I Am USA Today Network President Maribel Wadsworth, and This Is How I Work.

Twenty-two years ago, Maribel Perez Wadsworth joined Gannett ‘s Rockford Register Star , focusing on agriculture in Illinois. Now, as President of Gannett’s USA Today Network and Associate Publisher of USA Today, she oversees a long list of local and national newspapers. Along the way, she served as Gannett’s Chief Strategy Officer and VP of Audience Development and Engagement. We talked to her about her daily routine, work habits and how she measures success.

Location: McLean, Virginia. Current position: President, USA Today Network and Associate Publisher of USA Today. One word that best describes how you work: Intentionally Actual mobile device: iPhone Current computer: MacBook Pro

First of all, tell us a little about your past and how you got where you are now.

I am a girl born and raised in Miami, including studying journalism at California State University before starting my career at the Associated Press in Miami . My then-fiancee was a reporter-host in Rockford, Illinois, and after a year of long-distance romance, I took a leap of faith and moved there – the best decision I have ever made. Twenty-two years later, I am still married to him – and it just so happens that I first joined Gannette at the Rockford Register Star , covering the rhythm of agriculture (see the aforementioned Leap of Faith).

After a couple of years in the Midwest, I had the opportunity to return to Florida to work as a reporter for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. We loved the community and was fortunate enough to work in a dynamic newsroom with great leaders who gave me many opportunities to grow as a journalist. When I left in 2009, I was Digital Managing Editor, a role that led me to become the Digital News Leader, leading digital content strategy for local newsrooms at Gannett Community Publishing in the US.

In this role, I led cross-sectoral initiatives that helped me explore our operations, unleash a passion for protecting and developing the business side of journalism, which ultimately led me to my current position.

As the newly appointed President of the USA Today Network, I oversee a diverse portfolio of some of the nation’s top news brands, including USA Today and 109 local media companies, as well as a growing number of niche brands such as Grateful, a lifestyle collection. websites dedicated to cooking, beauty, style and fitness.

Tell us about a recent work day.

One of the best things about my job is that it changes every day. It’s a recent Monday.

4 a.m. The alarm rings and I hesitantly reach for the phone, regretting not sleeping to watch Game 2 NLCS when I have to catch my flight at 6 a.m. I curse my love of baseball when I wake up, and then by 4:30 am I jump to collect my things, shower and run out the door.

7:15 am – Arrive at LaGuardia and head to our first meeting of the day at our branding agency for the latest work on developing a new brand campaign for the Web.

10:30 AM – Arrive at my Midtown office to prepare for the weekly National Sales Team meeting where I present an updated strategy for our IT department and introduce the CEO of Grateful Ventures, our new major investment in the lifestyle brand space.

After a couple of short one-on-one conversations with the New York City team, I take the bus back to Washington, where I end my day with a weekly meeting with the CEO, and then spend a couple of hours reviewing materials ahead of the board meeting. the next day.

And I’m home by seven or so, just in time for dinner and e-mails while watching The Voice. (I adore all reality talent shows like this because I have no artistic talent to talk about, but I really admire those who do it.)

22.30 – I understand that I fell asleep on the couch, and now I am already asleep. I survived to fight another day.

What apps, gadgets or tools can’t you live without?

Of course, my cell phone. It almost became an extension of my hand. He is always there, or I start to twitch. Favorite apps include Waze and Headspace and of course USA Today .

How is your workplace arranged?

As long as I have my laptop, phone, and a cup of caffeine, I can pretty much work anywhere and do it, often at 30,000 feet in the air. When I work outside the office, I have the added benefit of family photos and a comfy sofa.

What’s your best time-saver or life hack?

Family meal plan. Table of 30-minute dinners from which each family member chooses a menu for one night. We choose Sunday so that I can buy the appropriate groceries. Just two rules: don’t choose what someone else has done, and don’t complain about what someone else has chosen. Saves time and stress and is generally healthier than other time-saving alternatives.

How do you keep track of what you need to do?

Old-fashioned to-do lists made with pen and paper. There is something overwhelmingly enjoyable about crossing something off a list. Plus, I would be lost without the Outlook calendar.

How do you replenish? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Cooking, spending time on the beach and walking with my husband and our boys. When it all comes together at the same time … this is my version of heaven.

What are you reading now or what do you recommend?

I made it my mission to read 25 books this year. In the last few weeks of the year, I definitely need to do something. Now I am reading “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles, I really liked his Rules of Politeness . One of my favorites of late is reading this Jeannette Walls of the Glass Castle game , the heart-wrenching memoir of one family coping with mental illness. ( Yes, I have an English lit-major in me.)

Fill in the blank: I would like _____ to answer these same questions.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

That you can be good at everything, but not at all at the same time, is especially good advice for women. Being the perfect mom, the perfect wife, and the perfect employee is a huge pressure. Well, forget about being perfect … it’s not easy even being good at all of these things most of the time, let alone all of them at the same time. It’s important to measure your progress in small increments, focusing on your day-to-day success and keeping everything else in perspective. No one can be incredible in every aspect of their life every second of every day. Appreciate the moment, even, maybe especially when it is teaching.

What else would you like to add that might be of interest to readers and fans?

We all need more sleep. The world would become a much less grumpy place. ☺


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