Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Stefanie Anderson, Vice President, Production, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Stefanie Anderson, Vice President, Production, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill

Article excerpt

No one has to tell Stefanie Anderson that she entered a boys' club when she steered her career toward newspaper production. Even as recently as 10 years ago, she notes, there were few female leaders in operations. What she can't figure out is why.

"It's such a fascinating field, I don't know why it was typically a male-dominated area," she says.

Anderson got into newspapers more or less by chance. "I was in college in California, and looking for a part-time, early-morning job," she recalls. "And newspapers were just about the only place with that kind of a job, besides flipping pancakes at Mickey D's or something." The road to VP/production for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago began with a job in The Fresno (Calif.) Bee's circulation customer service department.

Chance might have helped put Anderson into newspaper operations, but it plays no role on the job. "You can count on Stef, especially in forecasting," says Daily Herald President and CEO Doug Ray. "In this business, with so many dollars tied up in raw materials, to miss that forecast by even a little bit makes a big difference. But she never misses. She essentially nails it every time."

While Anderson, 43, was establishing her newspaper career in California, the Paddock family-owned Daily Herald was turning what had been a thrice-weekly focused only on Arlington Heights, Ill., into the full-service daily that became the state's third-largest and fastest-growing newspaper. She arrived just after the Daily Herald green-lighted the biggest capital investment in its history -- building a $50 million production plant and installing two MAN Roland Regioman presses.

Working under Bob Finch, who retired at the end of 2004, Anderson was a key player in vetting presses and making a final recommendation. "My part in the move over to the new plant was more logistical and operational," she says.

Designed to suggest the architectural style of Illinois native Frank Lloyd Wright, the graceful Daily Herald plant houses equipment that, while new and reliable, is no longer all state-of-the-art.

"We were on the brink of so many huge technological breakthroughs" when the Daily Herald was building and equipping the plant, Anderson says. …

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