Q&A with Stacy Owen, NBC Bay Spot and Telemundo 48 chief

Stacy Owen, president and common supervisor of San Jose-dependent NBC Bay Area (KNTV) and Telemundo 48 (KSTS ), is a “silver lining sort of particular person.”

That explains how she’s in a position to maintain an upbeat attitude through this ultra-demanding 12 months. On the as well as aspect, the community television market knowledgeable a 75 percent increase in night-newscast viewership as the coronavirus crisis took maintain.

But the pandemic also introduced on economic hardships for many of the firms who fuel regional television with promotion bucks. And it forced the postponement of the Summer time Olympics — historically a blockbuster promotional platform for NBC and its local stations.

Nevertheless, Owen insists, “I’m not targeted on what we really do not have correct now. … I try to find the positives.”

Owen honed that tactic all through what she phone calls an “Odysseus-like journey” that took her from her native Los Angeles to UC Berkeley and various stations all around the nation. Just before landing her recent placement in 2017, she did a 3-yr stint as the information director at KRON (Channel 4) and then returned to L.A., where she invested 5 decades as the assistant information director at KNBC.

Q: Like lots of small business, you’ve had to improve your method through the pandemic. What was your attitude as the disaster began?

A: Possessing a qualifications in information helped. In March we type of went into a breaking-news mode. That fundamentally intended executing a few factors: Devise a system. Execute the system. Engage in to everyone’s strengths. And then we went about leveraging the competencies of 250 employees spread out above two properties.

Q: And it all arrived with each other quite quickly?

A: We didn’t wait around until finally the county-broad shutdown began. We started chatting at the close of February about what we needed to do, and we sent people household on March 12. Our mandate was that we wished 100 % of our workforce to be ready to perform from house — not that they would all be doing work from dwelling, but experienced the means to. And then we place absolutely everyone on one particular- and two-7 days rotations. So if an outbreak occurred in the creating, we could flip it.

Q: So your position is now a ghost town?

A: I wouldn’t get in touch with it a ghost town, but it is sparsely populated. … We have bought a tiny, but mighty crew.

Q: You like to emphasize the favourable. What is a positive that has occur out of this?

A: Effectively, 1 is that we’ve located new techniques of communicating with just about every other, such as the Zoom chats … . I seriously do feel people are connecting with just about every other in far more meaningful means.

Q: During the pandemic, your socially distanced newscasts have taken on a new glimpse. You have some men and women providing reviews from property. Describe your strategy.

A: For Telemundo, our set is huge more than enough to preserve two anchors on the set. For NBC Bay Space, we constantly have just one anchor on the established and a single reporting from the newsroom. And, certainly, we have people reporting from their houses, which has been attention-grabbing. … (Main meteorologist) Jeff Ranieri likes to adjust up the art in his qualifications, and he has his pet, Lucy, fall in on Wednesdays. … (Weeknight anchor) Raj Mathai has had his (11-calendar year-aged) son Maxx on occasionally, and refers to him as his “technical help.”

Q: Sounds fun, but is not it also logistically hard?

A: Positive, but I assume the shows have a various level of intimacy. Viewers are having to know our individuals personally … (Weekend anchor) Kris Sanchez  has actually experienced her husband run via the shot. … Actually, these moments hook up us to our viewers. It has specified them a window into our life. So it is not a cliche: We’re practically all in this jointly.

Q: How would you sum up this extraordinary year so far? Not only is your staff doing the job via a world pandemic, it is scrambling to address large news tales, which include a summer time of racial reckoning, horrendous wildfires and an impending presidential election.

A: It is a 12 months that certainly tests people’s mettle. But it also fuels our obligation to rise to the problem and give viewers the significant data they will need. (On the advertising and marketing aspect), it has us seeking at how can we support our business enterprise partners who experienced to near their doorways because of COVID. … How can we help them rebuild? How can we enable them with their messaging? Our purpose is to link these enterprises with the public and vice versa.

Q: NBC Bay Place also facilitated a telethon back again in April to gain the Silicon Valley Strong economic assistance fund.

A: Which is a little something I’m genuinely happy of — stepping up early to elevate revenue for the most vulnerable who were not suitable for unemployment added benefits.

Q: How a great deal did it damage shedding the Olympics this summer months?

A: I really don’t search at nearly anything as woe-is-me. I try to see an chance. Of course, the Olympics had been postponed. But we took what was an chance and turned it into a distinctive option. Now, we’ll have the Olympics in 2021 (scheduled to start July 23 in Tokyo) and for the duration of the interval from July as a result of the next February, we’ll have three of the largest athletics occasions there are, such as the 2022 Tremendous Bowl and the Winter season Olympics (starting Feb. 4 in Beijing). … I’m also fired up that the subsequent two Olympics are in Asia. We have so lots of ties to Asia here in the Bay Spot. We’re just reimagining what we can do.

Q: What’s the best detail about the position? And the most frustrating?

A: The finest is the spirit of innovation and the teamwork. You have a good deal of diverse men and women from unique backgrounds and departments collaborating toward one intention. And they see it as functioning for the community very good. That seems like a really noble target, and it is. But what’s intriguing is that it spurs a generate to innovate. You imagine “OK, we require to assistance persons. Now how do we achieve them? What’s the most effective way to do that?”