Univision San Antonio news director Moana Ramirez dishes on mom life while managing a TV station
Editor's note: This is part of a weekly series highlighting San Antonio moms in all areas including business, media, food and politicians. Have a mom you want us to highlight? Send Candice a note at [email protected] In San Antonio, TV stations are dominated by women news directors. Out of the eight TV stations in San Antonio, including Spanish-language and Spectrum TV stations, only one has a male news director. Oh, and other cool fact, some of those women are moms. I was curious to know how they essentially "do it all," so I asked Univision San Antonio News Director Moana Ramirez to give us a behind the scenes look into her life. Ramirez joined the local TV station in 2014 and is responsible for overseeing the station’s newsroom. Her bright personality and fun dance moves that led her to be dubbed "La Dancing Jefa." It started as her just coming into the Latino 95.1 studio (which resides in the Univision San Antonio building) and just dancing. Videos of Ramirez were posted to social media and thus La Dancing Jefa came to life. "I just did it as a fun thing but then comments came about with friends saying you really lifted my spirits today or I look forward to Fridays, then I thought what I did actually illuminated someone's life," Ramirez says. READ MORE FROM CANDICE: San Antonio meteorologist Gabriel Torres chats about work and life outside of TV The San Antonio news director definitely illuminates life outside the office, too. She chats with MySA on how she manages life at home and work, plus the challenges motherhood can bring. This interview has been edited for style and clarity. MySA: Tell me about your morning routine. MR: My mornings start off watching Primera Hora in bed from 5 a.m. - 5:30 a.m. to get my dose of early news. Next, I do a mental note about who needs extra coaching for the day from my news team and where I can fit them into my back-to-back editorial meetings for both San Antonio and Austin. Meditation in the mornings is key for my day to be a productive one. If by 9 a.m. someone in the newsroom tells me, “slow down” I know I drank too much coffee, that is my key. MySA: Describe your work day – what does a typical day look like? MR: I have learned that we need braver and more vulnerable leaders. Resetting and reshaping newsrooms doesn’t happen overnight. Although my calendar is booked with Team and Zoom calls, most of my work revolves around spending quality time coaching the team versus setting more meetings. Focusing on what everyone’s strengths are and working with these versus trying to make them change their weaknesses is what I hope to accomplish. What I am most passionate about is coaching and learning. My work day also means setting the tone during our editorial calls about what we are going to cover for news, and how we will make it a more memorable experience for our viewers. It is just not a checklist of stories that we air during the newscasts, each story that we produce has a purpose for the viewers. We want viewers to choose Univision 41 KWEX because we take the time in our storytelling and give the viewer the overall best experience. MySA: When urgent breaking news happens that managers need to be part of, how do you manage mom life and work life? MR: From very early on, I have taught my boys survival skills like cooking, cleaning, and doing much of the chores of the house without me. They actually cook better than I could. They know that at a given moment I will need to drop everything to go on breaking news mode either at home on the computer or in person at the station. When breaking news happens, or when my schedule is too heavy, we divide the work at home and have our breaking news plan. I run the house like an NBA team. Mom is the point guard, Christian is the power forward coming in at 6 feet and 220 at 15 years old. He is the protector of the family and Sebastian is the small forward for being the ball of energy that he is. They have learned to work together and pick up the pieces that mom can’t sometimes because of her work load or simply because I have no shame in saying, “I am tired today boys, my brain is fried!” They have learned patience and how to work together and they always look forward to the compensation at the end when we get to spend more family time together. MySA: How did you manage motherhood and work during the pandemic while working from home? MR: Communication is key, and I tend to over communicate with both my team at work and my family at home. I have taught my boys that communication is key and this year I have learned a great tool: “by over protecting my team I will limit them from growing.” Allowing them to make mistakes will them stronger in the long run and that Band-Aid on the scrapped knee will be a reminder for next time. Virtual school was challenging many times, just like virtual meetings for me. But my natural learner strength gave me the desire to learn how to do things better and more efficiently. I wasn't looking for perfect grades this year, I was looking for more of an opportunity to learn real-life situations, like the internet went out what do I do? The process behind the problem solving this year was key for me as a mom working from home those are life lessons that don’t come in textbooks. MySA: How do you decompress at the end of the day? MR: I either walk Yukki, our Silver lab, around the neighborhood or walk at Sebastian’s soccer practice while listening to podcasts on leadership either from Brene Brown and most recently I have added Glennon Doyle’s “We can do Hard Things.” These help me focus on my leadership and coaching both at work and at home with my two boys. MySA: What do you love the most about being a mom? MR: Being Christian and Sebastian’s mom is what gives oxygen to my lungs, and they fill my heart with inspiration. They inspire me to be able to inspire others. My boys teach me about technology and I can probably go on for about 20 minutes about Star Wars , Clone Wars , Mandalorian, and the meaning behind the colors of light sabers. I communicate with Christian, my 15-year-old, on Discord and Facetime with Sebastian. Most of all I love learning from them and watching them patiently teach me reminds me that I must be doing something right. There are no two parenthood handbooks alike. Recently, my 9-year-old, Sebastian, challenged me to do learn how to do a backflip 180.