Early on, Judi Terzotis had a front-row seat for a master class on leadership. While studying at the University of Tennessee, she interned for legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Head Summitt, who made a significant impact on the type of leader Judi aspired to be. She spent the majority of her career with the Gannett Company rising to regional president over Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In 2018, she joined Georges Media Group and now serves as publisher for The Times-Picayune, Advocate, Acadiana Advocate and NOLA.com.
Here Judi shares an innovative idea that led to a new revenue stream, what she’s most proud of in her career and the future of news media.
How did you choose your career?
After college I worked for an ad agency in Nashville and then a radio station as a copy editor outside of Savannah, Georgia. I was recruited by the newspaper publisher, and I fell in love with the business. I felt a real connection to the mission of our industry and the ability to help a community thrive. What we do is unique and offers the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our readers and business partners.
Anything about the industry that’s surprised you?
My biggest surprise – and delight – is that I still love this business as much as I did when I first started. OK, maybe even more. I find such joy in working with the smart, talented team at our company. I’ve been blessed with teams throughout my career who have inspired me.
Share an initiative that helped your company innovate?
During Covid, we produced an ambitious virtual event called Mardi Gras for All, Y’All. We literally brought Mardi Gras to the world over a three-night broadcast that totaled nine hours and over 100 segments of content. The broadcast was viewed by more than 2 million people worldwide. It was a tremendous amount of work, but it positioned our company to grow a new revenue stream.
How has AAM supported your company?
As a privately held company, AAM gives us a level playing field and helps us compete.
What in your career are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the incredible people I’ve been able to work side by side with to grow our business. I love mentoring staff, and it gives me great joy to watch them grow and succeed.
What piece of advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Learn all parts of the business. Collaboration is the key to success. Those who understand the company’s priorities and work adeptly across departments set themselves apart.
What word describes your company?
Where do you see the industry in 10 years?
Smaller, yet more relevant than ever. I believe the companies that obsess about their audience and are adept at change will succeed.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy running, traveling and spending time with my family – especially our grandchildren.
What is one goal you would like to achieve?
I’d like to continue to grow the number of journalists in our company.