The Takeover: 10 Women in Media Making Moves
They’ve forged their own paths by having their voices heard, their words read and their own stories told — while brilliantly helping tell others’ stories, too.
Somewhere along the way, throughout the past several decades, traditional media married nostalgia and none of us nerds were invited to the wedding.
That romantic longing for the days of buzzing newsrooms, thriving alt-weeklies and the overall confidence that comes with knowing people still read lingers with nearly every writing job application. For bonafide lovers of the craft and aspiring journalists alike, it’s easy to fall into a daydream reminiscent of what the traditional media taught nationally in colleges across the US looked like, the kind that movies like Almost Famous (2000), Network (1976) and Broadcast News (1987) portrayed so poignantly (you know, once you remove the overt sexism and the lack of diversity).
However, strip away the facade of whatever journalism’s glory days may have been while you procrastinate filling out a soul-crushing edit test free of charge and the reminder still hits as hard as ever: journalism and media at-large have historically been a male-driven field (pause for reaction), and today’s statistics still don’t lean in favor of inclusion, representation and equality (shocking, we know).
As reported by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), men dominated media across all platforms in 2015, making up nearly two-thirds of the industry (numbers that only further decrease for women of color). In the several years that have since followed, the stats have only slightly shifted, with the disparity between gender/race particularly abhorrent in television and broadcast news.
Meanwhile, the numbers in colleges curiously reflect the opposite nationwide: women are reportedly making up more than two-thirds of graduating classes (for students holding degrees in mass communication or journalism). Time will tell whether this is evidence that the media landscape will look drastically different in the future, but for now this important research exposes how difficult it is for women to pursue careers in media comparatively and how much like other movements in our country, such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo and #TimesUp, women are working to lead the charge in media, as well.
Organizations such as the Women’s Media Center and online resources like @WritersOfColor, among others, are working relentlessly to help increase visibility and fight for representation in order to achieve a diverse and inclusive press. WMC co-founder Gloria Steinem has worded this mission so poignantly time and time again, sharing in a statement in 2017, “When men or women turn to or turn on the media, yet fail to see women in our true diversity, there is a sense that all or some women literally don’t count. It’s crucial that the media report and reflect, not conceal and distort.”
From the New York Times‘ initiative honoring women throughout history whose legacies were never given a proper obituary to on-air talent like Catt Sadler and Jemele Hill taking ownership of their careers in different ways and for different reasons, the responsibility to document the full story and amplify diverse voices has emerged as being more important than ever.
As the conversations continue, it is undeniable that culture is shifting and we have many trailblazers to thank (and to continue supporting). Today, REVOLT TV celebrates ten women who have forged their own paths in their respective media lanes, each more than deserving of having their voices heard, their words read and their own stories told (despite brilliantly helping tell other’s stories).
While Jemele Hill has since become a household name, many are looking forward to the day where her contributions to journalism will be discussed more than the controversies surrounding her tweets have been.
A proud Detroit native, Hill was suspended by ESPN in October 2017 for voicing her personal opinions about Donald Trump on Twitter (the network explained that this was a “violation of social media guidelines”). As the nation voiced support for her actions and criticisms of the network’s response (as well as the other way around), Hill chose to leave SportsCenter‘s rebranded SC6 segment and begin a new role at the company’s The Undefeated vertical in February 2018. She expressed adamantly the transition was “definitely, 100 percent, [her] choice,” explaining to Al Sharpton that her job change will allow her to be on the proper platform to offer commentary about issues revolving around race and sports without compromise or censorship.
An alum of Michigan State University, Hill, now 42, has razor-sharp wit, an incredible breadth of knowledge and has been firmly standing her ground for more than a decade as a sportswriter and anchor. In 2005, when she worked for the Orlando Sentinel, she was reportedly the only Black female sports columnist in North America, inspiring others to pursue their dreams and career goals all while staying true to her own voice and path without apology. Needless to say, we stan.
Find Jemele Hill’s work here.
With a mantra of “making content to make you feel content,” Liza Koshy has emerged to the forefront of social media by becoming the fastest-growing YouTube personality in the platform’s history to reach 10 million subscribers.
While sharing content weekly on YouTube, Koshy has grown her brand to include hosting duties, such as during the 2017 Golden Globes’ live pre-show on Twitter and on the reboot of MTV’s Total Request Live. She also plays the role of Violet Adams in Hulu’s original series Freakish (2016-present) and appeared in Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloweeen (2016). From interviewing President Obama about voter registration to tackling issues such as mental health, identity, entrepreneurism and other topics, the 21-year-old has since garnered over 1.5 billion views, as well as has been honored with two Streamy Awards and a Teen Choice Award. In addition to cultivating success through her various content channels, Koshy is also a collaborator with the Giving Keys, a jewelry company that employs and helps support the formerly homeless population. Self-described as a “little brown girl with big dreams,” it’s a safe bet to say Liza Koshy is living hers.
Find Liza Koshy’s work here.
Tracy G has spent the better portion of her career empowering other women, all while being transparent with her own journey to self-improvement, making her equal-parts a dream best friend and someone many can relate to. She first got her start in media as a writer, working for publications such as Marie Claire, Complex, Essence and Rolling Stone, before working as an editor at VIBE. She later transitioned to working in radio, becoming an on-air co-host for SiriusXM’s _Sway In The Morning _show on Shade45.
While cultivating her own wellness platform and brand She’s Beauty and the Beast, Tracy has also worked with companies such as Conde Nast, MTV, MTV2, VH1, BET, Essence LIVE, Andy Cohen, Fuse and REVOLT. From speaking on panels, radio and her podcast alike to dropping gems on Twitter to putting together audio vision boards and hip-hop yoga playlists, Tracy G is absolutely someone taking over in media—and having a lot of fun doing it.
Find Tracy G’s work here.
Laura Stylez has been cultivating a following for the past decade and then some, with her work in radio leading her to become a celebrated fixture on Hot 97. From making the move to New York City at age 19 to make her dreams of being a radio personality a reality to learning from the legendary Angie Martinez after first joining the Hot 97 family as a producer, the California native’s multifaceted career is a testament to hard work paying off. Her infectious personality and taste-making tendencies have led her to host major events, including the annual Summer Jam concert, and star in campaigns for companies such as Hennessy Black and Xbox 360.
In addition to her daily on-air work with Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show, where she interviews a star-studded array of musicians, politicians and influencers, Stylez is currently making waves with her podcast Improper Etiquette, alongside co-host Leah McSweeney, during which the pair candidly discuss love, sex and relationships.
Find Laura Stylez’s work here.
Janice Llamoca is a Peruvian-American multimedia journalist currently working as an associate producer for NPR‘s Latino USA. After finishing her master’s in Journalism (in Spanish) from the Universitat de Barcelona, Llamoca moved from her beloved Los Angeles to find her footing in New York. Throughout her ever-evolving career, her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Remezcla, LA Weekly, NPR, HipHopDX and TrackRecord, among others, showcasing her vast knowledge and expertise in culture and entertainment.
Since earning a home at Futuro Media Group and working her way up from a digital media editor to an associate producer for NPR’s Latino USA, Llamoca’s passion for unearthing interesting and impactful stories pertaining to the Latino community has been further ignited, resulting in the audio work she’s produced being some of her best to date. Llamoca is also a seasoned traveler, sharing stunning photos from her journeys across the world and documenting her experiences (such as her incredibly inspiring climb of Mount Kilimanjaro) on social media.
Find Janice Llamoca’s work here.
Amber Grimes is currently a Senior Manager of Urban Indie at Spotify as well as is the CEO of her own consulting and managing business, the Cardi Brand Agency. She first got her start in music and entertainment as a teen before going on to land a position as an Executive Assistant to Abou “Bu” Thiam (then VP of A&R at Def Jam). She later went on to work with Nick Cannon on all things Ncredible, including Oxygen’s show Like a Boss.
From working as a brand ambassador for Reebok to managing Music Box Studios in her hometown of Atlanta, Grimes has been forging her own path by letting her dedicated hustle speak louder than the fact she doesn’t have a college degree. Her networking skills and ability to fully commit herself to new challenges have been integral to her successes, all while inspiring others to find what moves them.
Find Amber Grimes’ work here.
Liane V (née Liane Valenzuela) took a six-second video on Vine and wisely turned it into a lucrative career. While creating short skits on the platform, she cultivated a following in the millions before going on to build viral comedy sketches on YouTube. Liane then began building her fanbase beyond video, going on to create a fashion line with G by Guess after crossing paths with Paul Marciano while attending a runway show in Italy, as well as recording her own original music.
From building a name for herself in fashion, beauty, music and social media alike, Liane V’s work as a comedian, host, influencer, recording artist and content creator is a testament to the brilliance of what can happen when you create your own opportunities through sticking to a vision and trusting the process. Plus, she’s hilarious.
Find Liane V’s work here.
Kimberly Drew, more commonly known as Museum Mammy, is the social media editor at the Met Museum, as well as is currently working on her book, The Black Futures Project, alongside the New York Times‘ Jenna Wortham. She holds a BA from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies, which led her to interning at Harlem’s Studio Museum. Drew adapted the alias of Museum Mammy while starting her blog, Black Contemporary Art, where she first began curating a place “for art by and about people of African descent.” Her writing has appeared in Teen Vogue, Glamour Magazine, The Fader, W Magazine, Lenny Letter, and more, while she herself has been featured in Elle, Brooklyn Magazine, Essence, The Root, Women’s Wear Daily and _ the New York Times, among others. She has gone on to deliver lectures and participate in panel discussions at the New Museum, Art Basel, Moogfest, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Brooklyn Museum.
As a writer, curator, social media manager and activist, Museum Mammy,’s passion for innovation in art, fashion and cultural studies has led her to become one of the most exciting voices to cheer on. Next up, Museum Mammy will be speaking on a panel titled Race and Intellectual Property Law at Harvard University.
Find Kimberly Drew’s work here.
Karlie Hustle is a music industry veteran currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She previously worked as a programming and music director at Hot 97, with her expertise and drive leading her to create her own bow tie company, serve as director of brand relations for 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records and form her own consulting business for artists, managers and labels. She currently can be found working as a Music Manager for Apple Music’s Beats 1, while also hosting her Brutally Honest podcast, which she describes as a labor love.
During the podcast, which has garnered a loyal and consistently growing following since its launch only 8 months ago, Karlie discusses the daily grind of being a working mom in the music industry, with a mantra of “My truth in 20 minutes.” From helping independent artists to throwing parties/events to dropping hard-earned wisdom on her podcast, Karlie Hustle has easily become one of our favorite people to follow on Twitter.
Find Karlie Hustle’s work here.
Kathy Iandoli is a veteran music journalist who has interviewed a vast array of musicians across genres that would make up a dream festival line-up reducing Coachella to a cute long weekend. While she has worked in every facet of the entertainment industry, ranging from holding it down at Fat Beats Record store to working in-house at a label and more, she is best known for her pen game as a journalist, author and screenwriter. Her writing has been published on the GRAMMYs site, Mass Appeal, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Playboy, XXL, Complex, Vice, Billboard, REVOLT and more.
In 2016, Iandoli co-authored a book alongside the legendary Mobb Deep member, Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook, providing a deeper perspective of what it’s like to consume meals in prison and how difficult it is to be health-focused while incarcerated in America’s current system. While her accomplishments, experiences in music and cultural criticism are worthy of their own book—one that fans are hopeful will be arriving further down the road—in the meantime, Iandoli is readying her next book dedicated to documenting the criminally untold history of women in hip-hop, Ladies First: The Slept-on History of Rap’s Riot Grrrls.
Find Kathy Iandoli’s work here.
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