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Daily Archives: December 2, 2014

Nobody’s wondering, Ken, but the figure is already out there.

* “One of the oldest holiday cliches in the book,” and other comments (facebook.com)

- Photo on the front page of Monday's Providence Journal

– Photo on the front page of Monday’s Providence Journal

Romenesko reader Mark Hertzberg saw Monday’s Providence Journal and its lead story about trying to slow down drivers. “There is a file photo of a terrible accident mentioned in the story,” he writes. “The byline on the nighttime accident photo is Karen Bordeleau. I wondered if ProJo had a new photographer because I don’t recognize her name … but she is the Senior Vice President & Executive Editor, according to the executive listings on page 2.”

What is the top editor doing taking car-crash photos at night? She explains:

I stopped to take the photos when I saw the accident on my way home from work. I asked a couple of questions and texted the information to the newsroom. It was no big deal — I’m drawn to flashing lights and sirens like any other journalist.

* Front page of Monday’s Providence Journal (newseum.org/PDF)

New: Read comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers (facebook.com)

The executive editor at Gawker – a new position – will “provide editorial direction and drive coverage of major stories,” while the group managing editor will handle personnel.

The memo from boss Nick Denton, sent to staff this afternoon:

Hard to imagine, but 2015 is going to be even more intense than this year. Our editorial leadership will be up against pros like Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith and Vox’s Lockhart Steele — with a phalanx of VCs behind them.
newmem
They will outspend us next year; but we can outplay both incumbents and cash-rich ventures, as we have in the past. Our talent selection and development, and our editorial plays, must be as shrewd and accomplished as the baseball management popularized by Moneyball.

In that, we have one great asset that no money can buy: an independent spirit and willingness to defy conventional wisdom.

To that end, we’re strengthening core management within Editorial and creating two new positions: Executive Editor, to provide editorial direction and drive coverage of major stories, and a Group Managing Editor handling personnel. (That’s a division of responsibilities much like that in a newspaper.)

Both the GME and the incoming Investigations Editor, more familiar to you as John Cook, will report to the Executive Editor, as will the EICs of Gawker, Gizmodo and the other sites. We trust the core of the new executive team will be in place in the new year.

It’s my hope that Joel will continue to provide the link between our journalism and our software product development.

The mobile app project — known in the product team as Spark — owes much to Joel’s insight into how blogging and commenting feed off each other. He’s key to the 2015 design project. And his writing on media ecosystems reconciled our advertising sales leadership to a software future, which is a really big deal. We need Joel’s mind, and we need it free of everyday distractions.

Interviews for the new Executive Editor position will start this week. The position will report to me. It is well compensated, commensurate with the responsibility, the motivation of the company’s largest department. Candidates will be asked how they intend to sustain our traffic momentum in 2015 — while producing the scoops and pungent opinion that have made the reputations of our eight flagship titles.

(By the way, November’s audience number is in, 76m in the US, up 19% on a year earlier. io9 has doubled in reach. Not bad! Oh, and for what it’s worth, we draw no less than a third of that elusive demographic, the Millennials that Vice pretends to speak to.)

There are already a couple of strong contenders in the mix. If there are other nominations, for candidates either internal or external, please send the names my way. Interviews will be conducted — swiftly — by me, Heather Dietrick and others. Once you’ve talked with Joel, I’ll be speaking with you in person to answer questions.

Nick

* Joel Johnson has been stripped of his Gawker editorial duties (capitalnewyork.com)


kidhedkidstaffkid

Businessweek national correspondent Joshua Green (above, with glasses) tweets: “When I was 7, I started a ‘newspaper’ w/twins next door. Mom just sent yellowing clip. Pull quote is priceless.” Green writes in an email: “I think the lifespan of the River Ridge Press was fairly brief… Neither of the Frasure twins wound up in journalism, alas, but we’re all still friends. …Bill Frasure is a parole officer, Dan a truck driver.”

* Read the story about young Green and his newspaper colleagues (Google Drive)

Original headline from GateHouse’s Freeport (Ill.) Journal Standard:
rise

Revised:
rise2

A tipster write: “This unfortunate headline [on top] was initially submitted for print and web. One of the sports guys in the [GateHouse] Design House (er, Center for Media and Design) in Austin, Texas, flagged it when he was doing the Freeport page … but it was, unfortunately, left on the web for about half the night.”

* Girls aim for steady, boys aim higher | Original headline (journastandard.com)

* Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich wants to buy the magazine from Conde Nast? I’ve asked him about the rumor. (theawl.com)
* “Vox Media wants to be seen as a new-age Time Inc.” (cnn.com) | Vox boss: “We don’t necessarily quote-unquote need the [latest round of] financing, but…” (adage.com)
* The author of Rolling Stone’s blockbuster rape piece never interviewed the alleged perpetrators. “I’m satisfied that these guys exist and are real,” says Sean Wood, who edited the story. (washingtonpost.com) | (newrepublic.com)buz
* “Eventually, everything starts to look and sound a little like Buzzfeed.” (theamericanconservative.com)
* Why aren’t there embedded journalists with U.S. troops in Iraq? (washingtonpost.com)
* Andrew Wallenstein on the real Serial mystery: “How on earth did a podcast become such a pop-culture sensation?” (variety.com)
* Pharrell’s hat, and other “best pop-culture moments of 2014.” (wsj.com)
* Letting sources review stories before publication is not OK, tweets Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne. (@aawayne)
* The Cleveland Plain Dealer-Northeast Ohio Media Group set-up “is so convoluted that … even insiders have a hard time trying to explain it.” (alldigitocracy.org) | A bad month for Cleveland.com. (mediamatters.org)
* New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters says he didn’t flee the set of “Morning Joe.” (talkingpointsmemo.com) | Guest flees “Morning Joe.” (nymag.com)
* A classic Aaron Sorkin quote, uttered by Charlie Skinner on Sunday’s “The Newsroom”: “I don’t want to expand the definition of the news, I want to narrow it.” (pando.com)
* …and then there’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. (gawker.com)
cold* A judge’s ruling clears the way for a new book about the “In Cold Blood” case. (ap.org)
* New York Times language czar Phil Corbett addresses the frequent use of in recent memory and arguably. (nytimes.com)
* Buyouts at the Times “signal a continuing generational shift at the paper.” (theguardian.com) | “Buyouts are tough, especially when talents like @lexinyt [Lexi Mainland] walk out the door.” (@lpolgreen)
* Times media reporter Christine Haughney is taking the buyout, too. (politico.com)
* Journalists who still smoke discuss “bumming culture.” (observer.com)
* Longform is everywhere – with big ambitions and small budgets. (cjr.org)