Religion News Service welcomes Paul O’Donnell as interim managing editor

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Religion News Service, a news agency dedicated to secular coverage of religion, spirituality, culture and ethics, has appointed Paul O’Donnell as interim managing editor.

O’Donnell has served as editor for a variety of news organizations, including Newsweek, Condé Nast, CNBC, and Washingtonian magazine. He has also reported on politics, religion, and culture for national publications such as Huffington Post, Slate, Wired, Commonweal magazine, and others. In 2000, O’Donnell helped found the award-winning religion news and opinion website,, serving as one of the original channel editors. During his tenure, O’Donnell created the annual “Beliefnet at the Oscars” and “Beliefnet Book of the Year” franchises, as well as a virtual roundtable series. O’Donnell was later hired to reinvent and revive front-of-book at House & Garden and relaunched the magazine website, quadrupling the website’s traffic in six months. As an editor at CNBC, O’Donnell launched or relaunched multiple channels of the financial news organization’s website and oversaw daily news coverage for those sections.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Religion News Service interim managing editor,” said O’Donnell. “I look forward to lending my experience to this dedicated and award-winning organization.”

Based in Annapolis, Maryland, O’Donnell is the author of Man Up! 367 Classic Skills for the Modern Guy. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Chicago.

“Paul is a gifted editor who has covered religion and politics for years,” said G. Jeffrey MacDonald, interim Editor-in-Chief. “I look forward to working with him.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Paul to Religion News Service,” Tom Gallagher, RNS CEO & Publisher. “As we look to the future of both Religion News Service and religion journalism as a whole, Paul’s experience in supporting news organizations, particularly in developing new ways of engaging readers on important news topics, makes him a valuable addition to the RNS team.”


Religion News Service is an independent, nonprofit and award-winning source of global news on religion, spirituality, culture and ethics, reported by a staff of professional journalists. Founded in 1934, RNS seeks to inform readers with objective reporting and insightful commentary and is relied upon by secular and faith-based news organizations in a number of countries. RNS is affiliated with the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. For more information, visit