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“Nobody is the same after being interviewed by @karaswisher”
– Jack Shafer tweet from February 13

I finally got around to listening to Jack Shafer on the Longform podcast that was posted earlier this month. Here’s the Politico media writer and former Washington City Paper editor talking to Max Linsky about hiring journalists:

You make mistakes. I’ve hired people I shouldn’t have hired, and then what you try to do is either reform them, reform yourself, or rectify the error and tell them to leave.

Jack Shafer

Jack Shafer

I mean, there are writers who came to me – I’ll give you a great example: I hired [at Washington City Paper], fresh out of college, Kara Swisher. And Kara Swisher I hired basically because she’s a dynamo, she’s unstoppable – just a force of nature.

But it wasn’t the right time for her. She didn’t embrace stories about conflict, her writing wasn’t particularly good, her editing wasn’t particularly good, and we agreed to part after I think it was six or eight months. But she got right back into the game. [He describes her successes after leaving City Paper.] … Maybe I should have given Kara another two months and I would have been able to harness this dynamo. So you make mistakes all the time. You think somebody doesn’t have it. You send them back to the minors, or you put them on waivers, and then they go succeed someplace else.

* Longform Podcast #128: Jack Shafer (longform.org)

Update:




“The New York Times has decided to get out of the podcast business,” listeners of The Caucus podcast were told last week.

That’s not exactly right, I’m told.

“Yes, we’re re-evaluating our podcast schedule for the coming year,” a Times spokeswoman tells me. “Some will continue, but many will be discontinued. Among those that will continue: Book Review, Science Times and the Front Page.”

John Geddes, managing editor for operations, says in a statement:

We’ve been producing podcasts for more than eight years. We’ve learned a lot by doing them and many have a loyal following. But a recent assessment of where the newsroom puts its resources came to the conclusion that there may be other venues and programs that may be more advantageous in connecting with our audience.

Boston Globe editor Marty Baron says in a tweet that his paper dropped podcasts years ago. “Big time commitment, little gain,” he writes.