THE BLOG

Women in Business Q&A: Kristen Baldwin, Editor in Chief of Yahoo TV

04/09/2015 08:08 am ET | Updated Jun 09, 2015

Kristen joins Yahoo TV after 19 years at Entertainment Weekly (EW) where she started as an editorial assistant in 1995. She was instrumental in the integration of EW's print and digital editorial operations and led the charge on some of EW's most memorable issues, including the much revered Reunions issue and the always popular Fall TV Preview. In addition, she earned a loyal following on EW.com with her recaps of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

Kristen brought her wit and TV knowledge to appearances on "TODAY," "The View," "Entertainment Tonight," "Extra," "Access Hollywood," "CBS This Morning," "E! News," and "VH1's Behind the Music."

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Now that I'm a mom I know the importance of giving your parents credit for anything good that happens in your life, so I'll start by thanking my dad -- who had a very successful career in the retail food industry -- for teaching me what it means to have a strong work ethic. My dad was a tough boss but he never failed to treat his employees with respect, nor did he take credit for their work. My mother, meanwhile, went back to college when my brother and I were in elementary school so that she could pursue a career in computer programming. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but now that I'm a working mom I understand how challenging that must have been for her, and it reminds me how important it is to love your job -- and help your employees love theirs.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Yahoo TV?
Over my 19 years at Entertainment Weekly, I learned from some of the best writers and editors in the business, and I also developed a strong network of contacts in the television industry.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Yahoo TV?
I've only been here since September 29, but so far my highlights include adding Critic-at-Large Ken Tucker and Deputy Editor Mandi Bierly to our team, as well as launching the Yahoo TV digital magazine on March 2nd. The challenges are, I'd imagine, similar to anyone working in media today: Trying to do more with less. My team (which also includes Managing Editor Chrissy Nguyen and Senior Editor Dave Nemetz) is fantastic, but given that we're only five people, we have to prioritize the best way to focus our resources as we strive to cover the ever-expanding world of television.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking a career in your industry?
Try not to cry too much. Stay home when you have your period. Always keep a spare pair of hose in your desk drawer.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Honestly, most of the time I don't. Like most working parents, on any given day it feels like either my family or my job doesn't get my full attention for one reason or another, and more often or not it's my family. I'm very fortunate, though, to have a boss who is very focused on helping his employees maintain as much of a balance as possible -- I just need to get better at making that happen.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Lack of equal pay, hands down. And the lack of designated "crying rooms."

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
I was very lucky to be hired for my first job by a woman named Jeannie Park, who had a very big job at Entertainment Weekly at the time but still made it a priority to give regular feedback and advice to me and other young staffers. No one succeeds without the help of others, and Jeannie taught me early on in my career how important it is to invest in your employees' career growth and to make time, whenever possible, to meet with people who are just starting out.

What do you want Yahoo TV to accomplish in the next year?
I'm so proud of everything our team has accomplished already, but over the next year I'm looking forward to solidifying Yahoo TV's position as a top TV authority in the digital space, and leading an ongoing conversation about all things TV with fans.