She’ll teach them a thing or two

FOF Cathie Black, whom New York Mayor Bloomberg recently appointed to be Chancellor of New York City schools, is a no-nonsense woman. I’ve known her for years, albeit not well. But I know her enough to know that she’s probably going to manage the massive system quite well (it’s the largest public school system in the US, with 1,700 schools, 80,000 teachers, 1.1 million students, and an annual budget of $23 billion.)

Mayor Mike and FOF Cathie

Many educators don’t want Cathie to hold the position, claiming she has no education experience, whatsoever.  Her two kids went to private school, as did she. Phooey, I say.  Cathie was head of Hearst Magazines, and anyone who can manage magazine editors and publishers can manage absolutely anything and anyone. That includes teachers, parents, students, superintendents and deputy superintendents.

I have been an editor and publisher for 80 zillion years, so I know of what and whom I speak. Magazine publishing is filled with creative, competitive, demanding, passionate, argumentative and smart people. Good editors and publishers are difficult, if nearly impossible, to manage well. They fight with each other on a day-to-day basis (publishers want editors to write about advertisers and editors want to write about everyone but advertisers). Publishers think they run magazines because they are the ones who bring in the revenue; editors would rather die than report to publishers. Editors don’t pay any attention to advertising quotas and publishers don’t give a hoot about pretty pictures. Throw in prima donna art directors, photographers and writers, and you’ve got your hands full.

Before leading Hearst so successfully (she created O magazine, for example), Black built USA Today into an extraordinary success in her eight years there, and broke through a critical gender barrier in 1979 when she became the first female publisher of a weekly consumer magazine, New York.

New York City has never had a female Schools Chancellor. I wish Cathie success in breaking through this barrier, too. My educated guess is, she will.

P.S. Read Cathie’s interview with FOF.

0 Responses to “She’ll teach them a thing or two”

  1. scholarships for mothers says:

    I couldn t agree more! well done! financial help


  2. Preppy 101 says:

    I hope she will spend some time in the classrooms. I realize her accomplishments, but the classroom in a public school is a unique place. When I read about dynamic leaders as she, I want to come out of retirement and aid them in their cause. xoxo

    • Geri says:

      Hi Preppy,

      Maybe you should 🙂


  3. sharon segal says:

    Dear Geri, I hope Cathie does a good job. So she never taught but she has the skills to get the Board of Ed on the correct path. It certainly needs HELP.

    • Geri says:

      Hi dear Sharon,

      You are so right. How are you?



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