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Daily Archives: May 28, 2012

* Postmedia discontinues Sunday editions in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa; suspends Monday edition of National Post through the summer. (Canoe.ca)
* Kara Swisher: “The truth is always what reporters tell each other when they get back to the newsroom.” (SFGate.com)
* After being accused of censorship, U-T San Diego editor Jeff Light explains why he killed a book review. (Facebook.com)
* The New York Times town hall meeting formerly known as “Throw Stuff at Bill” is now called “Grill Jill.” (New York Observer)
* High school yearbook/newspaper adviser transferred after letting “OK to Be Gay” essay run. (Knoxnews.com)

Times-Picayune staffers are expected to learn early next week whether they’ve lost their jobs or will be offered new ones with the new NOLA Media Group, reports Gambit’s Kevin Allman.

“Job descriptions will likely be revised, and those who receive offers to stay will likely have to reapply for the new positions,” he writes. “Sources also say a number of entirely new people may be hired to contribute content to the company’s online operation, particularly in the fields of sports and entertainment.”

Allman continues:

The reporters/content providers have been told to gather information and post it online as it comes in, rather than filing traditional long-form stories. They will be providing updates throughout the day on NOLA.com and other platforms such as Twitter, and expected to take photos and video as circumstances warrant to augment the content they file online — though this information-gathering will supplant, not replace, the paper’s photographers.

The plan was presented to newsroom employees as a positive change, “freeing” them from being concerned about how their work would appear in the newspaper edition in terms of word length and story elements.

* Times-Picayune employees to learn of their fates next week (Gambit)

-- From May 26 Liverpool Echo

The UK-based Media Blog says: “You would have to travel to a lot of cities and read a lot of newspapers before you ever found a layout as bad as this horribly inappropriate front page from the Liverpool Echo.”

* More unfortunate headlines, typos, bloopers on Romenesko’s Pinterest page

Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer, the new publisher of USA Today, blesses the big changes being made in the paper’s sports department — including the firing of veteran journalists — and says in a memo that “as we recast ourselves into a multi-platform sports organization, it is clear that we must be more aggressive and proactive about how we cover breaking news.”

The full memo, which was first posted on Gannett Blog:

USA TODAY has earned a reputation as a trusted source for the news and information that matters most to consumers, as well as for its legacy of innovation. One of the things I am most excited about is what the USA TODAY Sports Media Group is doing to help us aggressively reinvigorate that legacy. This team is bringing a whole new approach to the way we cover sports, and today I want to address the realignment of the USA TODAY Sports Editorial group which has been completed this week.

Over the last two weeks, I have spent time with Tom Beusse and his leadership team, getting further up to speed on what they have been working on over the last several months to transform USA TODAY Sports and to, once again, become a true sports powerhouse. As we recast ourselves into a multi-platform sports organization, it is clear that we must be more aggressive and proactive about how we cover breaking news. While the newspaper remains an important source of news for our sports consumers, we can no longer operate with a print-first mentality. Stories move 24-7 and we need to move at that same rapid pace. The USA TODAY Sports Media Group intends to be the conversation starter, breaking news in Sports faster and in greater depth than anyone else.

To get there, the USA TODAY Sports Editorial team has been restructured to emphasize specialization around several different areas of expertise. Work shifts, publishing cycles and priorities are all changing to ensure we are relevant across all platforms.

A careful and exhaustive process was followed, working extensively with Human Resources. More than 90 new job descriptions within Sports were created to meet the needs of a digital organization. Dozens of new positions were made available to staff. This involved an extensive interview process. We were 100% committed to putting the right people in the right jobs. In the end, 16 of the top 21 positions were filled by internal candidates. Also through this process, we were able to uncover previously untapped or underutilized skill sets that further enabled us to create new opportunities for many people within the group.

This process was about redefining and re-imagining our considerable Sports franchise and the roles our people assume within it to create a center of excellence and build a great sports franchise. With this new structure, we are now well-positioned to operate in a 24-7 digital environment. This is a major step forward. We are proud of what we have accomplished to date — in fact, our sports content has already improved significantly over the last 5-6 weeks alone – and, we are excited for what is yet to come.

A much more urgent approach to news gathering will sharpen all sports products and allow USA TODAY Sports to compete on a much larger and more meaningful scale. I firmly believe no one is better positioned to play to win in this space than we are and we have the talent necessary to do it.

Larry