If you work at The New York Times, your boss is a bad ass. Whether she’s more of a bad ass than you are depends on whether you….

1) Decorated your body with 5 or more tats.
2) Took 14 Senators to task.
3) Sustained injuries in both urban and natural environments. (*Brownie points if you were hit by a truck while falling down a mountain.)
4) Hired a cop to train your dog.
5) Oversees the most respected, beloved, lambasted, and loathed newspaper in the nation.

I am not implying that Jill Abramson, the Executive Editor of The New York Times, works in isolation. It would be impossible to deliver such a critical resource on so many platforms across continents without a gifted team of journalists, editors, technologists, videographers, photographers, graphic designers, copywriters, printers, and the good Samaritans who deliver papers uphill both ways. Still, managing all of these moving parts is a feat in and of itself, especially in the digital age.

As technological innovation enables consumers to inhale information faster than ever, it’s a daunting task to try and satisfy so many discerning and diverging palates. In our interview, Abramson reveals how much she relishes the challenge. Having climbed the ladder from plum post to plum post, be it at Time Magazine, in its heyday, The Wall Street Journal and, since 1997, at The New York Times, Abramson is no stranger to success.

Her sound work ethic, follow through, and her ease in working independently or teaming up with others have paid off again and again. She’s also milked her experiences for all they’re worth. Like when Abramson got a puppy Scout, she penned an online column about raising him called The Puppy Diaries. Subscribers lapped it up. The New York Times website crashed after Abramson asked readers to send in their puppy pictures. (Abramson did not reveal how many submissions were selfies taken by dogs.) Abramson also adapted those 1st person essays into a memoir, or dogoir, as well as a children’s book, which she co-authored with her sister (and children’s book author) Jane O’Connor. While Abramson enjoys dabbling in fluffier fare, she shines when tackling more serious subjects.

After one of the most politically charged Senate judiciary committee investigations in U.S. history and the first one to call sexual harassment by its rightful name, Abramson and her then Wall Street Journal colleague Jane Mayer delivered a verdict which took the Senate to task for their partisan and paltry performance. The two reporters penned a critically acclaimed and popular treatise, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas. Over twenty years later, in a recently released documentary Anita, Abramson and Mayer’s discoveries still stand. In our conversation, Abramson hinted that the late Republican Senator Arlene Specter may have had misgivings and revealed them to Abramson, off the record, years later.

Her devotion to The New York Times brand is palpable, almost collegiate, as she has the, as she calls it, “iconic” New York Times “T” tattooed on her arm. Perhaps not surprising, she also has an H tattooed on her, an imprint of her alma mater Harvard.

Abramson truly believes The New York Times will always be the premiere destination for political junkies, history buffs, music lovers, film fanatics, theater nerds, art aficionados, and foodies to get their fix. We are living in an era of cultural hoarding and Abramson is ready, willing, and able to deliver the goods.

Rebecca Soffer’s passion is palpable, be it for Latin culture, community building, Olympic level table tennis, or pop culture. In a world which often rewards narrowly focused expertise, Soffer found the best way to quench her diverse interests was journalism.

But just as Soffer entered the work world, journalism was going through its own identity crisis. Luckily, her intellect and openness to change enabled Soffer to enjoy a rich career from the get go. Soffer started out covering the Olympics in Atlanta, then headed to Caracas, Venezuela, where her passion for community building and international affairs grew. When she returned to the States, Soffer headed to Columbia’s J School. Always a risk taker and prescient one at that, Soffer decided to then work for a new television show spoofing the news instead of slaving away at a site, like Huffpo, scraping together listicles and trolling for Likes on Facebook. Soffer’s job at The Colbert Report allowed her to goon the road with Stephen Colbert to produce its renowned recurring segment Better Know A District and attend the Emmy’s.

Life wasn’t all fun, and in her early thirties, Soffer’s parents died. She looked for outlets, but found that nothing existed which dealt with the relevant issues in a manner that resonated. So in her typical can-do fashion, Soffer teamed up with another journalist, Gabi Birkner, who had also faced tragic loss. Together the two journalists developed MODERN LOSS, the first website to provide candid 1st person essays and articles about everything from miscarriage to tweens taking selfies at funerals. Modern Loss quickly became so popular that a community of readers and contributors formed and critical praise soon followed. How Soffer and Birkner balance (new) motherhood and their new website is awe inspiring. Soffer and Birkner’s vision, generosity and talent is not lost on readers. Modern Loss is a vital resource for anyone dealing with the inevitability of loss and longing to celebrate life.

For years, animator Scott Bateman was best known for his left leaning political cartoons and animations featured on Salon and The Daily Kos. Frustrated by the state of politics, not to mention journalism, Bateman invented Disalmanac, that now spans a blog, Twitter, podcast, and book “Disalmanac: A Compendium of Fact-Like Facts.” He also directed his first animated film Atom Age Vampire and a trailer for a Dinosaur Jr’s album.

In 2014, Bateman had the joy of winning enough money on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to work on his next film. In our conversation, Bateman reveals his tricks of the trade and encourages others tot have fun and give game shows a whirl if you want to find money quickly. Our interview was taped live at the Writers Guild (WGA).

If you enjoyed our interview, please subscribe and come to the next live taping of Employee of the Month, Thursday, April 10th featuring Wally Shawn, Rosie Perez, and Taylor Mac, at Joe’s Pub. For more info, go to: www.employeeofthemonthshow.com

My Dinner With Wally could be the title of your Thursday night. Clear your shedshul and get your tickets. It’s conceivable that it’ll sell out.


7 pm, Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, NY, NY 10004
Tickets: HERE

Catie Lazarus honors and interviews New Yawk’s Finest:
Wallace Shawn
Taylor Mac
&
Rosie Perez

Plus music from Beyondo, comedy and drinks after at The Library.www.employeeofthemonthshow.com

My Dinner With Wally could be the title of your Thursday night. Clear your shedshul and get your tickets. It’s conceivable that it’ll sell out.


7 pm, Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, NY, NY 10004
Tickets: HERE

Catie Lazarus honors and interviews New Yawk’s Finest:
Wallace Shawn
Taylor Mac
&
Rosie Perez

Plus music from Beyondo, comedy and drinks after at The Library.
www.employeeofthemonthshow.com