Last year was a busy one for C-SPAN and Kerr. Throughout the company’s coverage of presidential and congressional campaigns, Kerr assured all technical aspects of the network’s productions ran smoothly across TV, online, radio and digital. Kerr also helped improve internal workflows with the introduction of a new automated digital asset media management and newsroom communication system. Also in 2016, she finalized the building of a completely new onsite technical transmission facility. Now she and her team are hyper-focused on upgrading C-SPAN’s IT systems. Kerr says she’s never really felt gender discrimination. “I think if you surround yourself with colleagues who share their expertise, trust your instincts and never be afraid to ask lots of questions, women can function quite well in what may have once been considered ‘a man’s world,’” she says.
What industry topic do you think will dominate industry headlines in 2018 and why?
Two things come to mind. First, is how the decline of traditional cable/satellite subscribers will continue to change the industry. Tied to that is how millennials are choosing to consume media. A revealing example of this is the recent announcement by Jeffery Katzenberg to raise 2 billion dollars for a revolutionary product called New TV, which is expected to upend the television format on mobile devices. The short form content will be “premium quality—think ‘Game of Thrones’ as if each episode had a narrative arc of 10 minutes” (NY Times).
What is one way the industry can continue to evolve in ridding itself of gender discrimination?
It’s interesting but I have never really felt gender discrimination. True, I have spent my career with one company, (C-SPAN has a history of supporting and advancing women) but I have certainly dealt with quite a number of vendors while rebuilding C-SPAN’s technical infrastructure several times. I think if you surround yourself with colleagues who share their expertise, trust your instincts and never be afraid to ask lots of questions, women can function quite well in what may have once been considered “a man’s world.” I have the best Engineering and IT staff around!
What famous woman, living or deceased, would you like to have dinner with?
When I read this question, I really want to answer with my first thought –I’d love to have dinner once again with my mother, Sally. She’s not famous but she was the most important woman in my life. Both my parents taught me crucial life lessons, but my mother was especially helpful to me early in my career. She was a great listener and often told me to trust my instincts, be loyal and work hard. Sounds simple, but the devil is always in the details and she offered me great advice from the smallest of things to the big life choices. Surprisingly, I still have questions!
Best advice for relieving stress?
Besides exercise… avoiding questions like this.