Editorial & Projects

Expertise

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT WITH AN EDITORIAL EYE

Successfully heading up operations for projects is a skill I honed in my years as an editorial leader. Charting the course and swiftly adjusting as needed is all in a day’s work when putting out a magazine where news cycles can force you to scrap an entire issue’s worth of content just days before they are due to the printer. Planning and process is critical for all projects, but why? I’ve been known to say “we make the plan so we can scrap it.” And I believe it. Forging ahead without a plan is like going into the forest without a compass. At some point you need to reorient yourself and quick, because the sun is going down.  Successful projects originate in plans that show reverence for research and strategy upfront in order to build the best foundation possible. A great plan is also grounded in accurate forecasting of resources as it ensures creativity and morale remains high throughout the process.

174 DIGITAL PROJECTS
6 MILLION IN BUDGETS
287 HAPPY STAFFERS
255 SUCCESSFUL PRINT CLOSES

Money Magazine & Money.com

MANAGING EDITOR
(2017–2019)

  • Create and manage custom digital-first workflow for print product. Results to date: digital first content has increase 70%, staff contributions in print & digital are up 33%, and production costs are down 70%
  • Generate and drive editorial content roadmap for print and digital, trafficking in high-pace environment

Time, Inc.

DIGITAL STRATEGY & OPERATIONS CONSULTANT
(2016–2017)

  • Establish & launch a process for maintaining daily & long-term digital story budgets; streamline CMS workflow & all relevant communications; refine digital rollout of monthly print content; create org chart
  • Develop edit calendar tracker, facilitate Q1/Q2 content population with defined editorial/traffic goals
  • Institute & customize financial budget & sponsorship trackers/workflow; refine mission statement

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE

MANAGING EDITOR
(2014–2016)

  • Create and implement entirely new editorial and interdepartmental systems while shipping weekly print product on time. Increase and onboard staff by 20%. Manage team of 50 staff/freelancers/writers
  • Nearly doubled ad sales opportunities. Regulate, monitor and deliver lean budgets

ScrollMotion

PROJECT MANAGER
(2011–2014)

  • Created and implemented a plan for converting workflow and content for iOS6 & iPad 3 retina versions
  • Worked closely with product, development, & editorial stakeholders on roadmap for Glamour.com redesign

GLAMOUR MAGAZINE & GLAMOUR.COM

DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR
(2010–2011)

  • Orchestrated entire launch & transition process from custom content-based app largely created offshore into an in-house staff-generated Adobe CS5 app (delivery of early concepts, workflow generation, socialization and training within internal departments)
  • Editorial lead on Apple Newsstand launch team. Worked closely with marketing, sales, corporate and IT department leads to hit desired dates and comply with Apple requirements/standards

COMPLEX MAGAZINE & COMPLEX.COM

MANAGING EDITOR
(2008–2010)

  • Conceived and implemented one-year plan to flip 7-issue yearly print-focused business to daily digital-based brand with same amount of staffers, on time & on budget. Developed social media plan
  • Created and implemented road-map for web redesign. Interpreted data analysis

DOMINO MAGAZINE

ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
(2007–2008)

  • Created and implemented print-driven web and editorial workflow
  • Reduced waste in production cycle and established invoicing system

O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE

ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
(2003–2007)

  • Editorial leader on content management system while delivering issues on-time
  • Responsible for all art, production, and editorial deadlines; create lineups
strategy

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Using various known management tools and knowing when to design custom workflows has enabled me to exceed my client’s goals and lead their teams to success on small and large-scale projects.

Traditional Project Management

Agile Method

Scrum Method

Lean Method

Tari Ayala left her job as managing editor of Billboard in 2016, and more than three years and two successors later, we are still using many of the systems she put in place when she arrived in 2014. It was a much different place then—a newsroom where reporters with assignments due (or overdue) would head home without a word to their superiors and where nights spent closing the magazine sometimes lasted until well after midnight. Tari quickly and steadily instituted systems that established a clear chain of command and defined responsibilities that left no gray areas. Those systems established team-building, distributed workloads evenly and greatly improved the quality of life for staffers. Within months, we were leaving the office at 6 p.m. instead of in the wee hours of the morning. Those systems also baked in ample time for planning, preparation and brainstorming, which subsequently improved the quality of our work as well. Despite taking on some of the most difficult and dysfunctional situations and staffers at the company, Tari never lost her cool or civility. She was unfailingly professional—and effective—as well as a genuinely warm and funny person. I can still hear her distinctive laugh. Put simply, I can’t recommend Tari Ayala more highly. If you would like to hear more, I am happy to elaborate upon her talents and accomplishments by phone or email, which she can provide.

Frank DiGiacomo | Executive Editor, Billboard Magazine

While at Billboard, Tari was the most vital person on the editorial staff and I’m not alone in that assessment. Her ability to prioritize workflow while juggling multiple projects, to track budgets, coordinate shipping schedules, and keep the staff focused and working hard, was the single reason that we were able to accomplish so much in two years. Tari’s tireless dedication to her craft, and her willingness to teach others, coupled with her otherworldly adherence to process separates her from anyone I’ve ever managed. If there’s something she can’t accomplish, I’ve yet to discover it. She would be an asset to any organization or project that needs management. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to me directly, Tari can provide my contact information.

Tony Gervino | Executive VP, Editor-in-Chief, TIDAL

I worked with Tari for several years at O, The Oprah Magazine and have found her to be a tough but likable and highly effective manager. She is whip-smart, driven, a talented leader, and a clear communicator. Tari takes a no-nonsense approach to her work that is both refreshing and much appreciated. And I admire her dedication and commitment not only to her work, but also to the people she works with. She is respectful, kind, positive, and willing to go out on a limb for the those she manages. She’s also one of the funniest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Tari would be a valuable hire for any company. I highly recommend her.

Jennifer Fields | Director of Content Development, WebMD

Tari is a resourceful and pragmatic Project Manager, who has the ability to quickly ramp up to a new environment as well as integrate effectively into a new team (or position). She’s friendly, focused and eagerly takes on new challenges and is dedicated to delivering quality every step of the way.

Joseph Stuczynski, PMP, CSM | PMO Manager, Operational Effectiveness at University Hospitals