Nola Media Group names Tim Williamson, CEO and founder of Idea Village, as President

Ricky Mathews to take on role leading new initiatives at Advance Local

Tim Williamson, Idea Village founder and CEO, was named President of Nola Media Group today. Williamson has been a driving force behind the rapid growth of entrepreneurship in New Orleans and his efforts to increase economic growth and job creation in the Crescent City have garnered national attention.

Former President Ricky Mathews recently announced he would be taking on new initiatives with Advance Local, one of the largest national media groups, whose affiliated news publishing brands include and The Times-Picayune.

“It was important that the next president of NOLA Media Group be a proven innovator with a strong media background, proven business acumen and deep roots in New Orleans,” said Mathews. “Tim is all of those things and more. He is the perfect person to lead our company into the future.”

In a farewell post on The Distillery, Williamson described his departure from Idea Village as bittersweet, but exciting, as the organization continues to move forward. “Since 2000, I’ve had the great honor and privilege of working alongside some of the most incredible leaders who, through passion, desire, and sheer perseverance, have positioned New Orleans for the future. And the future is looking bright. But I believe it’s time we begin to pass along the opportunities – and challenges of this great city to a new generation.”

“As a native New Orleanian, it’s an incredible honor to be entrusted to carry the 179-year tradition of The Times-Picayune and into the future,” Williamson said. “This is a time of extraordinary change in our industry and our region. But our core values remain the same as they have always been: to inform, engage, challenge and inspire as we work together to make New Orleans a better place.”

For 16 years, Williamson has led efforts at Idea Village to inspire, support and connect entrepreneurs in the New Orleans area. Those efforts led to truly impressive results: supporting 5,584 local entrepreneurs that created almost 3,000 local jobs and generated an estimated $200 million annual impact on the New Orleans economy.

“We are excited to have Tim Williamson lead our talented team at NOLA Media Group,” said Randy Siegel, President of Advance Local. “Tim has a tremendous track record of success and a deep appreciation for quality journalism and community service.”

“I am proud of how Idea Village has grown and what it has meant to the city,” Williamson said. “Now it’s time to turn it over to a new generation of leaders, and to bring that same entrepreneurial spirit to a vital New Orleans institution. My goal is to make NOLA Media Group the most progressive, dynamic and forward-thinking media company in the United States, one that will be serving New Orleanians for generations to come.”

Emily Madero, Chief Operations Officer at Idea Village, will assume the role of acting CEO of the organization on Aug. 1, 2016. Williamson will continue in his role on the Board of Directors at Idea Village.

An alumni of Isidore Newman High School and Tulane University, Williamson, 51, started out in investment banking and served as Vice President of Investments at Bear Stearns in Boston. He took the position of regional general manager at Cox Interactive Media in 1996, where his primary responsibility was growing Internet markets in several major cities, including New Orleans.

His accolades during his time with Idea Village have included a 2008 “Heroes of the Storm” award and in 2015 he was selected for inclusion in the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. His civic involvement includes serving on the boards of the Arts Council of New Orleans, French Quarter Festival, The City of New Orleans’ Tri-centennial Commission and the Center for American Entrepreneurship, among others.