Damian Benders, Eric Adams, Dan Coughlin

New York, NY, Jul 25, 2023- Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), a leading non-profit organization empowering community voices through public access media and education, announced the planned departure this fall of its President & CEO, Dan Coughlin and the beginning of the search for a new leader. 

“Dan’s contributions to MNN and community media have been tremendous,” said MNN Board Chair Damian Benders. “From dramatically expanding MNN’s media production and education services, particularly in Upper Manhattan, to securing historic funding agreements and building out two state-of-the-art facilities, Dan has established MNN as a national leader in empowering diverse voices and providing cutting-edge media access to working-class communities.”

During his 17-year tenure, Dan led a team that tripled facility usage, nearly doubled the number of community access cable TV channels, cultivated programmatic relationships with more than 130 community partners, and cemented MNN’s role as the largest media education organization in New York City. Specific highlights include the 2012 opening of the MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center on East 104th St., fulfilling a promise to provide access to cutting-edge media technologies in Upper Manhattan. In 2019, MNN won a precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case, protecting the First Amendment rights of independent, nonprofit public access TV centers, and has been cited in cases involving other independent media groups.

Most recently, MNN unveiled a flagship emerging media center in midtown Manhattan, inaugurated by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, and City Council members Shaun Abreu and Erik Bottcher. The opening of the new facility was also timed with the launch of MNN’s new education expansion, the NYC Center for Media Education.

Damian Benders, Eric Adams, Dan Coughlin
MNN Board Chair Damian Benders, Mayor of the City of New York Eric Adams, and MNN President & CEO Dan Coughlin.
Photo by Rowena Husbands.

"MNN has made tremendous strides in expanding local access to media tools and services, reaching more people in more ways than ever before in the history of the community media movement,” said Coughlin, emphasizing the key role played by a visionary Board, dedicated and skilled staff, as well as a broader community media movement in New York City and nationwide. “It's been an incredible journey, and I'm grateful to have been a part of it."

MNN Board Chair Damian Benders noted that with the recent completion of MNN’s midtown facility, “MNN finds itself well-positioned to continue to deliver on its promise to serve independent media makers as an emerging media arts & education center.“ 

As MNN enters its next chapter, the Board of Directors has engaged the renowned search firm Phillips Oppenheim to conduct a comprehensive search for a new CEO. The search process will remain open until the position is filled, with no interim CEO designated. 

“MNN is committed to finding a leader who will build upon Dan’s accomplishments, steer the organization toward continued growth, and uphold its mission of amplifying diverse voices and fostering an inclusive media landscape,” said Benders.

For further information or to apply please visit:

Phillips Oppenheim 

About Manhattan Neighborhood Network:
Established in 1992, Manhattan Neighborhood Network is a media learning, production, and distribution hub that promotes creative expression, independent voices and community engagement, empowering local voices & diverse views.

For more information about MNN and its programs, to become a community producer, or to register for a class, please visit www.mnn.org.