Nine years after she went to work for Metro Times selling ads to restaurateurs, Lisa Rudy was back at the paper Monday — as its publisher.
“I loved every job that I had here. I got to learn the ins and outs of a lot of different departments. Ultimately, I wanted to be the person that led the paper down the road to success,” said Rudy on her first day on the job, taking a break from back-to-back one-on-one meetings with the paper’s staffers.
Rudy, 40, of Wyandotte, follows David Jost, who resigned as publisher last month.
Rudy returns to the paper after spending the last year and a half working as a sales manager for the Observer/Eccentric Newspapers and then in national broadcast sales for Metro Networks/Westwood One.
She once worked as a restaurant critic for the Observer/Eccentric Newspapers, writing a column that focused on eateries where two can dine for $25 or less. Her first stint at Metro Times began in 1994, and she subsequently gained experience in a number of sales positions, classified ad director being the last.
A rigorous interview process examined local and national candidates, said Don Farley, who oversees alternative papers for Pennsylvania-based Times-Shamrock Company, owners of Metro Times. Farley was also the paper’s interim publisher prior to Rudy’s hiring.
“I was looking for the right person for the operation,” Farley said, “and that’s the person I found in Lisa. She brings to the table her knowledge of Metro Times, of the Detroit metro, and she has a true passion for this paper.”
Rudy, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., came to Michigan 14 years ago. Good fortune with family and career have encouraged her to stay.
“I have two boys in high school,” she said. “They’re going to be out very soon. And Metro Times is one of the reasons why I stayed, because it’s such a cool place. And it’s now the reason why, when my kids leave and go to college, that I won’t be leaving here.”
Rudy said Metro Times’ community focus is perfect for her: “I like everything it stands for. It’s just so community-based. It’s hip, but it’s real. I like the kind of reader that is interested in Metro Times, readers that like to be challenged. They’re people on a mission. They love to go out and do things, and buy things, and eat different things, and learn different things. I like that kind of person.”
Anxious to “get her hands dirty,” Rudy says her style of leadership invites all voices to be heard. “You spend most of your time at work, so you’d better like what you’re doing. And there is nothing else that I would rather be doing.”Send comments to [email protected].