Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announces the appointment of Keith Whitney as the City of Atlanta’s first-ever Chief Content Officer – a senior-level position that will focus on curating and sharing new content across a wide range of platforms.
In this new role, Whitney will work alongside the Mayor’s Office of Communications and city-run television station Channel 26 to provide Atlantans with updates and stories from City Hall.
“An important tenant in the One Atlanta vision is ‘residents who are equipped for success,’ ” Bottoms said. “Key to achieving that goal is ensuring that our residents are knowledgeable of the programs and initiatives that are developed on their behalves every day throughout the City.
“The Chief Content Officer will be responsible for delivering real-time updates to our constituents in a manner that is accessible and relatable so that all of Atlanta’s stakeholders can play a more informed and engaged role in building a city that works for everyone.”
The newly created role is part of a new effort to improve communications with Atlanta residents and highlight the City’s efforts to achieve the Mayor’s One Atlanta vision. As Keith transitions into the Chief Content Officer role, Kelly S. Beaty will serve as interim Communications Director. Both positions are effective immediately.
“(Whitney) is the optimal person to fulfill this new role for the City – with a 35-year history in journalism and an innate talent for capturing the attention of a wide range of residents through his thoughtful, in-depth reporting,” Bottoms said. “This position will allow Keith to bring to life the meaningful work being done on behalf of Atlanta residents every day.”
Most recently, the City of Detroit became the first U.S. City to appoint a chief storyteller, as its leadership prioritized the development of a new narrative for the historic city.
The role of Chief Content Officer is becoming an increasingly important communications function in both the private and public sectors, with several Fortune 500 companies including Capital One, Goldman Sachs, J. Crew, Microsoft and PepsiCo leading the way in this innovative organizational structure.
“Atlanta is a city full of stories, and we should not have to rely on the news media alone to tell them,” Whitney said. “We can – and we will – break our own news. Mayor Bottoms, a former journalist herself, understands the importance of keeping the residents of our city informed.
“As the new Chief Content Officer, I will make sure we disseminate those stories directly to our residents, across all of our platforms, with unprecedented speed, depth and accuracy,” Whitney continued. “We have a team of award-winning journalists on staff with decades of experience and credibility. ”
Whitney became a household name on-air as part of the news team at WGCL/CBS46 where he served as an anchor and reporter. Prior to that, he served as a lead reporter and weekend anchor/managing editor at WXIA-TV.