Susan Fornoff


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SUSAN FORNOFF is an award-winning journalist, editor and publisher who has written more than 3,000 bylined newspaper and magazine articles, three published books and four websites. Perpetually studying the evolving communications industry and technology, her skills include building brand and reader engagement through writing, editing and publishing blogs, e-newsletters, digital magazines, websites and social media.

She covered all sports and many other topics in a 30-year journalism career. A summa cum laude graduate of the journalism program of the University of Maryland, Susan Fornoff wanted to be Woodward or Bernstein, but so did every other budding writer — journalism school enrollment was at an all-time high.

Having been a sports nut since her dad took her out to watch Johnny Unitas in the rain and snow, she decided to join the wave of women sportswriters, and went to work at the Baltimore News American. After three years there, she joined the original staff at USA Today, serving duty on the sports copy desk and then covering soccer and general assignment sports and sports features until 1985.

That’s when the Sacramento Bee hired Susan Fornoff to cover the Oakland A’s, and she became known as “The Rat Lady” after a player sent her a gift-wrapped rat to bring attention to what he considered to be the injustice of women entering the clubhouse. The incident motivated Fornoff to team with three other women sportswriters in forming the Association for Women in Sports Media in 1987, and to later write a memoir called “Lady in the Locker Room,” which was published in 1993 and was updated in in print and e-book in 2014.

Considered a pioneer for women sportswriters, Fornoff still gets media calls whenever there’s an incident involving a woman in a locker room, and college students regularly call on her as a source for their term papers.

She left the Bee in 1992 and freelanced for magazines and corporate clients. Following an exciting stint in media relations for World Cup Soccer 1994 at Stanford, she returned to newspapers and embarked on a 15-year journey through a variety of jobs at the San Francisco Examiner and then Chronicle. There she wrote on topics that included real estate, wine and food, architecture, design, furniture, shopping, consumer issues, law, sports (especially golf), travel, arts, health, fitness, tech and women’s issues.

Susan Fornoff formed GottaGoGolf in 2009 as a digital magazine, blog and monthly e-newsletter that she built to an opted-in subscription of 4,000-plus. She also has served freelance writing and PR clients including The Institutional Real Estate Letter, Golden Gate University, SFGate and several small businesses on strategy, media relations and collateral materials, including social media content strategy for Twitter, Facebook and blogs.