Professor, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism & Founder, Good People LLC
Alison Overholt is an award-winning media executive, producer and editor. As Senior Vice President of Storytelling & Journalism at ESPN, her portfolio included E60, Outside The Lines, ESPN Cover Story, espnW, The ESPN Daily podcast, The ESPYS, ESPN’s Investigative Unit, ESPN The Magazine and all of ESPN’s global digital longform journalism. Alison was the first woman to run a major U.S. sports magazine when she became Editor in Chief of ESPN The Magazine in 2016, and led the brand to the 2017 National Magazine Award for General Excellence (finalists again in 2020).
During her tenure, Alison’s teams earned multiple Emmys, Webbys, Gracies, Folio Awards, and New York Press Club Awards, as well as the 2019 Peabody for reporting on the Michigan State/USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal and crafting the cultural touchstone Arthur Ashe Courage Award presentation to 141 survivors on the live network broadcast of that year’s ESPYS awards show. Adweek twice named Alison one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports, and she was one of CableFax’s Most Powerful Women in Cable four years running, as well as an honoree on its Diversity List of the most influential multiethnic executives in media.
In 2021, Alison became General Manager of Oprah Daily, responsible for the launch and leadership of the new multiplatform lifestyle brand from Oprah Winfrey and Hearst Magazines. She pioneered Hearst’s interactive livestream class technology for Oprah to bring her signature wellness content to the Oprah Insiders community, which became the fastest-growing paid membership at Hearst under Alison’s leadership, and launched The Life You Want Planner, a guided meditation journal that remains Hearst’s best-selling product.
Alison is passionate about women, wellness, emerging technology, and inclusion of traditionally underrepresented communities—she recently launched Good People LLC, a content strategy and production company, to support organizations and their strategic storytelling needs with good people, great ideas, and exceptional execution. She teaches a course on the business of journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, is a strategic advisor to an early-stage sports fintech startup, and serves on the boards of the Mercy College Women in Leadership program and the National Society of Magazine Editors. Alison holds a BA in government, with honors, from Harvard University.