TheGrio's 100: Yvette Miley, shaping MSNBC daytime programming

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Yvette Miley is the vice president and executive editor of MSNBC. Since 2009, Miley has overseen the editorial content of MSNBC daytime programming.

The Florida native has been with NBC for more than 20 years, previously as the news director at WVTM in Birmingham and the vice president of news at WTVJ in Miami. In these positions, Miley played a supervisory role in local and national news coverage, including Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Wilma coverage.

While in college at the University of Florida, the dean of her school told her that she would never graduate college or get a job in television. Having proved the dean wrong, she was later recognized by her alma mater with an Alumni of Distinction Award in 1995.

Yvette Miley is making history … as the first African-American news director and vice president in South Florida. She is now one of a few black females in an executive role for a national cable news channel. Throughout her career she has received more than 10 Emmy, Dupont, Murrow and Peabody Awards for her contributions to news coverage.

What’s next for Yvette?

Miley continues to adjust and add new programming to MSBNC’s daytime offerings, including the recent addition of former MSNBC contributor Alex Wagner’s show Now With Alex Wagner.

A little-known fact about female executives …

Women comprise just 15 percent of top executives and 12 percent of board members among communications companies in the Fortune 500, according to a 2003 report from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

For more information about Yvette Miley, click here.THE GRIO’S Q & A WITH YVETTE MILEY

Q: What’s next for you in this chapter of your life?

A: I don’t know what is next for me, but I do know what is happening now is truly a wonderful and amazing ride. I love my job. I am loving every step of this journey that God has placed before me. The next chapter? Well, that has yet to be written. I do know my job is to work hard at being my best right now both personally and professionally. I live my life to have an impact on the lives of those around me.

Q: What’s a fact about you that many people don’t know?

A: I published a romance novel using an alias. I am currently working on two other books using my real name. These books have absolutely nothing to do with romance. One book is about leadership, and why many people believe my approach and style has a dramatic impact on people. The other book is a page-turning, scare-your-pants off thriller.

Q: What’s your favorite quote?

A: “What lies in front of a man and what lies behind a man are tiny matters compared to what lies within a man.” For me, this quote is about your character, what you are made of, how you handle good times or bad. It is powerful and it is inspirational.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?

A: My inspiration comes from my mother, Edna Whitaker. She really is a remarkable woman. She endured the toughest of times so that I might have an opportunity to attend college. She is my true champion.

Q: Who are/were your mentors?

A: Each chapter of my life, I have had tremendous official and unofficial mentors who have influenced me. I remember my high school teachers, Mrs. Simmons, Dr. Burke and Mrs. Wyly at Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach who inspired me to dream. Bishop and Sister Jessie McKnight in Gainesville who taught me the importance of believing in God and finding a balance in my life. Also, my mentors are my friends Arletha Miller and Kim Godwin, who challenged me to do more.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who’s craving to achieve their dreams?

A: Your dreams are within reach if you do the work required to be at the top of your game. Understand the competitive landscape of the field you are in, prepare for it and then perform at a high level. Remember also — we think our hard work will speak for us. Hard work does speak for you, but not nearly loud enough. You must be the best spokesperson for your own brand.