Akili Franklin is the director of news management at Hearst Television. In her current role, Franklin identifies news professionals for leadership positions across the company’s news division. She also oversees the Fred Young Hearst Television Producing Fellowship program. Previously, Franklin served as news director for the Hearst Television-owned station, WYFF—the #1 local news station in Greenville, S.C. While at WYFF, Franklin’s news team earned a prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Award in 2022 among other accomplishments including multiple Emmy, AP, and station of the year award from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association.

Prior to WYFF, she served as news director at Hearst Television’s WDSU-TV in New Orleans from 2016-2020. Under her leadership, WDSU News thrived and, in 2017, became the #1 local newscast across several dayparts and earned multiple Emmy, AP, and Louisiana Association of Broadcasters awards. Her team at WDSU was also nationally recognized in 2018 with the Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News.

Before WDSU, Franklin held several other roles within Hearst Television including assistant news director at WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama, along with prior positions at WYFF, as news producer and later executive producer. She first joined Hearst Television in 2004 as a news producer at Hearst’s WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Franklin is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2021, she was named a Riley Fellow of South Carolina-based Furman University Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, joining a network of South Carolinians that includes corporate CEOs, legislators, superintendents, religious and nonprofit heads, and business and community leaders. She’s also received a Jefferson Award for Public Service in connection with being designated a public-service ChangeMaker by the national nonprofit organization Multiplying Good.

Franklin holds a degree in mass communications from Hampton University and currently lives in New Orleans, LA.