WXIA's Kristie Anderson to receive 2024 Loren Tobia Leadership Award


Kristie Anderson

The Radio Television Digital News Association is honored to announce Kristie Anderson, assistant news director at WXIA in Atlanta, has been selected as the 2024 recipient of RTDNA’s Loren Tobia Leadership Award. 

The Loren Tobia Leadership Award is given annually to a journalist who exemplifies true leadership within their company or organization during a given year. 

In 2023, Anderson stepped up as interim news director at WXIA after the newsroom went nearly six months without a news director. During that time, the station’s general manager also departed. Despite the uncertainty, Anderson led the newsroom through some challenging stories — the indictment of a former president in Atlanta, the death of a former first lady, severe weather coverage — with empathy and integrity. 

Three newsroom employees submitted separate nominations on Anderson’s behalf. 

“Kristie couldn't always provide the long term answers, but she didn't let that stop her from creating a clear, well-communicated short term plan that helped people feel more secure in their jobs,” one employee wrote in a nomination form. “That in turn, allowed us to focus on telling the stories that needed to be told.” 

Said another: “Kristie leads with empathy, and you are never afraid to follow her lead when she's in charge. It never felt like our newsroom was missing a leader because Krisite was there whenever anyone needed anything.” 

The Loren Tobia Leadership Award is named after RTDNA’s former treasurer, who retired from that office in 2022 after a record-setting tenure in the volunteer role. He was the inaugural recipient of the eponymous award in 2022. 

“I had the privilege to work alongside Loren Tobia for many years, and I cannot overstate how special it is to receive a leadership award bearing his name,” said RTDNA President and CEO Dan Shelley. “Kristie’s work at WXIA is well-deserving of this tremendous honor."

The honor highlights someone who represents one of RTDNA's core values — leadership — and is recognized at all three signature events including the annual RTDNA conference, the First Amendment Awards and the Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala.

Anderson will be recognized first at RTDNA24 in Milwaukee, June 12-14. 

“Kristie has the trust and respect of her newsroom, and her ability to guide them through such a challenging year is nothing short of inspiring,” Tobia said. “She displayed strength and steadiness with empathy. That’s what leadership is all about.”

At WXIA in Atlanta, Anderson oversees daily content and big event coverage. She has been with TEGNA and WXIA for 11 years, starting as a producer before being promoted to executive producer and then managing editor. As assistant news director, she works closely with the reporter team, assignment desk, and producers on how to best serve the community and bring the audience news that’s relevant to their lives.

More recently, her focus has shifted to help manage a special projects team, including overseeing a postal problems investigation, examining mail delivery issues across Georgia and leading to the first one-on-one interview with Postmaster General Louis Dejoy; WXIA’s Voices for Equality franchise; and special projects focusing on crime, political, consumer, and Olympic content. Part of her passion is also mentoring journalists and college students, in honor of the many mentors who have helped her throughout her career.

Anderson graduated from Luther College with a bachelor’s degree in communications and earned a Master of Mass Communications degree at Arizona State. She began her career at KTVK in Phoenix when an internship with the consumer unit led to a producer position with Good Morning Arizona. Prior to joining WXIA, she was a producer at WDJT in Milwaukee and WAGA in Atlanta. She lives in metro Atlanta with her husband, two stepdaughters, and their black lab, Stella.