Leadership

I’ve managed creative people and complex projects for more than 20 years.

I thrive in a fast-paced environment with multiple deadlines. I most recently managed 35 copy editors, wire editors and designers who met daily, weekly and long-range deadlines while maintaining standards for quality, consistency and style.

I believe in setting high standards, articulating them well and providing support to help individuals and groups achieve those goals.

Among the tools I have used for success:

Recruiting, hiring and advancing individuals.

  • The Internet is a wonderful aid to recruiting and I have used online contacts extensively to find top candidates. In my time as a supervisor at the Austin American-Statesman, I hired more than 30 editors, designers, interns and part-timers. I also took pride in encouraging growth and leadership among those on my staff. Subsequently, a high percentage of my staff went on to positions of greater responsibility in the organization.

Training, cross-training and fostering efficiencies.

  • I instituted a variety of training opportunities for my department and the entire newsroom. Often, there were no better trainers than those already on my staff. From Search Engine Optimization to caption writing to  refresher tips for designers, my staff created and delivered training that improved our quality of work. Cross-training was especially important as downsizing became the norm. Copy editors were trained to design pages and vice-versa.

Setting high standards and implementing polices to maintain them.

  •  When I moved into an executive management position within the newsroom, I found that many policies were conveyed primarily by word of mouth. I saw that it would be much more efficient to provide a repository of policy. I initiated a production desk Wiki containing Statesman style and desk policies. I facilitated the regular production of the newsroom “Tip Sheet” to share style advice, training guides, and celebration of the editing craft. I produced memos, cheat sheets and posters to reinforce important information.

From my last evaluation at the Statesman,  quoting a direct supervisor:

“Sandra Kleinsasser is one of the strongest leaders in the newsroom. She is an experienced and passionate journalist. She cares about the paper, its websites and her staff. She is engaged in the news process and has sound news judgment. Sandra is organized and pragmatic, and she anticipates more often than she reacts. She makes good, reasoned decisions. She takes the initiative to make things better.”