May 1st, 2016

“It’s hard to take a hit for your decisions, but this is the path I’ve chosen as a leader and a journalist – to make Washington a better place to live ” – Doug Fruehling

It’s not every day that you get to interview a leading journalist in Washington DC and especially not to have such a frank, authentic conversation caught on tape! In this revealing, insightful interview Doug Fruehling, the editor of the Washington Business Journal, opens up about what it’s like to be a leader who doesn’t always feel like he has all the answers. Doug admits he periodically struggles with self-doubt, shyness, decision-making and confidence, but yet chooses to make bold, sometimes unpopular decisions anyway and stick with his principles!

What You’ll Learn

  • How living in Japan as a child informed Doug’s perspective on the world and leadership
  • Importance of learning from diverse people we meet through all walks of life
  • How Doug’s deals with criticism, including for his bold decision to exclude football team’s name “Redskins” from print in the Washington Business Journal
  • Importance of being an authentic, sincere and honest leader with staff and readers (or other constituents if you’re not a journalist)
  • Greatest challenges of leading a news room and being a journalist today
  • How to bring heart and humanity to interactions with others and balance journalistic truth and empathy
  • How to keep employees positive and motivated when they have to do so much more with much less
  • What Mid-West farmers and DC CEOs have in common
  • What it’s been like for Doug to be a gay man in the professional world and constantly decide how to navigate questions about his personal life
  • Super fun responses to my WBJ-style questions about Doug’s guilty pleasures, favorite pet and what he’d do if he weren’t the editor of the WBJ! 

Links & Resources

About Doug Fruehling

Doug has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Business Journal since 2009. He oversees all editorial content and leads a 20-person newsroom at the WBJ, which produces daily online news coverage of the local D.C. business scene and a weekly print publication. Prior to the WBJ, Doug was the managing editor of Roll Call and before that the managing editor of the WBJ (yes, it’s his second time around!) He began his career at Peoria Journal Star that you’ll hear about in the interview. Doug has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University and went to high school in Japan. Doug is quite involved in the DC community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Greater Washington.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share with friends –thank you so much!


  1. Alvin Carlos comment:

    Fascinating to hear Doug’s struggle with self-confidence. I did not expect that from a well-respected, established leader. It inspires me to be less hard on myself, and reminds me of the importance of taking things one step at a time.

  2. margarita comment:

    Alvin, I’m glad that’s what you took away from this interview! I think we all judge ourselves against the glowing images most people project on social media, which is why I’m so grateful to leaders like Doug for authentically sharing their struggles. We can all relate and learn from this openness. Thank you for listening!

Leave a Comment

Incite International