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Hampton University Welcomes Former Publisher/Editor Marisa Porto as Executive in Residence

HAMPTON, Va. (October 17, 2019) — Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and the entire HU community welcomed Marisa Porto to our ‘Home by the Sea’ as an Executive in Residence on September 16. Porto brings over 21 years of high level executive experience in both the news industry and the business sector to this key faculty post.

“Ms. Marisa Porto comes to Hampton University with a depth of knowledge and experience for journalism, business and education,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President. “I am delighted that Marisa accepted our offer to bring her exceptional understanding of the latest and best corporate strategies in media and business here. Her presence allows Hampton University to continue producing the best and brightest students, not only in the newsroom but at the executive level as well.”

Marisa Porto

Porto’s leadership has given her expertise in the areas including revenue generation, business development, negotiation and sales, product analysis and development, budget management, content and audience development, and digital media strategy.

“This is a historical place and to see so many young people here learning who they are and where they are going in their lives, it’s exciting,” said Porto. “I want my students to understand there is a level of urgency in the way we do business and the way we do journalism today that has not always been present. Between social media and the changes in the technological world, all industries have been impacted. With those changes, I want my students to value adaptability; being able to answer those changes in the work place and industry, identify new trends and the importance of tapping in to those trends.”

At Hampton University, Porto will teach classes in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications and the James T. George School of Business.

“It is truly a privilege to have someone with the bona fide experience of Marisa Porto on our faculty in Scripps,” said B. Da’vida Plummer, Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. “Our students will benefit from the media know-how Marisa brings from the boardroom to the classroom.”

Porto has a long and varied background in business and media leadership connected to media outlets. Her background helped these media to see increases and improvements in areas such as audience development, product analysis and development, financial management, and sales. Publications under her leadership saw revenue growth and were routinely honored statewide for their news and editorial content. in budgets and increases in the quality measures around the content produced by the organizations she led.

Porto, the former publisher and editor-in-chief for the Daily Press Media Group (DPMG), oversaw operations for the Daily Press in Newport News, The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg (twice weekly, Williamsburg, Va.) and the Tidewater Review in West Point (weekly, West Point, Va.). Under her head leadership, the DPMG purchased The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, the weekly Hampton Roads business publication Inside Business and Style Weekly in Richmond from Landmark Media Enterprises for $34 million in cash.

Porto was appointed interim publisher and editor of the combined publications. In this appointment, she oversaw the multi-million organization with seven locations and 400 employees while managing a $100 million budget, and led the consolidation process and content operations that shepherded to a new leadership structure for the operation.

Prior to joining the Daily Press in 2009, Porto worked for several years as Chief Content Officer of a digital startup company and for Gannett Inc. in several news roles, including her last as Assistant Managing Editor/News for the USA Today Network.

An alumnus of the University of South Carolina, Porto previously held leadership positions with news organizations in Florida, Delaware and Ohio. She is currently a member of the News Leadership Council of the Trust Project, an international initiative to build a more trusted and trustworthy press. She is a former Executive in Residence at the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the former president of the Virginia Press Association, the former chair of the public records subcommittee of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Advisory Council, a former board member of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.