With more than 18 years of experience at Turner, Sams is a vital part of the company’s executive management team. She’s worn many hats over the years, but has really hit her stride overseeing the company’s legal matters worldwide. Those include acquisitions and joint ventures, production and clearance of content across Turner divisions, from news to animation. Despite a hectic work schedule, Sams finds time to give back. She is the chair of the board of directors of Atlanta’s High Museum, serves on the governing board of Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center, and last year steered her alma mater Princeton’s annual giving committee.
Where are the biggest growth areas for women in cable?
The areas of growth are those that enhance the customer or viewer experience, whether it is original programming, apps, targeted advertising, or new distribution platforms. We are all having to adapt to new consumer behaviors and expectations and we need great ideas and superior execution to stay relevant and part of the consumer’s consideration set. That is where the action is.
What’s the most important aspect of mentoring?
The most important aspect of mentoring is listening and actually hearing someone else’s fears, frustrations and aspirations, and putting yourself in their shoes before offering advice.
What/who inspires you at work? What/who inspires you outside the office?
The people who work in my legal department inspire me at work – they are smart, practical, understand the business and are solution-oriented. They do so much for the company behind the scenes and never ask for the credit or recognition. Outside the office, I am inspired by people who do volunteer work helping those who are in are need.
Best trick for maintaining the personal-professional life balance?
You have to recognize that every day is different and some days will be balanced and others won’t be – and you just have to roll with it. Seize the moments when there is a little relief on the work side of the equation and spend time with family, friends and yourself without guilt. When the scales are tipped towards work, embrace it and appreciate the challenges you are confronting or the new problems that you are solving. As long as you maintain perspective, you should be able to ride the see-saw pretty well.
Your favorite trick for unwinding?
Go for a run; have a good laugh with a friend or loved one; or chill out with a good book or magazine.