affiliation with AAN, ANF supports the growth, education, and professional development of journalists while connecting younger journalists with mentors. The foundation has three main objectives: 

  • To work side by side with AAN to support the core principles of the alternative press: Speaking truth to power, telling stories other publications won’t, and giving voice to those who would otherwise go unheard. 

  • To serve as a fiscal sponsor to independent entities that are in the business of building local news and information infrastructure and initiatives that ultimately serve their communities. 

  • To engage and collaborate with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) — representing more than 500 Black and Latino-owned news outlets, local alternative publications, and online news sites — to advance the mission behind the Fund For Equity In Local News (FELN), a sponsored project of ANF.