Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Word just came in this morning, shortly after Jeremy Soffin's good-bye.
Adam Lisberg, a former New York Daily News Bureau Chief and Editor of City & State, will be the new MTA chief spokesman, making him responsible for the final word on the nation's largest transit system.
Lisberg joins the NY MTA after a period of turmoil precipitated by the sudden departure of former MTA Chief Jay Walder, who left his job for one in Hong Kong.
Walder was replaced by former Cablevision exec and former Giuliani Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota, one of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's most high-profile hires.
Early in his tenure (and even before he was confirmed by the Senate), Lhota had to swallow the bitter pill of losing some of the MTA payroll tax. The Governor has promised to backfill that funding in the state budget, due any day now, but advocates have charged it makes the MTA's future funding more uncertain.
Still, Lhota, a Republican, has been a scrappy chief in his first few months, advocating for more transit funding to his Republican allies in the U.S. Congress and in the statehouse.
His choice of Lisberg shows a savvy eye to one of the authority's biggest problems when it comes to securing that funding -- its poor public image.
Lisberg is a scrappy and savvy journalist who gets along with a wide variety of people -- kind of like his boss.
We look forward to working with him.
Here's the press release announcing his appointment.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced today the appointment of Adam Lisberg to the position of Director of External Communications, effective March 30th. In his new job, Lisberg will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the press office and for setting a communications agenda for the agency. He will also serve as the chief spokesman for MTA Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. Lhota, to whom he will report directly.
“Adam is an award-winning journalist who is joining us at an exciting time as we attempt to change both the operation and the image of the MTA. His talents and experience will be instrumental in shaping our message as we move forward,” Chairman Lhota said.
Lisberg's most recent assignment was editor of City & State, a newspaper and website covering New York government and politics. Known as an innovator with a keen editing eye, he revamped the look of the paper and beefed up its web presence, making City & State a must-read in political and government circles.
Immediately prior to that, he served as City Hall Bureau Chief for the New York Daily News, where he also wrote a weekly column. A newspaper veteran, Mr. Lisberg has also held reporting positions at The Record (Bergen County, NJ) and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. Lisberg resides, with his wife, in Downtown Brooklyn. He grew up in a suburb of Chicago and graduated from the University of Chicago.
“I’m excited to join an agency that plays such a crucial role in the New York City region, and to help the MTA deliver its message to the millions of people it serves across a wide range of media,” Lisberg said. “Mass transit is the lifeblood of New York City and the surrounding counties. As the MTA tackles enormous construction projects at a time of financial strain, I’m looking forward to helping the agency explain its challenges and its achievements to the millions of people who rely on it.”
He replaces Jeremy Soffin, who recently left the MTA to pursue a position in the private sector.