Industry Veterans Fernanda Santos hired as Editorial Director and Peniley Ramírez hired as Executive Producer; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa promoted to President of special unit dedicated to investigative journalism and new ventures; Julio Ricardo Varela promoted to President of Futuro Media 

New York (June 28, 2022) – Independent, nonprofit news media organization Futuro Media announced today two additions to the editorial leadership team along with a number of staff promotions. These changes come at an exciting time of growth for Futuro Media and following recent awards and accolades, including a 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Audio Reporting for the podcast series “Suave.”

Fernanda Santos will be joining as the new Editorial Director. Santos is a veteran of the news industry and brings decades of experience in delivering exceptional journalism. After 12 years as a staff writer, including five as a national correspondent for The New York Times, she most recently taught narrative writing and bilingual reporting as a Professor of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. As Editorial Director, Santos will be leading the Futuro Newsroom, which includes the following media properties: Latino USA, In The Thick, Latino Rebels, and the Community Podcast Lab. Her start date will be August 15. 

“The most decisive way to diversify journalism and expand its relevance and reach is to make space for, give voice to and empower the new American majority. That’s exactly what Futuro has so expertly done over the years, and I’m hugely honored and excited to join the team,” Santos says. 

Peniley Ramírez has joined Futuro Media as the new Executive Producer of Futuro Unidad Hinojosa (FUH). As a former investigative correspondent at Univision, she led several official investigations of politicians and business people in Latin America and the U.S. She participated in global investigative projects such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Panama Papers” and the Scripps Howard award-winning “Pandora Papers,” with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Ramírez brings an unparalleled set of experiences to advance the investigative work and special projects led by Maria Hinojosa.

“Investigative journalism has a duty to provide accountability to underserved communities. Futuro Media is a dream place to work on stories that matter to millions in those communities,” says Ramírez. “It’s an honor to join Maria Hinojosa, Julio Ricardo Varela, and the great and diverse Futuro team to ask those questions that need to be asked, produce in-depth and empathetic journalism to answer them, and tell investigative stories rigorously and fearlessly.” 

Futuro Media is pleased to announce several promotions. 

Futuro Media founder Maria Hinojosa has been promoted to President of FUH, where she was previously Executive Producer and Senior Correspondent. In her new role, Hinojosa will continue with her existing editorial duties, where she will also continue to serve as Host and Executive Producer of “Latino USA” and Co-Host of “In The Thick.” 

The FUH is Maria’s space to produce innovative ways to do investigative work impacting Latino and BIPOC communities across the country, in addition to piloting experimental forms of storytelling. FUH is a special projects and investigations division of Futuro Media that seeks to develop highly creative multimedia projects that will build on and deeply enhance the ongoing work of the organization’s multimedia journalism and original programming. 

“Futuro Investigates is the only Latina-led, all-women reporting team in the country dedicated to investigating issues deeply impacting Latino and BIPOC communities. We pursue stories and data where it takes us, with the intent of holding the powerful accountable and illuminating challenges our communities face across the country,” Hinojosa announces. 

Julio Ricardo Varela, previously acting as Interim Co-Executive Director, has been promoted to President of Futuro Media. During his 8-year career at Futuro Media and more than 30 years of experience in the editorial space, Varela has demonstrated journalistic and business excellence, founding and leading Latino Rebels and building the Futuro Studios business pipeline for the organization. In his new role, Varela will continue to focus on the business side of the organization, and play a key leadership role in overseeing the editorial vision of Futuro Media, alongside Hinojosa. He will also remain Host of “Latino Rebels Radio” and Co-Host of “In The Thick.” 

“When Maria Hinojosa founded Futuro in 2010, she created new lanes for journalism that are sorely needed in our current society. That risk has paid off, as Futuro has become an innovative media company that has earned the accolades of its peers. I am thrilled to be part of this amazing team and I look forward to where we go next,” Varela said. 

Additional changes within the organization include Yolanda Moore being promoted to Vice President of Administration and Operations, and Stacy Parker Le Melle’s role being expanded to Director of Development and Marketing. Moore and Le Melle first joined Futuro Media in 2018 and 2017, respectively, and have both played critical roles in ensuring the organization’s long-term stability and sustainability during a period of rapid growth.


About Futuro Media 

Winner of a 2022 Pulitzer Prize, Futuro Media is an independent, nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. Based in Harlem and founded in 2010 by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, Futuro Media is committed to telling stories from points of view often overlooked by mainstream media. Futuro Media produces Peabody Award-winning Latino USA, the longest-running national Latino news and cultural public radio program; In The Thick, a politics podcast from the perspective of journalists and issue experts; Latino Rebels, a pioneering digital news outlet founded by Julio Ricardo Varela that reaches millions through its website, radio programming, and podcasts; Futuro Studios focuses on original podcasts and programming; and Futuro Unidad Hinojosa (FUH), a unit within Futuro Media, focuses on investigative journalism and special projects.