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Daily Archives: August 7, 2013

Mark Russell, who was promoted to Orlando Sentinel editor in October of 2010, is being replaced by content director Avido Khahaifa. Here is publisher Howard Greenberg‘s memo:

From: OSAdministration
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 4:50 PM
To: OSC DL All Employees
Subject: Important Message from Howard Greenberg

Mark Russell

Mark Russell

I want to make you aware of some important changes to our newsroom operations. Orlando Sentinel Editor Mark Russell will be leaving the company this week. SVP/Director of Content Avido Khahaifa will add editor responsibilities to his role, and will now oversee the day-to-day Orlando newsroom management, in addition to leading regional editorial strategy.

With this change, Mark’s direct reports will report to Avido. In South Florida Sun Sentinel Editor Howard Saltz, who previously reported to Avido, will now report to me.

Mark’s last day is this Friday. On behalf of everyone at the Orlando Sentinel, I thank Mark for his dedicated service and leadership in the newsroom over the last nine years. He has been instrumental in moving us to a more digital focus while maintaining our tradition of strong journalism.

- Howard

* Russell is leaving as part of a restructuring, the paper says (orlandosentinel.com)

karaOpen Letter to Jeff Bezos: Hire Kara Swisher as Post publisher.

* Open letter to Jeff Bezos from ex-WaPo mailroom clerk Kara Swisher (allthingsd.com)

———–

Former Washington Post managing editor John Temple (pictured below) writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Maybe Jeff Bezos will be someone who can help news organizations leap into the future by giving people real journalism in a deeply satisfying way. If he can do that, the sale of the newspaper of the nation’s capital will resonate across the land.”

Also, Bezos might be able to straighten out newspapers’ customer service departments. Here’s Temple’s recent experience:

We live in the era of big data, where many businesses know more than some of us would like about us, their customers. Yet, on the day the Post sale was announced, I received a telling call from a sales person asking me to resubscribe to home delivery of the newspaper.
temple
The call was indicative of the problems newspaper companies face. The paper’s representative didn’t seem to know that I now lived in Palo Alto and had subscribed to the paper’s digital service at its highest level, $14.99 every four weeks for access to the Post’s Web and mobile sites, as well as all its apps.

Can you imagine the same thing happening with Amazon? Instead, Amazon would be recommending more things for me to buy and seeking my input on the products I’ve purchased to help other consumers make informed decisions.

* Washington Post sale not an inside-the-Beltway issue (sfchronicle.com)

Also:
* “Perhaps Bezos thinks he can make money by producing and distributing consequential work” (huffingtonpost.com)
* Hendrik Hertzberg says Don Graham “performed flawlessly” as Crimson president (newyorker.com)
* How a cartoonist sees WaPo reporters traveling once Bezos takes over (ajc.com)
* Five things Bezos should do to reinvent the Post (gigaom.com)
* Take that, Politico staffers who once worked at WaPo! (@jfdulac)


At the end of his column pitching “Missouri is Awesome” as a “Show-Me State” slogan replacement, Kevin Horrigan has this anecdote about a former Post-Dispatch sports editor:
miss

Some three decades ago, when the word “awesome” began creeping into overuse, I had a boss who banned it from the sports pages. “Only the hydrogen bomb is awesome,” wrote the late Ed Wilks. “And if you’ve seen that, it’s too late to use it.”

Alas, it was too late to stop it. And now awesome has become ironic. It could become the state slogan. That would be awesome.

* A new slogan for Missouri: Awesome! (stltoday.com)

Earlier on JimRomenesko.com:
* Washington Post Outlook section avoids “charm offensive” and many other terms
* Milwaukee Journal Sentinel memo: “We are seriously over-using the word ‘iconic’”

I had a post yesterday about Iowa City Press-Citizen’s plan to assign its University of Iowa Hawkeyes beat reporters to prep sports and let the Des Moines Register handle the coverage. (Editors at the Press-Citizen and the Register aren’t returning my emails or phone calls. They’re both Gannett papers.)ryans

This morning a reader pointed to former Press-Citizen sports editor Ryan Suchomel’s “Get out while there’s still time” tweet.

UPDATE: I’m told that the paper had decided to use the Register’s resources for Hawkeyes coverage rather than cut another Press-Citizen newsroom position. On Monday, Suchomel gave veteran Hawkeyes reporter Pat Harty a heads-up in case he wanted to start job-hunting. Harty, who does side work for KCJJ radio, told the station about the newspaper’s plan and it aired a report on Monday evening. Suchomel was let go on Tuesday.

He tells Romenesko readers:

I felt we were cut to the bone in sports long before this latest decision. We’ve tried to do more with less for a long, long time in a very competitive market. This is snapping the bones and sucking out the marrow.

* Ryan Suchomel is out as Press-Citizen sports editor (1630kcjj.com)
* Press-Citizen is abandoning Hawkeye sports and that’s too bad (blackheartgoldpants.com)
* Earlier: Iowa City Press-Citizen is outsourcing its Hawkeyes coverage (jimromenesko.com)

* How the Jeff Bezos-Washington Post deal came together with relative speed. (washingtonpost.com)
jeff* Don’t expect any short-term fixes at the Washington Post when it’s run by long-term thinker Bezos. (nytimes.com)
* Bezos hasn’t addressed the biggest question about his investment: Is he buying the Post for business reasons or out of a philanthropic urge to save the paper? (seattletimes.com)
* No seller’s remorse, says Don Graham. “Other way around really.” (niemanlab.org)
* Corey Pein comes up with the “Bezos-Post Conflict of Interest Crayon.” (coreypein.net)
* “I’m put off by The Washington Post becoming a billionaire’s bauble,” writes Lou Cannon. | Retired j-prof: “To Bezos, I say, ‘Go for it!’” (usatoday.com)
* Ex-WaPo reporter Blaine Harden says “this is the best thing to happen to the Post since the Internet began.” (crosscut.com)
* Oh, no! Bezos will probably expect his journalists to be efficient! (businessinsider.com)
* Michael Grunwald: “As we used to say at the Post, we may be dinosaurs, but dinosaurs walked the earth for millions of years.” (time.com)
* Bezos, no fan of unions, gets 1,200 union employees. (xconomy.com)
* Claim: WaPo’s Kaplan bet may have cost it the paper. (huffingtonpost.com)

Bezos-free zone:
patch* AOL is closing, selling or finding partners for the 300 or so Patch sites that aren’t on a course to break even anytime soon, reports Jeff Bercovici. (forbes.com)
* McClatchy editor defends running terror threat information that other news outlets withheld. (huffingtonpost.com)
* Pew: 61% of Internet users do their banking online. (pewinternet.org)
* Cleveland alt-weekly now has the @plaindealer Twitter handle. (clevescene.com)
* “A Truckload of Ink” – a newspaper play out of New Orleans — is about the “righteous fight to save a cultural institution from an out-of-state corporate dismantlement.” (nolaproject.com)
* Former Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti has a new website. (shermanreport.com)
* AOL pays $405 million for web video company Adap.TV. (allthingsd.com) | Why AOL did the deal. (theatlanticwire.com)
* Denver Post is still trying to sell its Rockies stake. (westword.com)
* College student was excited about buying a newspaper. “I could see myself sitting in this great big desk.” (kearneyhub.com)