Annie Chabel (left) and Christa Scharfenberg
Emeryville, Calif. – Effective May 1, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting Chief Executive Officer Christa Scharfenberg will transition to a senior adviser role with the organization. Reveal Chief Operating Officer Annie Chabel will serve as interim CEO until the board of directors selects a new leader. Scharfenberg’s planned departure this year was originally announced in January. Sumi Aggarwal will continue to serve as Reveal’s managing editor and interim editor in chief.
“Working at Reveal for the last 18 years, including leading the organization as CEO since 2017, has been a privilege truly beyond description,” Scharfenberg said. “The passion, creativity and drive toward justice that fuels the organization and everyone who works here made this the only place I wanted to be for all of those years. There is no shortage of investigative stories that need to be told, and I’m honored to become a member of the Reveal fan club as it carries out its critical mission for years to come.”
Scharfenberg, Chabel and Reveal’s board of directors have led the organization through tectonic changes in the journalism industry. With an annual budget of $11 million and a staff of roughly 65 mission-driven multimedia storytellers, Reveal consistently produces award-winning, impactful reporting that holds the powerful accountable.
During her time with Reveal, Scharfenberg was integral to its transformation from a small nonprofit news organization, producing a handful of stories each year, to a thriving national multiplatform newsroom. She helped launch its statewide reporting initiative California Watch in 2009, which quickly established itself as the largest investigative team covering the state, producing award-winning reporting for local, regional and national audiences. She was a leader in the 2012 merger with The Bay Citizen, which doubled the size of the organization’s newsroom and budget. Scharfenberg managed the launch and growth of Reveal’s du Pont and Murrow Award-winning public radio show and podcast, which was piloted in 2013 and now airs on more than 560 public radio stations, and has overseen Reveal’s growth as a producer of award-winning investigative television and documentaries.
Chabel joined Reveal in 2013 as foundations manager. In 2015, she was promoted to associate director of development and in 2017 to director of philanthropic partnerships. In those roles, she led significant philanthropic revenue growth, helping to secure some of Reveal’s largest multiyear grants, including support for launch of its radio show and podcast. She also took a leadership role in a handful of key community engagement partnerships and helped lead Reveal’s impact measurement work. Chabel was named COO in 2018; in this position, she has overseen Reveal’s business, finance, technology and security operations and has served as an integral member of the senior leadership team. As interim CEO, she will execute the organizational plan, oversee day-to-day operations and facilitate a smooth transition to the next permanent CEO.
Rob King, Reveal’s board chair and senior vice president and editor-at-large of ESPN Content, said: “Mere words can’t appropriately express our appreciation for the wisdom, grace and care Christa devoted to Reveal throughout the past 18 years. We’re grateful not only for all she accomplished, but also for the bright future Christa has enabled us – the board, Annie and the leadership team – to envision. In just one respect, we respectfully differ with Christa: in fact, the privilege was ours.”