A little about me:
I love my family and friends, journalism, reading, social media, being on the water, cats, dogs, cupcakes, beaches, warm sunshine and iced tea. I’ve lived across Michigan in Traverse City, Lansing, Ann Arbor and metro Detroit, as well as Chicago, Washington, D.C., Nashville and New Jersey. I’m a new mom in love with my daughter, Lucy, and her daddy, David.
About my career:
My journalism career has taken several twists and turns — I’ve been a reporter, a director of audience development, a digital news director and a top editor. But a few things have been consistent over time: I am passionate about digital innovation, overhauling our business models and connecting deeply with our audiences.
I’ve built my reputation on understanding the behaviors of people who consume news and coaching my teams to react, and cater to, their quickly changing needs.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you I love change, experimentation and iteration. I have a track record of audience growth, a strong background in training and coaching teams across the country on using analytics in news decision-making, and extensive experience managing and working on a real-time desk focused on responding to audience and planning/optimizing content.
As a business reporter at The Ann Arbor News, I helped launch a daily video show and trained other staffers in multimedia. After that I was part of the AnnArbor.com experiment during my time working for Advance Publications. Being part of a startup conceived to change the conversation about journalism and build an entirely new business model was exhilarating. I loved every minute of it. Joining the Detroit Free Press was a huge step in my career; I was hired there specifically to be a change agent and accelerate the newsroom’s transformation to a digital-focused operation. A big part of that was teaching the staff how to understand their readers in order to grow audience.
My time as the top editor at The Tennessean has had a similar theme: innovation with a focus on audience growth. I was part of a small group selected to serve on a Gannett-wide newsroom innovation team that built an extensive training program for journalists across the country. Shortly after, I was part of another team that devised a new organizational structure for our newsrooms; we launched that reorganization at four sites in July 2014 (including my newsroom in Nashville) and rolled it out to the rest of Gannett last fall. My time at The Tennessean and with TN Media was focused on experimentation, creating a culture that embraced change and was digitally-focused, and devising new methods of communication and interaction to reach diverse audiences.
I loved being able to create something ground-breaking at Advance and Gannett, putting platforms, programs and workflows into place that made major, positive impacts on the entire company.
Now, after 15 years as a local journalist, I spend my days helping other local journalists. As director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in New Jersey, my work is focused on growing and strengthening the local journalism ecosystem for the benefit of citizens. We do that through training, professional development, research, communication, product development, partnerships and collaboration. The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media; that means in addition to executing all of our programs, my role also involves fundraising and grant writing.
Last, I’m a fair and compassionate manager who loves coaching people, developing talent and building amazing teams. One of my recent direct reports gave me the best feedback I’ve ever received when he said: “When people have asked about my new job, I’ve been telling everyone how much I love my boss. You’ve been encouraging but still demanding. Enthusiastic but realistic.” That sums up exactly the kind of manager I strive to be.