Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new CNSM Meet a Mom spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law.
Ashley Latta has a keen pulse on the top news headlines in the country and the world. As the copy chief of the nationally syndicated and unbiased as humanly possible emailed newsletter 1440, she writes portions of, and copy edits the entire daily newsletter twice a day. Ashley began working for 1440 in 2019 with about 14,000 subscribers nationwide. Today, the emailed newsletter boasts an impressive readership of over 2.7 million and growing. And with a quick read averaging 5 minutes that includes top stories in world politics, national headlines, arts, science and some super random and fun news, 1440 has become a daily read for me!
Get to know this Iowa-born Lake Bluff momboss of two “sweet and spicy” girls, how she got her start at 1440, favorite places to visit and dine with the kids and how she balances this high-pressure but flexible position with family life. Welcome, Ashley!
Hi Ashley. Please introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Ashley Latta, the copy chief at 1440 Daily Digest and a mom to two beautiful girls. I grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa, and currently live in Lake Bluff. I graduated from the University of Iowa and moved to Chicago in 2006. Here, I got a certificate from the University of Chicago’s editing program and later met my husband, Chris. Some friends took us to Bluffinia when I was pregnant with my first child, and we eventually moved up here six years ago. We never looked back!
You’re a mom! Tell us about your children.
I am the proud mother of two sweet and spicy girls: 6-year-old Savannah and 4-year-old Elise. They are the two funniest people I know and incredibly kind. I don’t know how I got so lucky!
Photo credit: E. Laird Photography
What are one or two fun facts to know about you?
I originally went to school to be a meteorologist. Turns out, I am better with words than with science. The weather is still incredibly interesting to me.
What are your favorite North Shore places, spaces and eats to frequent?
I love how many small businesses are on the North Shore. A few personal favorites include the Lake Bluff Farmers Market, M on the Square, Pasquesi, Authentico, Deer Path Inn, Botti Nails, Prairie Bar & Espresso, and Lake Bluff Brewery block parties. The girls love Silo, Sunrise Beach, Slyce in Highwood, and Bluffinia (which is coming up this weekend).
What gets you through a tough day (ie. lots of coffee, yoga, meditation, wine, a good book, etc)?
That depends on what time of day the day gets tough! In the morning, I’ll treat myself to a manicure. In the afternoon, I’ll reach for a snuggle from my kids when they get home from school. In the evening, a glass of good red wine. And I always end the day with a book in bed.
What is your mantra?
“If you’re lost, find a mom for help.” We tell our children this when we go to public places, but it’s also true for me. If I need advice, I ask my parents. If I need parenting support, I ask my parent friends. If I need to find a resource, I ask Chicago North Shore Moms. 😊
Blushing… Thank you so much for the kudos! Please introduce 1440 Newsletter.
We are a comprehensive five-minute daily news digest, which is edited to be unbiased as humanly possible. We have 2.7 million readers who span the political spectrum, with roughly 33% affiliated with the left, 33% with the right, and 33% as independent. We are named 1440 because there are 1,440 minutes in a day, and the printing press was invented around the year 1440.
You’re the copy chief for 1440. What has been your journey at 1440 from start to currently?
I started my journey at 1440 after moving to Lake Bluff. I had moved from the city and was looking for a flexible job that would allow me to stay home with the girls. I found 1440 on the American Copy Editor Society website and started working for them in September 2019. For a long time, I would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and copy edit the newsletter.
A year into it, I started writing some of the top stories each week. Now, I write various parts of the newsletter most days, I copy edit the main newsletter twice every evening, I copy edit additional emails we send, and I have eyes on most external facing material. About 18 months ago, I worked with our editor-in-chief to develop a new process that has me working in the evenings instead of early mornings. My hours are flexible, but I mostly work in the late morning, early afternoon, and after the kids go to bed.
How many people work for 1440? From where does everyone hail?
1440 has 12 employees and a handful of freelancers. We are a distributed workforce with colleagues in greater Chicagoland, Washington, DC, Charleston, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Austin, London, and more. I am constantly amazed at how smart every member of our team is.
There’s been a ton of buzz about AI lately; is 1440 ever written or assisted by AI?
AI, ChatGPT in particular, has been a point of concern for many writers and editors recently. However, I feel the focus is going to be more on how it can help us do our jobs better, as opposed to replacing our jobs completely. How can I utilize AI so I can work more efficiently in the same amount of time?
1440 does not use ChatGPT to write any part of the newsletter—we are still “unbiased as humanly possible.”
Are you looking for freelance contributors? What do our readers need to know if they are interested?
We would love to meet writers or editors who share our vision for delivering news without motives. Please feel free to send a message to [email protected].
Where does your financial support come from?
We sell ad placements to brands seeking to get in front of our intelligent readership. If our more than 2.7 million readers don’t enjoy our product, we don’t make any money. Our readers are our financial support, so we work incredibly hard to deliver for them.
Where do you find those fun articles at the bottom of the newsletter in the etc. section? What has been your most interesting article you have found to date?
It’s truly a collaborative effort from the editorial team. We dig through hundreds of websites daily looking for fun, interesting news stories.
Choosing the most interesting article is tough! We find so many every day. I would say my most compelling find was the Chicago magazine piece on Highland Park (you can read it here.
Last year, I spearheaded a special section for Giving Tuesday that I loved (which you can read here.
As a writer, you’re an expert at finding information. What sources do you use to find things to do around your town with or without the kids?
I get most of my information from emails, which is very fitting! Lake Bluff Park District is very good about keeping residents informed about everything happening. Local Facebook groups are a great resource. Obviously, CNSM. And having a solid foundation of mom friends that share information.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about yourself or 1440? Where can our readers sign up to receive your newsletter?
So much of where I am now is due to the smaller moves I made in the past. I love that my girls get a front-row seat to watch my journey, and they can see how fulfilled I am with work. I hope they find something that makes them happy someday because of the example I am setting for them.
We would love to have you as a reader! Visit join1440.com to sign up.
About our Meet of Mom Sponsor
A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here! Contact Mary directly here: [email protected].