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Alumnus Spotlight: Joe Ragazzo, B.J., 2011

Delaney Murray
March 11, 2021
Joe Ragazzo
Joe Ragazzo, B.A., 2011, is the publisher of Talking Points Memo.

In the near decade since Joe Ragazzo graduated from Ohio University, he has been part of multiple newsrooms, and embraced not only a love for journalism, but living life to its fullest potential.

Ragazzo attended OU from 2006 to 2011, graduating with degrees in Philosophy and Journalism. He wrote for The Post during his time at OU, eventually serving as the Sports Editor and then eventually Editor in Chief. Prior to graduation, he interned at Bloomberg News, and rejoined the newsroom after graduation, all while couch surfing any place he could while working in Manhattan. He later joined the team at Dead Wire, where he covered finance. But he was not especially interested in always being a financial journalist. So, when he got lunch with a fellow OU alum, who informed him that there was a position open at Talking Points Memo, Ragazzo jumped at the chance to do something new.

After joining the team in 2012, Ragazzo has spent the last eight years working his way up in the TPM newsroom. He started as an assistant, where he balanced managing the company’s advertising revenue alongside running errands and getting coffee. Later, he managed development, design, and sales as the associate publisher, then oversaw the publishing and editorial teams as the deputy publisher. Now, as the publisher of TPM, he oversees the innerworkings entire company, from budget to tech.  

Most of all, Ragazzo enjoys that in his current position, he can guide others in the newsroom to do worthwhile work, and ensure that everyone is enjoying their time in the newsroom.

“I like being a resource to everyone and trying to put people in a position where they can get the most out of themselves,” Ragazzo said. “I’m fortunate to be at a company where our main focus isn’t to maximize profit. Our three goals are to do good journalism, be a good place to work, and the third is to make enough money to do those things. I try to ensure that TPM isn’t a transactional relationship and this job is more than just a paycheck.”

Ragazzo found his own passion for both work and life while he was in school, where he embraced the college lifestyle, bonding with friends in the dorms, appreciating the beauty of campus, and joining organizations like The Post. But Ragazzo didn’t start actively working and joining student organizations until his sophomore year. Before then, he enjoyed the experience of being a student, and took his time to make memories.  

“My first year was just unadulterated fun,” Ragazzo said. “Some people might think that’s a waste of time, but that first year really helped me adjust to everything. Just having an open mind and taking things as they come and not having a lot of regrets is the way to go.” 

Most of all, the biggest takeaway Ragazzo took away from his both professional work and academics as a Scripps student is the importance of always learning and being flexible, especially in an industry and world that is ever-changing.

“You have to continue educating yourself,” Ragazzo said. “I came out of OU thinking I was going to have to continue to be adaptable, because if you’re not, you’re not going to be employable, and you’re not going to enjoy life much. One of the great things about journalism is it lets you gather information and learn on your own, and that mindset stuck with me.”