Few industries are undergoing such rapid change as the media, with the influence of traditional newspapers and broadcasters waning. Out-of-state owners largely dominate North Carolina’s media landscape. Key exceptions are Capitol Broadcasting and Curtis Media Group, two family-owned businesses that are both based in Raleigh.
The Indiana University graduate oversees tech support for the Carolinas and parts of Maryland and Virginia with more than 2.5 million broadband customers. Atkinson, 50, was a longtime area vice president of operations at Time Warner Cable before it was acquired by Charter in 2016.
Employer’s distinction: Charter invests in its employees and network, expanding offerings and improving service.
Best advice: A previous leader of mine said to be successful, you must work hard, be resilient, hire people more talented than yourself and invest in your employees.
Favorite passion: Travel
Favorite recent book: Leadershift by John C. Maxwell
Biltz is a veteran telecom executive who leads a fast-growing independent fiber network operator. He joined Segra predecessor Lumos Networks in 2012. Earlier in his career, he was chief operating officer at Cary-based SpectraSite, a tower company, and Greensboro-based Vanguard Cellular Systems, a mobile phone operator. Segra is majority owned by Swedish private equity group EQT.
Curtis started in broadcasting as a Gastonia teenager. His company now owns more than 60 AM and FM signals across North Carolina, ranking among the biggest independent U.S. radio operators. He pledged $21 million to UNC Chapel Hill’s media school in 2018.
A dominant figure in Triangle and state civic and business affairs for decades, Goodmon left Duke University early, later enlisting in the Navy. He learned about broadcasting by working with his grandfather, Capitol founder A.J. Fletcher, and became CEO in 1979. With WRAL-TV and WRAL.com as its base, Capitol has diversified in real estate through Durham’s American Tobacco Historic District and by owning the Durham Bulls baseball team. Goodmon has been a proponent of Triangle regionalism and progressive causes in North Carolina.
Johnson has been CEO since 1986 of the minority-owned newspaper that empowers the Queen City’s Black community. A master’s degree graduate of Villanova University, he was previously a bank computer programmer. He’s been a director at Theater Charlotte and Discovery Place.
A Georgetown University and Boston University graduate, O’Connor earned five Emmy Awards during his 22 years with ABC News. He was general manager of Rhode Island Public Radio before joining WFAE in 2015. Since then, revenue and staffing have increased significantly at the National Public Radio affiliate.
A senior N.C.-based executive at one of the biggest U.S. shared communications infrastructure companies, Piche oversees development of towers and fiber networks nationwide. She has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State and a master’s degree from University of Michigan.
In 2019, Quillon became a senior N.C. leader of Minneapolis-based Adams, which owns 22 daily and weekly newspapers across the state including in Boone, Greenville and Rocky Mount. The Virginia native previously spent 30 years working for several newspaper companies as a publisher or advertising director.
A University of South Carolina graduate, Rabon took his post in 2019 after eight years leading the media giant’s public policy efforts in Raleigh. He has worked for AT&T for more than 20 years. He has bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of South Carolina.
The Santa Clara University graduate began her career with family-owned Norsan Group as an event coordinator. She now oversees the broadcasting company, which operates more than 20 Spanish language radio stations in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
The Clemson University graduate was assigned last year to oversee 21 newsrooms in the Carolinas, West Virginia, Virginia, and Georgia for McLean, Va.-based Gannett. Five N.C. newspapers are under her watch, including the Wilmington paper where she’s worked since 1994.
In 2009, Shaw succeeded his late father, Ray, to lead the publisher of more than 40 local business newspapers and websites, including in Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle. New York’s Newhouse family has owned ACBJ since 1995. Shaw worked for The Charlotte News and started Business North Carolina in 1981 before joining his father to build ACBJ. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a master’s from UNC Chapel Hill.
Tomlin began her career as a young mother putting herself through UNC Chapel Hill. She was named McClatchy’s Carolinas regional editor in 2019, overseeing the Charlotte and Raleigh newspapers. Earlier in her career she worked at the Asheville and Wilmington newspapers. McClatchy was acquired by New York-based hedge fund Chatham Asset Management last year.
The Washington & Lee University graduate took $50,000 and his experience at The Charlotte Observer to launch the Charlotte Agenda digital newsletter in 2015. Washington, D.C.-based newsletter publisher Axios bought the business earlier this year for $5 million. He is now leading expansions in Minneapolis and other cities.