In the 1960s, it often took days before video from major events was aired to Americans, and in the 1970s, women like Barbara Walters finally broke into the old boys’ club that was primetime broadcast news. In the 1980s, newsrooms incorporated computers, and in the ’90s, hard-hitting journalism and salacious news stories became mainstream. Nowadays, we don’t need to tune into primetime since we have tweets and notifications and emails and all sorts of apps to keep us in the loop so we never miss a juicy nugget of info.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 25 Percent
My heart sank when iconic actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away this January. The Mary Tyler Moore Show inked its own full page in the history books for challenging long-held stereotypes by depicting a 30-something, single career woman breaking ground in a 1970s newsroom. But behind the scenes, things were a little less innovative since the show’s writers’ room included only about 25 percent women. However, the show’s lead writer was a woman, and she was the first solo female writer to win an Emmy for comedy writing. I think it’s time for all of us to cancel our weekend plans, grab that knitted beret and embrace some inspiration by binge-watching all seven seasons of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
WOMEN TO WATCH: Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, Co-founders of theSkimm
Speaking of newsworthy women unapologetically breaking through barriers, today we’re talking about our go-to source for news on the go, theSkimm, and its innovative co-founders, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg.
These ladies are nothing if not professional storytellers, and a quick glance at their resumes—which are littered with writing, producing, editing and researching credits from some of the most well-known media outlets around—and it becomes clear that Carly and Danielle are major breaking-news junkies with some serious cred.
Danielle grew up watching 60 Minutes with her family every Sunday evening, while Carly devoured The Today Show every single morning of her childhood. Staying informed became an important part of their routines, planting a seed that would eventually bud into careers in the news business.
As such, their friends, who were often starved for news but didn’t have a lot of time to invest in reading a daily newspaper from front to back, would look to Carly and Danielle as their go-to sources for all the good scoops. This led to a light-bulb moment and prompted Danielle and Carly to quit their jobs and launch the Daily Skimm, a quippy, daily roundup of what’s going on in the world that’s specifically targeted to women ages 22 to 34. After sending every one of their contacts and Facebook friends a launch announcement, about 800 signed up for theSkimm. In just a few minutes, subscribers learn about important international and domestic events, and get to indulge in a few pop-culture guilty pleasures.
Carly and Danielle aren’t interested in getting the entire world to read theSkimm (even though more than 5 million people subscribe!). Rather, their main goal is to produce a well-executed product with a point of view. Due to their loyal audience, their ambassador community—adorably called the Skim’bassadors program—was a natural next step. The program enables Skimm’rs to represent theSkimm in their local communities and help the site grow through word-of-mouth.
Last year, Carly and Danielle also launched an app called Skimm Ahead, which integrates must-know events with users’ calendars. And next on the horizon, theSkimm co-founders are going to start blowing up the video realm with Skimm Studios.
Danielle and Carly demonstrate that two women on a mission can and will make a serious impact. In fact, they’re responsible for registering nearly 95,000 women to vote. theSkimm for the win!
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg in mind, I’ll leave you today with one of my all-time favorite quotes by Amy Poehler:
“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind learning.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. So share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.