The strategic realignment includes the announcement of new leadership of Catholic News Agency, ACI Group and the National Catholic Register
EWTN Global Catholic Network has announced an organizational restructuring of its domestic digital and print news platforms with the realignment of its two U.S. based news outlets, National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency (CNA), under single executive leadership. EWTN Chairman and CEO Michael P. Warsaw appointed Jeanette De Melo, the longtime editor-in-chief of the Register and the newspaper’s current executive director, as executive director of both the Register and CNA.
Warsaw also appointed Kelsey Wicks to the post of executive director of the ACI Group, a part of EWTN News that is comprised of an international network of media agencies covering global Catholic news in seven languages (Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, French, English, and Arabic). Wicks assumes the role after having served as ACI Group’s operations manager and for the last six months as Catholic News Agency’s interim executive director. Alejandro Bermudez, who was the longtime executive director of CNA and the ACI Group, retired from the organization Dec. 31.
The new structure is designed to enhance EWTN News’ domestic and international news coverage. Each platform will continue to have its own editors in chief and each will maintain its distinct identity and scope within EWTN News.
“I am confident this new structure will provide an opportunity to strengthen our news teams, our coverage and our reach as well as allow us to better share valuable resources across platforms,” said Warsaw. “By improving the efficiency of our operations, we will be able to focus more on our editorial mission both here in the US and across the globe.”
The ACI Group, acquired by EWTN in 2014, has expanded EWTN News’ reach as an international leader in Catholic news. With offices located across the world — ACI Prensa in Lima, Peru; ACI Digital in São Paulo, Brazil; CNA Deutsch in Munich, Germany; ACI Stampa in Rome, Italy; ACI Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya; and ACI MENA in Erbil, Iraq — the news agencies focus on covering local, continental and international news from a Catholic perspective.
“From Latin America to the Middle East and Northern Africa, these agencies, staffed by local Catholics who speak and write in the language of the regions, present news that matters to the people closest to them,” said Wicks.
“Additionally, the flow of news coming from the other agencies worldwide helps keep local audiences in tune with what’s happening internationally, allowing them to read and pray for the most important events and stories in other parts of the world.”
Added Wicks, “We have a truly global Church and ours is a global work. I’m grateful for this opportunity to lead our team of dedicated editors and journalists who connect so many different people with each other through news of the Church, Christian witnesses, and defense of the faith.”
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Augustine Institute, Wicks worked as a legislative assistant on immigration- and refugee-related issues for the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops before she turned down a scholarship to Notre Dame Law School to join the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. Shortly after discerning out of the convent, she began her career in media, and helped EWTN News expand the ACI Group by participating in the foundation and launching of ACI MENA, the Catholic news agency in Arabic for the Middle East and Northern Africa.
As a part of this reorganization, Warsaw announced that Shannon Mullen, a more than 30-year veteran in journalism and Catholic News Agency’s editor in chief since July 2021, has been selected to serve as editor-in-chief of the National Catholic Register. The newspaper, founded by Msgr. Matthew Smith in Denver in 1927, was acquired by EWTN in 2011. In addition to the biweekly print edition, the Register produces daily news at NCRegister.com. The Register earned the Catholic Press Association’s Newspaper of the Year award in 2022.
“Over the last 18 months, Shannon has demonstrated a passion for journalistic excellence, a commitment to serving the Church and a deep dedication to his team at CNA,” said De Melo. “His transition to the Register plays into his creative strengths and capitalizes on his long experience in the newspaper industry.”
Before coming to CNA, Mullen was a features writer, investigative reporter and editor with the Asbury Park Press, a Gannett Co. newspaper, in New Jersey, where he was a member of a reporting team that was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.
De Melo, for her part, has been involved in Catholic media for more than 20 years, first as a diocesan communications director and general manager and most recently leading the Register for more than 10 years. In her expanded role as executive director of both the Register and CNA, the focus will be on ensuring the quality of the journalism, faithfulness to reporting from a distinctly Catholic lens as well as attracting new audiences to the newspaper and websites.
“For several years now, the Register has depended on CNA for its Vatican coverage and breaking daily news. Uniting under one umbrella to strategize and share resources will only increase our coverage footprint and our effectiveness in serving our audiences. I look forward to greater collaboration between the CNA and Register teams,” said De Melo. “And also, I know through partnership with the ACI Group we’ll be able to expand our work to bring even more news from the universal Church to our domestic readers.”
The search for an editor in chief for Catholic News Agency is currently underway.
EWTN also recently announced the appointment of Montse Alvarado as the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News. Alvarado will assume that post on March 6.
ABOUT EWTN and EWTN NEWS
In its 42nd year, EWTN is the largest Catholic media organization in the world. EWTN’s 11 global TV channels and numerous regional channels are broadcast in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week to over 400 million television households in more than 160 countries and territories. EWTN platforms also include radio services transmitted through SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 600 domestic and international AM & FM radio affiliates; a worldwide shortwave radio service; one of the most visited Catholic websites in the U.S.; as well as EWTN Publishing, its book publishing division.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., EWTN News operates multiple global news services, including Catholic News Agency, “The National Catholic Register” newspaper and digital platform, ACI Prensa in Spanish, ACI Digital in Portuguese, ACI Stampa in Italian, ACI Africa in English, French and Portuguese, ACI MENA in Arabic, CNA Deutsch in German and ChurchPop, a digital platform that creates content in several languages. It also produces numerous television news programs including EWTN News Nightly, EWTN News In Depth, EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, The World Over, and others.