The Woman Behind Roger Ebert

Conversationalist 1: Laura Emerick

Conversationalist 2: Kelly McBride

Laura Emerick is the arts editor at the Chicago Sun Times. That means she’s the woman behind famed film critic Roger Ebert. She has been editing his work for 20 years.

She spends her work days doing more with less, and figuring out how she will catch up.

“Everybody wears many hats around here,” she said.

In addition to editing Ebert, she is the classical music reporter for the paper, covering the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. And, she’s the self-appointed Latin music and culture writer. That part of her job took on more significance when the paper’s Latin Affairs reporter went the way of down-sizing.

“Remember the Ed Sullivan Show with all the spinning plates?” she asks. Yeah, you get the idea.

Emerick gets the significance of the Internet. She’d like to start a blog. She’d love to get on Facebook. But she just doesn’t have the time.

She thinks about a buyout frequently. But she survived ovarian cancer in 2005 and the notion of going without medical insurance is a bit scary. For now, she figures she’ll stick around until Ebert quits.

She’s coming to the Newsecology Conference because she’s never been to Poynter and she’s hoping for some better ideas about balancing the demands of print and need to innovate on the web.

About Peggy Holman

Peggy Holman supports organizations and communities to uncover creative responses to complex challenges using innovative engagement processes. The Change Handbook, co-authored with Tom Devane and Steven Cady, documents many such processes. The book is the considered the definitive resource for leaders and consultants working to increase resilience, agility, and collaboration in organizations and other social systems. Peggy co-founded Journalism that Matters in 2001 with three journalists to support the pioneers who are shaping the emerging news and information ecology. Peggy’s latest book, Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity, supports people facing disruptions to invite others to join them in realizing new possibilities.
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