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540: When the Whole is Greater | Lucy Rutishauser, CFO, Sinclair Broadcast Group

CFO Thought Leader

Release Date: 10/16/2019

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Like a savvy investor, Lucy Rutishauser built her early career by carefully tracking the activities of different companies. Sometimes, to glean better insights, she would actually cold-call a company and ask for the finance department. But Rutishauser wasn’t looking to invest money—instead, she was looking to invest that all-so-valuable commodity known as career-building years.

“The take-away here is that as you are growing your professional career and moving from job to job, it’s crucial that the decisions that you make be valuable to a future employer and not just great for your bank account at that moment,” says Rutishauser, who would join Sinclair Broadcast Group after placing just such a cold call back in 1998.

Providing some additional background on what led her to originally place the call, Rutishauser explains: “I had been reading about Sinclair rolling up the industry and driving industry consolidation. They were located here in Baltimore, which is where I live. I figured that they were probably going to need an assistant treasurer, so I cold-called them and created a job for myself.”

While Rutishauser had successfully identified a hiring hot spot inside Sinclair, she sensed that the growing company appreciated her willingness to open the door and take some initiative—and would perhaps be open to more job creation down the line. “I selected a job that filled gaps in my background because Sinclair, being a smaller company at the time, really let me do a lot more than what a traditional assistant treasurer would be doing,” she recalls. In 2016—nearly 18 years after she placed her cold call—Rutishauser entered Sinclair’s CFO office, where she has already helped the media company to open a new chapter of growth – one that only last month led Sinclair to triple in size. –Jack Sweeney

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