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Anchor and Producer Leadership: Truth and Trust in the Digital Age
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Anchor and Producer Leadership: Truth and Trust in the Digital Age

7/10/2019 to 7/12/2019
When: 1:00 PM
Where: University of Loyola Chicago Water Tower Campus
Chicago, Illinois  60611
United States
Presenter: Scott Libin & Jill Geisler
Contact: Karen Hansen

Online registration is closed.
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Join highly experienced broadcast news trainers Jill Geisler and Scott Libin and their guest faculty members, including two special guest keynotes, for two and a half days of hands-on local news leadership training presented by RTDNA and Loyola University Chicago School of Communication. The 2019 summit is designed for Radio and Television Producers and Anchors and Digital Producers. Join us and walk away with teamwork, coaching and leadership skills.

Cost: Tuition is $295 for non-members. Join to save - tuition is $249 for RTDNA members. 

Bring your colleagues: Tuition is just $199 for additional attendees from your newsroom.

Schedule  |  Hotel 


  • Boyd Huppert, KARE11 (Keynote)
  • Angela Davis Drew, MPR News (Keynote)
  • Susan Ramsett, VP & GM, KWQC-TV6
  • Terence Shepherd, News Director, WLRN News
  • Chip Mahaney, News Director, WCPO-TV
  • Tracy Davidson, Anchor, WCAU-TV
  • Andrea Stahlman, News Director & veteran Producer/EP, WLKY
  • Richelle Rogers, Loyola University Chicago professor and veteran network producer
  • Steve Ackermann, former news executive
  • Steve Edwards, Chicago Public Media, WBEZ (Chief Content Officer)


Wednesday July 10

1pm | Welcome

1:30-2:30pm  |  Anchors and Producers: Powerful Partnerships in the Digital Age

Behind the scenes, off the air and offline, anchors, producers, digital producers and EPs play critical roles in editorial decision-making and performance management. This session focuses on practical application of the skills that effective newsroom leaders need to do their best work and to inspire the best work from others.   

Led by Sue Ramsett, Tracy Davidson, Terence Shepherd, Richelle Rogers, Steve Edwards, and Andrea Stahlman

2:45-4:15pm  |  Breaking News: Leading on All Platforms

When it's all hands on deck and the adrenaline is flowing, how do newsroom leaders produce performance at the highest level while keeping collateral damage to a minimum?

Led by Steve Ackerman, Richelle Rogers, Steve Edwards and, Andrea Stahlman

4:30-5:45pm  |  Social Media #1: Smart Strategies to Learn - and Coach

Some of the best in the business share their secrets for social strategies, managing a personal brand and growing your news team’s social media engagement.

Led by Chip Mahaney and Tracy Davidson

5:45pm Quick look ahead


Thursday July 11

8:30am  |  Continental Breakfast

9-10am |  Angela Davis Drew: Your Leadership Voice

Angela Davis spent the first chapter of her broadcast career in television. Now she’s moved from TV anchor to radio host. But whatever her medium, she’s committed to using her voice for good. The host of MPR News with Angela Davis presents a keynote on leading – from wherever you are.

10:00am Break

10:15-11:45am  |  Conflict Resolution and Tough Conversations in the Newsroom

Difficult conversations are a part of every newsroom – even the healthiest ones. How do you handle tough talks and still have positive outcomes? How do you avoid needless conflict? We will give you first-hand experience in how to do them right.

Led by Jill Geisler

11:45am-1:15pm Lunch Break

1:15-2:45pm  |  Upgrade That Writing - as a Coach

Kick the "fixing" habit. Learn how to build skills, confidence and a culture of quality journalism.

Led by Scott Libin and Jill Geisler

2:45pm Break

3-4:30pm  |  Social Media #2: Smart and Safe Strategies

Social media is such a key part of today’s newsrooms, that we’re offering a second session with out experts. This time, sharing secrets for successful social strategies and staying safe when engaging online.

Led by Chip Mahaney and Tracy Davidson

4:30-5:45pm |   Brain Trust Breakout Sessions

What’s on your mind? Let’s gather in small groups to focus on your interests. Our faculty is standing by to facilitate!

Small group sessions to share production and on-air tips and tricks for:

  • Powerful Interviews (Richelle Rogers, Steve Edwards)
  • Safety and Security (Steve Ackerman)
  • Producing Tips and Tricks (Andrea Stahlman and Terence Shepherd)
  • On-air Tips and Tricks (Tracy Davidson)
  • Social Media Coaching (Chip Mahaney)
  • Managing the Boss (Sue Ramsett)

Plus additional topics as needed and determined by attendees.

5:45 Quick look ahead


Friday July 12

8:30am  |  Continental Breakfast

9-11am  |  Boyd Huppert: Capturing and Coaching Powerful Stories

Murrow awards, Emmy awards, state and local honors – KARE-TV’s Boyd Huppert has more than most journalists can dream of. His stories are compelling – and the product of thoughtful writing and decision-making.  This master reporter teaches what it takes to not only create but coach memorable stories – step by step – in this keynote session.

11am Break

11:15am-12:30pm  |  Covering Communities - Close Up and in Context

Local news is more important today than ever. But does every potential member of your audience feel their stories are being told? When the news comes on, do they feel included – and covered meaningfully. We share strategies to engage with all corners of your community.

Led by Steve Edwards and Terence Shepherd

12:30-1:45pm  |  Lunch Open Forum

Led by 2018 alums Lauren Schmoll Wood and Mary Stoker Smith

1:45pm Break

2-3:30pm  |  Workplace Integrity: Leading in a Happy, Ethical, Diverse, Harassment-free Culture

The media industry was rocked by #MeToo scandals recently – and it raised many important issues about power, culture, civility and trust. Fortunately, there have been strong, positive responses. We’ll talk about how to not only lead, but to be an ally who ensures that your teammates are able to do their best work.

Led by Jill Geisler, Sue Ramsett, Scott Libin and Terence Shepherd

3:30-4pm  |  Wrap Up

Led by Scott Libin and Jill Geisler



RTDNA/RTDNF has secured a limited block of rooms at the AC Hotel Chicago Downtown.  We encourage summit participants to take advantage of the discounted rate, close proximity to the training location and opportunity to stay near colleagues and new connections.  Book your rooms soon - we do expect this block to sell out!


AC Hotel Chicago Downtown

0.3 mile (8 minute) walk from the Loyola University Chicago Water Tower Campus

Group Rate: $192.00

Block closes June 19, 2019 or as soon as sold out. 


Book through the block to receive:

Complimentary internet in guest rooms

Double Marriott Rewards Points

10 scholarships toward tuition, travel and lodging are available thanks to the Knight Foundation for journalists of color or working in small markets. Applications are closed and accepted applicants have been notified as of May 22.


Knight Foundation

Thanks to our media partners for helping us spread the word.




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