Media and television executive Depelsha McGruder is among the inspiring, change-making, pioneering, and determined women and girls we’ve had the incredible privilege to profile over the last seven years. She was first featured on our site in July 2017 through a powerful piece she penned about the nonprofits she founded, sister organizations dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and in society. This past April, Depelsha was one of the esteemed main stage panelists at our annual Fearless Fest event. In continuing to celebrate this woman you should know, it is our great pleasure to announce that Depelsha has been named Chief Operating Officer of New York Public Radio (NYPR), home to three of the country’s leading public radio stations and an innovative producer of news, talk, cultural programming, and digital content.
In this role, Depelsha, who began her accomplished professional career as a local broadcast journalist, will be responsible for fostering a vibrant, values-driven internal culture at NYPR. She will lead key internal functions including human resources, legal, engineering/IT, and internal communications, ensuring continuous improvements in processes, policies, workspace and talent strategy. Depelsha will also oversee strategic planning, operations and digital for NYPR. In addition, she will be responsible for guiding the implementation of a strategic and sustainable growth plan that will strengthen and expand WNYC’s local news operation, position WNYC Studios as an incubator of new voices, and create a global classical music audio platform.
“With a background in strategy, programming, audience development and organizational culture and change, Depelsha possesses extraordinary breadth, versatility and experience,” said NYPR President and CEO, Laura Walker. “At a moment when audio is exploding, local news is shrinking, audiences are fracturing and digital platforms are shifting rapidly, she is the right person to smartly guide our strategic plans and strengthen our internal culture while fulfilling our mission of producing trusted journalism, serving a broad audience, amplifying new voices, and creating a best in class workplace.”
Most recently, Depelsha spent 17 years at Viacom in senior leadership positions at both MTV and BET Networks. While there, she launched the video-on-demand, broadband and mobile businesses for MTV. She also led the launch of two Viacom cable TV networks designed to superserve diverse audiences — MTV Tr3s for US Latino youth and Centric for African-American adults — creating the branding, programming, distribution, sales and partnership strategies. Post-launch, Depelsha led day to day operations for both networks, managing Strategy & Operations, Programming, Music & Talent, Digital & Social Media and had broad responsibilities for Finance, Legal, HR, and Tech. Both networks experienced triple digit increases in audience growth and revenue under her leadership. At BET, she led an organizational culture transformation, which she helped to implement.
Depelsha, who holds a B.A. from Howard University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, is also the Founder and President of Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. and M.O.B.B. United for Social Change, Inc.