Hearst has announced that Neeraj Khemlani has been named executive vice president and deputy group head of Hearst Newspapers. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Newspapers President Jeff Johnson. Khemlani will report to Johnson.
Khemlani had most recently served as president and group head of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, making and overseeing investments in such digital businesses as Complex and Kobalt Music, video production through NorthSouth and comics syndication and character licensing operations at King Features Syndicate. As part of this transition, King Features Syndicate will now be part of the Hearst Newspapers group.
“I am extremely excited to have Neeraj join the newspaper group,” Johnson said. “His past accomplishments in all facets of media along with his passion for newspapers make him the perfect partner as we evolve these important institutions and ensure they continue to support their communities with compelling and unique journalism.”
“The importance of strong, enterprising newsrooms has never been more important,” Khemlani added. “Readers need unique, deeply reported stories, multimedia experiences and tools and information to help them make their lives better, participate in democracy at a local level and share in the communal experience of the cities they live in. I am thrilled to be working with Jeff and returning to my roots in journalism.”
Khemlani will continue to oversee many of the investments he made for Hearst and serve on the boards of A+E Networks, A+E EMEA, Complex Networks, Kobalt Music and NorthSouth Productions.
Previously, Khemlani served as Hearst’s chief creative officer, where he worked across the company’s global brands and with creative teams, managers and group heads to innovate the best possible products, content offerings and user experiences on every platform. Before that, he served as executive vice president and deputy group head of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, focusing on growing the company’s nonfiction television production activities. He began his career at Hearst in March 2009 as vice president and special assistant to the CEO for digital media. He reported directly to then-CEO Frank A. Bennack Jr., and he managed the promotion and coordination of digital content transformation across the company.
Prior to Hearst, Khemlani was vice president and general manager of Yahoo! News & Information as well as head of Yahoo! Originals. In this position, he managed the business and products of Yahoo! News, Tech, Weather and Education, original video productions across the Yahoo! Media group and the editorial programming for Yahoo! Finance, as executive editor.
From 1998 to 2006, Khemlani was a producer for CBS News’ 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II. Prior to that, he was at ABC News, where he produced segments for Nightline, Good Morning America, Peter Jennings Reporting and ABC News Specials. He has won numerous awards, including a 2004 Emmy nomination for business reporting, a 2003 Emmy nomination for best interview, the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting and a DuPont Award in 1995 for his participation in ABC News’ coverage of the war in Bosnia.
Khemlani began his career as a newspaper reporter, stringing for The New York Times and The Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York, while in college. Khemlani holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he graduated with honors, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cornell University, where he was the editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun.