Judi Terzotis is the president and publisher of The Times-Picayune | Advocate | NOLA.com. She joined Georges Media Group in 2018 from Gannett Co., Inc., where she spent the majority of her 30-year career in the media business. She rose from the ranks from a sales consultant to regional publisher overseeing eight markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
In 2022, she was named Editor & Publisher Magazine’s Publisher of the Year and The Baton Rouge Business Report’s Businessperson of the Year. In 2023, she joined the Local Media Association board of directors, and shares responses here to five questions from the LMA team.
How has the local media industry transformed since you started working in it?
I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and it’s changed dramatically. On the business side, we’ve been reliant on advertising and consumer revenue to fund our journalism for decades. Now, it’s imperative that we create a three-pronged approach that includes philanthropy. On the audience side, the proliferation of information sources and platforms makes it more difficult to grow audience share.
What initiatives or areas of focus do you think will have the most positive impact on your organization’s future — especially those on which you’re working?
We’ve doubled down on philanthropy and have grown the number of grant-funded reporters from four in 2020 to 14 in 2023. We’ll continue to place a high priority on augmenting our reporting staff through philanthropy. We’ve also spun up an in-house video team to drive incremental revenue through live broadcasts, programmed shows and video production.
What is the biggest challenge facing the local media industry today?
The growing number of news deserts. It’s staggering the number of newspapers that have closed in the past five years.
What do you think is the biggest opportunity for the local media industry?
A few things — to have philanthropy be an established and sustainable way to fund reporting strength, and to work as an industry to get legislation passed that supports our work.
Why are you excited to join the board?
I’m excited to learn from the best in the business and be a part of shaping strategies to help our industry thrive.