Marie Claire profiles top five female news producers

Marie Claire (via NetNewsCheck)

The monthly magazine has picked five female news producers to profile. From the three major networks and CNN, these “women who run the show” share their accomplishments, nightmares, and stories behind the story.

“Meet the Press” executive producer Betsy Fischer describes her proudest accomplishment:

Navigating the transition that the program went through after the untimely death of longtime moderator Tim Russert three years ago. I had worked closely with him for 17 years — I’ve been with “Meet the Press” ever since college — and it was very difficult emotionally to go through that personal and professional loss while producing the show every week. But I knew that Tim would want us to move forward and “go get ‘em,” as he would say.

Katie Nelson Thomson, senior broadcast producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight” and former Barbara Walters producer, describes an early “get”:

I arranged the first interview with John and Patsy Ramsey after their daughter JonBenet was found dead in their basement. In my research, I discovered that much of what has been said and written about the Ramseys was completely untrue.

“48 Hours Mystery” field producer Kristin Whiting explains the worst part of her job:

Meeting people in such pain. Like anyone, I am not without vulnerabilities. I felt that covering the school shooting in Columbine might break me. It was my fourth school shooting in short order, and after 10 days in Denver, I couldn’t bear the thought of spending another day among what I call the “ghosts” of the community — an entire town destroyed by tragedy and grief. I went home to remind everyone in my life how much I love them, then flew back to Colorado two days later.

Santina Leuci, senior editorial producer of “Good Morning America,” lives the morning show wars:

I get the best phone calls: One day the Atlanta police called to say they were arresting one of my bookers who was trying to woo a guest from another morning show — while the show was actually on the air, on location in downtown Atlanta. Another producer got locked in a basement by a competitor and couldn’t get out. Another snuck into a competitor’s studio and made off with the world’s fattest cat, and its owner.

Subrata De, senior producer of “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams,” describes what she is proudest of:

There are times, like when I’m strapping on my body armor in Afghanistan or getting ready to shoot an interview with Brian and President Obama, that I feel awfully proud to be doing this job as a woman of color and as a person with a disability. I was born without a left hand, and while it really is a nonissue for me, I’d like to give myself a little pat on the back for having come this far in a job that deals a lot in first impressions, and can also get pretty physical out in the field.

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  • Poynter

    Thanks, I’m glad to hear that. –Julie

  • JH

    I have not noticed this and like all of Romenesko’s content, regardless of who posts it.

  • Poynter

    Thanks for raising this question. Last April, Jim Romenesko took his first real vacation in years, and Steve Myers and I filled in for him. Jim liked the result and felt it strengthened the blog to have some select voices covering a different domain within journalism, including some new sources and subjects. The freedom from some daily aggregation (which we picked up) also enabled Jim to do the original reporting he missed. We have continued to contribute since then, to varying degrees, and Jim has increasingly done original reporting, so the blog remains the industry’s dominant provider of the most interesting journalism news of the day. In the four months since we shifted approach, yours is the first negative comment I’ve received. So, I’m interested in your feedback on this and in what other people think. Quantitatively, we’ve seen more audience, more page views and more social sharing of content since adjusting our approach. –Julie Moos, Director of Poynter Online

  • Anonymous

    Serious question, not meant as an insult: the entries under “Romenesko” that are written by people other than Jim Romenesko almost never seem like they fit in with the blog. Why have you taken to doing this? This kind of material might be worthy of publication elsewhere on, but it simply doesn’t belong in this blog. To me, anyway, it seems clumsy and it mucks up the experience. Can you explain the thinking behind doing this?