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Editor&Publisher's '25 under 35' LMA Members
Michael Reneau, 28
The Greeneville Sun/
Even though so much about
our industry is in flux, our
core purpose will always be
needed. People will always
need information about their
communities. People will always be willing to read grip-
ping, entertaining and thoughtful writing. They’ll always be
drawn to interesting photographs and visuals.
The trick now is to make your work stand out to readers
and media consumers. Every word, every photograph,
every bit of information has to justify its existence to your
audience. The good stuff stands out, and readers know that.
Brandi Rivera, 32
chief financial officer
Santa Barbara, Calif.
It may not sound like encourage-
ment, but I would remind pub-
lishers that the best thing about
numbers is that they do not lie. By
tracking numbers and revenue, you can see trends and use
the data when planning. If your traditional print revenue is
declining, find ways to diversify your revenue with special
publications, digital products, etc. because the second best
thing about numbers is that it doesn’t matter what revenue
line they are on, they all contribute to your total revenue,
sometimes even with better margins. When it comes to
numbers, don’t get bogged down in the statistics themselves;
focus on ways to increase the revenue coming in and reduce
the expenses going out.
Brandi Rivera photo and illustration by Paul Wellman
Robert Rivera, 35
We have always been so competi-
tive to the point that we wouldn’t
consider the option of partnering
with other newspapers. I have
seen a lot of change in this mind-
set. More and more newspapers are partnering with others
for their distribution needs. Since we all have the same
goals and objectives, we are stronger as a unit. I would
imagine we will see more coordination in the future.
Jolene Sherman, 34
media sales director
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis, Mo.
The most obvious challenge
in advertising sales is revenue
growth and finding solutions to
make growth possible. Helping
my team members achieve their
individual goals, and subsequently ensuring our clients’
goals are met, is my number one responsibility. Thus,
when our clients grow, we grow.
A mentor of mine once said that the best sales people
are naturally inquisitive, and that is so true. As the media
landscape continues to fragment, ensuring our clients are
confident in our products and strategy is essential. To be
confident you have the right solution, you must first really
understand the problem.
We have to use data to recognize trends and identify new
strategies. What worked yesterday may not work today.
I challenge myself and my team to re-imagine our tech-
niques and our approach. This is especially necessary as
we strive to stand out amongst our competition and
grow new business.
Melissa Turqman, 24
manager, Whip It Media
Learn your business and product
inside and out. Become the most
valuable player by understand-
ing every facet of your company.
From sales to editorial to market-
ing to accounting, every department of your company is
a constituent component of a delicate ecosystem with a
vital symbiotic relationship. Do not look at problems as a
roadblock, but a chance to gain valuable experience and
an opportunity to improve.
Learn as much as you can from your team members who
have worked in this business and apply those practices
in your career. Lastly, never lose your hunger, drive and
dedication. You must love what you do to be successful.
Natalia Wiita, 33
Lincoln Journal Star/
Embrace innovation. It’s a great
time to be a young professional
in our industry as we get to help
mold the future of the business. Whether developing a
new product or solution for our clients, building a new
events division, or launching a full service advertising
agency, we have the benefit of leveraging the large, local
audience that we reach to help diversify our product mix
and client solutions. Think big and don’t grow too com-
fortable always doing what you’ve always done.
Mike Williams, 34
managing editor of
curator of Artsnownc.
com, The News &
Raleigh, N.C .
Be an innovator and look to evolve constantly; don’t get
stuck in the traditional ideas of how the industry has pro-
duced news. You must be vocal and lead the newsroom
in the direction of how your peers consume news. Never
forget your mission is to provide the necessary informa-
tion for your community to thrive and make informed
decisions about their lives.
Mike Williams photo by Juli Leonard
Never forget your mission
is to provide the necessary
information for your community
to thrive and make informed
decisions about their lives.
It’s a great time to be a young
professional in our industry
as we get to help mold
the future of the business.
Learn your business
inside and out.
Michael and his wife, Julie
Jolene and her husband,
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