Articles about "CNN"


Career Beat: Ad Age gets new editorial director

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Eli Lake is leaving The Daily Beast, where he’s a national security correspondent. Josh Rogin is leaving The Daily Beast, where he’s a senior correspondent. (Huffington Post)
  • Simon Dumenco is editorial director at Advertising Age. Previously, he was a columnist there. (Ad Age)
  • Fran Unsworth is now director of the World Service Group at the BBC. She’s deputy director of news and current affairs. (The Guardian)
  • Chris Moody will be a senior correspondent for CNN Politics Digital. Previously, he was a political correspondent for Yahoo News. (Politico)
  • Jeffrey Schneider is founding his own PR firm, Schneider Global Strategy. He’s a senior vice president and spokesperson at ABC News. (ABC)
  • Sruthijith KK is now editor at Huffington Post India. Previously, he was editor of Quartz India. (Medianama)

Job of the day: U.S. News and World Report is looking for a Congress reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Liberals and conservatives agree: You can’t trust BuzzFeed

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Nobody trusts BuzzFeed much: Pew’s new report on Political Polarization & Media Habits says “There is little overlap in the news sources” conservatives and liberals “turn to and trust.” The Wall Street Journal is trusted across ideological boundaries, and the BBC and The Economist do well among all but the most consistent conservatives, who say they equally trust and distrust those outlets. Only one publication is rated “More distrusted than trusted” regardless of respondents’ political outlook: BuzzFeed. It’s important to note, though, that fewer than 40 percent of respondents had heard of BuzzFeed. (Pew) | BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith emails: “Most of the great news organizations have been around for decades, and trust is something you earn over time. Our organization is new, our news operation is even newer, and it’s early days for us. The more people know BuzzFeed News, especially young people who make up a small share of these surveys, the more they trust us.” | Brian Stelter: “Among other things, the study underscores Fox’s unique position in the media marketplace, thanks to what it calls the ‘strong allegiance’ that conservatives have to Fox.” (CNN)

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  2. Jill Abramson plans a startup with Steve Brill: Investors “sound very interested.” (The Wrap) | “Abramson and Carr now discussing their teenage pot smoking habits. Jill smoked by a fountain. David liked to play frisbee.” (@ylichterman)
  3. The Guardian committed no foul by reporting on Whisper: A ruling from Ryan Chittum. “It would have been a journalistic lapse for the paper not to have told readers what it had learned.” (CJR)
  4. How Gamergate intimidates publications: The loose collective of shrill gaming “advocates” has a five-step plan for flooding advertisers’ inboxes about reporters it doesn’t like. And the attacks can work. (WP) | “The D-List Right-Wingers Who’ve Turned Gamergate Into Their Loser Army” (Gawker)
  5. What happened between the NABJ and CNN? NABJ President Bob Butler says the network bailed on supporting NABJ’s 2015 convention, and CNN says it was merely “reconsidering our relationship.” The dustup lays bare a “core conflict in what NABJ — and other journalism-diversity groups, for that matter — does from day to day,” Erik Wemple writes. “On the one hand, it monitors how well newsrooms embrace diversity; on the other, it pitches those same newsrooms to ante up for convention space and other stuff.” (WP)
  6. Nielsen will measure TV viewership across devices: It’s partnering with Adobe, which “sits at the very center of video distribution system and can track views down to the IP level.” (Reuters)
  7. It’s not a good idea to stalk a reviewer: But Kathleen Hale did it anyway. (BuzzFeed)
  8. Rachel Maddow points viewers to some excellent music: The MSNBC host offers five songs for the midterms, including Fugazi’s “Bad Mouth” and Sleater-Kinney’s “Youth Decay.” (HuffPost)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Floyd County News & Tribune fronts a polka party at the Strassweg Auditorium in the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, Indiana. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Eli Lake is leaving The Daily Beast, where he’s a national security correspondent. Josh Rogin is leaving The Daily Beast, where he’s a senior correspondent. (Huffington Post) | Simon Dumenco is editorial director at Advertising Age. Previously, he was a columnist there. (Ad Age) | Fran Unsworth is now director of the World Service Group at the BBC. She’s deputy director of news and current affairs. (The Guardian) | Chris Moody will be a senior correspondent for CNN Politics Digital. Previously, he was a political correspondent for Yahoo News. (Politico) | Jeffrey Schneider is founding his own PR firm, Schneider Global Strategy. He’s a senior vice president and spokesperson at ABC News. (ABC) | Sruthijith KK is now editor at Huffington Post India. Previously, he was editor of Quartz India. (Medianama) | Job of the day: U.S. News and World Report is looking for a Congress reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

ESPN ‘frees’ Bill Simmons, but will he seek more freedom elsewhere?

mediawiremorningIt’s Wednesday. That means you get 10 media stories.

  1. Freed Simmons: ESPN’s Bill Simmons returns to the network today after his three-week suspension “for calling N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell a ‘liar’ during a podcast, and then effectively daring ESPN to punish him.” His contract expires next fall, Jonathan Mahler and Richard Sandomir report. Will he leave? (New York Times) | Deadspin would take him. (Deadspin) | Previously: At the time of the suspension, Kelly McBride wrote, “when your biggest star declares himself above his newsroom’s standards, the boss has to respond.” (Poynter)
  2. Oops — ABC News didn’t beat NBC after all: Two weeks ago, Nielsen reported that ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped “NBC Nightly News” for the first time in 260 weeks. But it turns out NBC actually kept its streak alive thanks to revised ratings after Nielsen discovered inaccuracies, Bill Carter reports. (New York Times)
  3. How Time is getting all that traffic: “Time, together with sister site Money, published at least five different pieces” on the day the cable channel FXX began its marathon of “The Simpsons.” Joseph Lichterman takes a deep look at how Time is engaging its audience — and how it has more than doubled its unique visitors in a year. (Nieman Lab) | Previously: Time.com’s bounce rate down 15 percentage points since adopting continuous scroll (Poynter)
  4. AP’s Gannon speaks: “Honestly, I’ve thought it through so many times — I know neither Anja or I would have done anything differently,” says AP correspondent Kathy Gannon in her first interview since she and photographer Anja Niedringhaus were attacked in Afghanistan in April. Niedringhaus was killed, and Gannon “was hit with six bullets that ripped through her left arm, right hand and left shoulder, shattering her shoulder blade.” (Poynter)
  5. Layoffs at CNN, Conde Nast: CNN has closed its entertainment news division, and shows including Christiane Amanpour’s have lost their production staffs, Alex Weprin reports. (Capital New York) Meanwhile, “Condé Nast is expected to lay off 70 to 80 employees within the next week or two, primarily from the group that oversees ad sales,” writes Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg. (Wall Street Journal)
  6. Baltimore Sun redesign: A Los Angeles-times style redesign comes to another Tribune newspaper. Among the advantages, writes executive editor Trif Alatzas: “Endless-scroll technology connects you to other news categories and related articles and images without page breaks at the end of an article or Web page.” (Baltimore Sun) | Previously: New L.A. Times site: precooked tweets and a new flavor of infinite scroll (Poynter) | How news sites are adding continuous scrolls to article pages (Poynter)
  7. Vox’s email newsletter debuts today: One differentiator: It’ll be sent in the evening, not the morning. And it’ll consist of, uh, “sentences.” (Nieman Lab)
  8. ICYMI: The South Florida Sun Sentinel is reducing its emphasis on print, and that means changing things beyond workflow: “It’s our language, how we talk,” associate editor Anne Vasquez told Kristen Hare. For instance, “‘That was a great paper today’ or ‘Write that story for 1A.’” (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The final edition of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, “one of the most venerable, staunchly independent, and defiantly weird of America’s great alternative weekly newspapers,” as Slate’s Will Oremus describes it.
     
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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Justin Bank is deputy editor of audience development at The New York Times. Previously, he ran The Washington Post’s audience and digital news team. (The New York Times) | Dao Nguyen is now BuzzFeed’s publisher. Previously, she was vice president of growth and data there. (Poynter) | Michael Dimock has been named president of the Pew Research Center. Previously, he was executive vice president there. (Politico) | Tessa Gould is senior director of native advertising at The Huffington Post. Previously, she was director of HuffPost’s partner studio. (Huffington Post) | Kevin Gentzel has been named head of advertising sales for Yahoo. Previously, he was chief revenue officer for The Washington Post. (Poynter) | Peter Cooper will be the writer and editor for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He’s a music columnist for The Tennessean. (The Tennessean) | Sean Kelley will be managing editor of Cooking Light. Previously, he was director of content and video for Sharecare. Katie Barreira will be director of Cooking Light Kitchen. Previously, she was food editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: GoLocalPDX is looking for an investigative reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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‘About 170′ layoffs at CNN; headcount will be reduced by 300

Capital

Layoffs hit CNN Tuesday, with cuts affecting multiple divisions throughout the far-flung news network, Alex Weprin writes for Capital.

According to Capital, “a number of shows” have been axed, and the Time Warner-owned network has closed its entertainment unit. There will be “about 170″ layoffs on top of the 130 buyouts that senior employees have already taken, Weprin writes. Turner Broadcasting, CNN’s parent company, will trim its headcount by “nearly 1,500,” according to the Capital report.

Taken together, the buyouts and layoffs mean 300 fewer employees for the network, a number that was projected earlier this month by “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter.

CNN’s newsroom size appears to have held relatively steady in recent years. The network’s page on Turner Broadcasting says the news organization currently has 4,000 employees. That’s the same number the network reported in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Read more

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Men’s Health demonstrates how not to talk about sports with anyone

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. CNN will cut 300 jobs: About 130 people have taken buyouts, and 170 more will be laid off, Brian Stelter reports. Parent Turner Broadcasting plans to lay off 1,475 people. (CNN) | “Turner said it was adding 150 employees in growth areas.” (NYT)
  2. How not to talk about sports with anyone: Men’s Health tweeted an image of a woman holding a foam finger under the legend “How to Talk about Sports with Women.” The link led to a slight Teresa Sabga story called “The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman.” The mag apologized on Twitter: “It missed the mark and the negative feedback is justified. We’ve deleted it.” (@MensHealthMag) | A brief selection of reactions: “is this a joke?” (@AishaS) | “hi @MensHealthMag, you don’t know me, but i run @ESPNMag’s annual analytics issue. also, i have a vagina!” (@megreenwell) | “The article (article?) itself is 100 words of non-advice.” (The Daily Dot)
  3. College rescinds George Will’s speaking engagement: Scripps College uninvited Will from speaking at the all-women school. Will wrote a stupid column about sexual assault earlier this year. “They didn’t say that the column was the reason, but it was the reason,” Will told Brad Richardson. He was due to speak at the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program, which aims to “bring speakers to campus whose political views differ from the majority of students.” (The Claremont Independent) | The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dumped Will’s column last June. “The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it,” Tony Messenger wrote. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | An all-male cast of editors handled the column. (WP)
  4. L.A. Times says Aaron Kushner owes it millions: It stopped delivering the Orange County Register (and the now-shuttered Los Angeles Register) in L.A., telling Gustavo Arellano the Register “has, for more than a year and a half, been consistently late in paying money it owes The Times for services rendered.” (OC Weekly) | “The shame about the U.S. economy in the 2000s is that it’s been marked by a dearth of Aaron Kushners.” (Forbes)
  5. Scammers target Denver Post subscribers: “The notices offer one-year renewals to The Denver Post for the low, low price of only $489.95, which equates to 410 percent more than the actual current amount for The Post’s All Access Plus digital replica subscription and about 71 percent more than a new seven-day print subscription.” (The Denver Post) | Subscribers of several McClatchy papers, including The Sacramento Bee and the Charlotte Observer, have also been hit. (Sac Bee) | OOF: “Criminals should get -30- to life.” (@jfdulac)
  6. Amazon will help spread Washington Post content: A Kindle app, free for those who buy a certain model and paid for those who buy others, “will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine-style, tablet-friendly format.” (Bloomberg Businessweek) | “[I]f it increases the Post‘s reach (either for readers or advertisers, or both) and it doesn’t cost Amazon or Bezos too much, then it is a slam-dunk.” (Gigaom) | “Honest question: How many of you are listening to U2’s new album because Apple forced it into your iTunes library?” (@dylanbyers) | (Honest answer: I gave it many chances but still can’t recall most of the songs.) | Marginally related: Margaret Sullivan looked at whether NYT has covered Amazon v. Hachette fairly. (NYT) | FLASHBACK: Times reporter David Streitfeld on Amazon: “They don’t care if they’re liked, or even if they’re understood. That makes them challenging to write about.” (Poynter)
  7. Lessons from The New Yorker’s Web redesign: “Right on down to the font choice and page breaks, every decision we made, we first asked ourselves, ‘How will this affect whether or not people will read a story from beginning to the end?’” NewYorker.com Editor Nicholas Thompson tells John Brownlee. (Fast Company)
  8. A meh-moir: An oral history of the NYT’s Meh List. “[N]o one lived it like Mark Leibovich, who developed a sixth sense for meh.” By Samantha Henig, with additional reporting and user experience by Jon Kelly. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times greets autumn, beautifully. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: David Gillen is now executive editor of news enterprise at Bloomberg News. Previously, he was deputy business editor of enterprise at The New York Times. (Politico) | Loren Mayor is now chief operating officer for NPR. Previously, she was senior vice president of strategy there. (Poynter) | Mike Grunwald will be a senior staff writer at Politico magazine. He is a senior national correspondent for Time magazine. (Playbook) | Weston Phippen is now a reporter for the National Journal. Previously, he was a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times. Lauren Fox will be a Congress reporter at the National Journal. Previously, she was a political reporter at U.S. News and World Report. (Email) | Mark Brackenbury has been named executive editor for the Connecticut Group at Digital First Media. He is managing editor for the New Haven Register. (New Haven Register) | Colleen Noonan has been named vice president of marketing and creative service for the New York Daily News. Previously, she was a digital media and marketing consultant at Pitney Bowes. Melanie Schnuriger is now vice president of product development for the New York Daily News. Previously, she was general manager of fashion and beauty for Hearst Digital Media. Kristen Lee is director of digital development for the New York Daily News. Previously, she was digital integration editor there. Brad Gerick is now director of social media for the New York Daily News. He has been social media manager and regional editor for Patch.com. Zach Haberman is now deputy managing editor for digital at the New York Daily News. Previously, he was digital news editor there. Cristina Everett is now deputy managing editor for digital entertainment at the New York Daily News. Previously, she was senior digital entertainment editor there. Andy Clayton is now deputy managing editor for digital sports at the New York Daily News. Previously, he was senior online sports editor there. Christine Roberts is mobile and emerging products editor at the New York Daily News. Previously, she was an associate homepage editor there. (Email) | Job of the day: BuzzFeed is looking for a National LGBT Reporter. Get your résumés in! (BuzzFeed) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org
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CNN will cut 300 jobs

CNN | USA Today

CNN Worldwide will cut about 300 positions, Brian Stelter reports. Its parent company, Turner Broadcasting, wants to reduce its number of employees by about 10 percent.

About 130 of the CNN cuts are coming from buyouts, Stelter writes. The remainder “will be cut through layoffs.”

Turner is in turn owned by Time Warner. USA Today media columnist Michael Wolff wrote Sunday that Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes wants to raise the company’s stock price, and “the fast way to $100 a share is the kind of deep cost-cutting that this relatively complaisant company has never been known for.” Read more

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A fact-checker’s toast to ‘Crossfire’

This story originally appeared on the PunditFact website. Poynter.org is republishing with permission.

The CNN show "Crossfire," which debuted Sept. 9, 2013, is on "indefinite hiatus," according to published reports.

The CNN show “Crossfire,” which debuted Sept. 9, 2013, is on “indefinite hiatus,” according to published reports.

After an eight-year hiatus, a revamped Crossfire was tapped to help launch a new era for CNN that focused less on news and more on the political back-and-forth that has become commonplace on MSNBC and Fox News.

But the show appears headed for extinction again, after less than a year on air.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the show has been "withdrawn," a term that is perfectly mushy, yet fairly clear. New York Magazine described the show as on "indefinite hiatus."

The show debuted Sept. 9, 2013, and featured an alternating cast of liberals and conservatives, hosted by S.E. Cupp, Newt Gingrich, Van Jones and Stephanie Cutter.

Crossfire has not aired since July 15, 2014, and took an extended break in the spring so that CNN could devote time to the Malaysia Airlines crash.

While the show may not have been a ratings winner, it was a good place to find interesting fact-checks.

Here’s a sample of some of our more interesting work.

Trouble in Syria

The show debuted with a big guest, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who made a claim that still holds relevance today.

Paul was discussing the situation in Syria and how the United States didn’t have a lot of good options. Paul claimed that Syrian President Bashar Assad probably is a war criminal, but that some of his political opponents are equally dangerous.

"We've seen priests beheaded by the Islamic rebels on the other side," Paul said. "We've also seen an Islamic rebel eating the heart of a soldier."

News reports show that Islamic rebels gunned down a priest but did not behead him.

Paul’s claim about a rebel eating a heart is more accurate, but the details are sketchy. Both the focus on a heart and the idea of cannibalism push strong emotional buttons. But it might not have been a heart, and there might not have been an actual bite, we found. Still, a rebel carved up a dead Syrian soldier, boasted about it as he did so, and at the very least, spoke and acted as though he were eating the dead man’s liver and heart.

We rate Paul’s claim Half True.

NRA’s political influence

A few days later, talk turned to the political successes and failures of the National Rifle Association.

Liberal host Van Jones claimed that the NRA’s reputation of invincibility is exaggerated.

"The NRA is not popular on a big scale," Jones said. "They can cherry-pick their focus. … 1 percent of candidates that they endorsed in 2012 won — 1 percent."

That’s quite a low number, but it also is wrong. It rates False.

An independent analysis did find that about 1 percent of money spent by one particular NRA affiliate either helped elect a winning candidate or helped defeat a losing one.

But that ignores a second NRA affiliate that did much better, and the study in question looked at dollars spent — not endorsements.

From the data we compiled, the NRA’s endorsements were about 60 percent successful.

Jones later acknowledged his mistake, saying, "Yup, I botched that stat."

Jobs tied to Keystone

Jones played a central figure in one or more popular fact-checks of 2014.

The topic: the Keystone XL pipeline.

"Every time we have a show, somebody says something … about Keystone, and somehow Keystone is going to create all these jobs," Jones said during a February episode. "Then it turns out, look at the actual numbers. It turns out the actual numbers are 3,900 temporary jobs in the construction sector and 35 permanent jobs."

There’s plenty of debate over how many jobs the project would create during construction.

The State Department report puts the total at 42,100 jobs, though the definition of a job in this sense is a position filled for one year. Much of the construction work would come in four- or or eight-month stretches. About 10,400 seasonal workers would be recruited for construction, the State Department said.

When looked at as "an average annual job," it works out to about 3,900 jobs over one year of construction or 1,950 jobs each year for two years.

The rest of the jobs would be the result of spillover spending (formally called indirect or induced economic activity) as Keystone workers buy equipment and materials to complete the project and spend their money on an array of services, including food, health care, and arts and entertainment. As you might expect, it’s much harder to measure the widespread effect on job creation.

There’s no doubting that most of the economic activity comes during construction. Jones honed in on jobs after construction, which aren’t really a source of sharp debate.

"There’s very few jobs operating pipelines," said Ian Goodman, president of the Goodman Group Ltd., an energy and economic consulting firm in Berkeley, Calif. "That’s one of the reasons why pipelines are attractive to the oil industry. They’re relatively inexpensive to build and operate."

The report says the project would provide jobs for about 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors.

The full-timers would be "required for annual operations, including routine inspections, maintenance and repair." Some would work in Canada. The U.S. employees would work at pump stations along the pipeline route as well as a Nebraska office.

Jones’ focused claims is on the mark. We rate it True.

Corporate taxes in focus

The taxes paid, or not paid, by corporations is a perennial topic in Washington. There is broad agreement that the current rules should be changed but no consensus on what those changes ought to be.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pulled out a dramatic statistic during a September 2013 back-and-forth with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "One out of four corporations doesn't pay a nickel in taxes," Sanders said.

Sanders' office pointed us to a Government Accountability Office study from 2008. In one sense, that study found that Sanders understated the situation. For all corporations, about two-thirds, or about 1.2 million, paid no federal income taxes in 2005. But many of those firms are quite small — an owner and a couple of employees.

For large U.S.-controlled corporations, those with at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in gross receipts, one out of four paid no taxes, as Sanders said. The total revenues for those large companies was about $1.08 trillion.

That, however, is not the end of the story.

The GAO study did not distinguish between firms that had losses in the normal course of business and those that reported losses solely through the use of the tax code. That means businesses could have paid no taxes because they didn’t turn a profit.

While special tax breaks and abuses of the tax code exist, an analysis from the progressive group Citizens for Tax Justice found that the ratio was, one out of six and possibly as small as one out of 16.

As such, we rate Sanders’ claim Half True. Read more

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Career Beat: National Press Foundation gets a new president

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Ann Shoket will be a consultant for Hearst. Previously, she was editor in chief of Seventeen magazine. (Capital New York)
  • Kal Penn will be a special correspondent for Fusion. Previously, he was associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement. (Politico)
  • Richard Tomko is now publisher of amNewYork. Previously, he was a consultant at Boost Digital. (Email)
  • Tony Brancato is now executive director of Web products and audience development at The New York Times. Previously, he was head of product for the Web there. (The New York Times)
  • Sandy Johnson is now president and chief operating officer at the National Press Foundation. Previously, she was the excecutive editor at Stateline.org. (National Press Foundation)
  • Jeff Simon will be a video producer at CNN. He’s a producer for The Washington Post. (@jjsimonWP)
  • Cynthia Littleton will be Variety’s managing editor for television. Previously, she was editor in chief of television. Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein are now co-editors in chief at Variety. Eller was editor in chief of film at Variety. Wallenstein was editor in chief of digital there. (Variety)
  • Sonya Thompson will be director of news projects for Tribune Media Group. She was news director for WJW in Cleveland. Mitch Jacob will be news director at WJLA. He was news director for WSYX in Columbus. Jamie Justice will be news director at WSYX in Columbus. Previously, she was assistant news director there. Rob Cartwright is now news director for KEYE in Austin. Previously, he was news director for WSYR in Syracuse. Jeff Houston is now news director for WBMA in Birmingham. Previously, he was an assistant news director there. (Rick Gevers)
  • James VanOsdol has been named newsroom program manager at Rivet News Radio. He is an anchor at HearHere Radio LLC. (Robert Feder)

Job of the day: Politico is looking for a tax reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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4 quick tips for attracting — and keeping — mobile readers

So your news organization now gets the majority of its pageviews through mobile devices. Now what? At the Online News Association conference in Chicago, mobile bosses from The New York Times, CNN and BuzzFeed dispensed tips for boosting mobile growth. Here are four of them.

  1. Become a metric sleuth
    One evening earlier this year, CNN saw a confusing uptick in mobile traffic, said Etan Horowitz, senior mobile editor at CNN. The editors were puzzled. Why the sudden spike? Upon further investigation, they realized the pageviews weren’t caused by any stories posted to CNN’s mobile site. Instead, they came from a video of a scary-looking baby terrorizing New Yorkers that had been shared on CNN’s social media accounts.

    Sometimes, as in the case of the “Devil Baby,” traffic spikes are one-offs, caused by popular pieces of content. But other times, they’re attributable to a pattern that can be exploited for more pageviews. For example, editors at CNN noticed a huge increase in mobile traffic during holidays, including the Fourth of July and Christmas, when people ditch their laptops and desktops, Horowitz said.

    They’ve since capitalized on this trend by posting practical how-tos during those days, including grilling guides for July Fourth and tips on which apps to download for Christmas.

    “You’re going to find these metrics that may not make sense, but once you find them, there’s a lot of power there,” Horowitz said.

  2. Make content available at high-traffic periods
    There are probably more than a few differences between The New York Times’ and BuzzFeed’s audience, but here’s one of them: BuzzFeed readers, in general, don’t wake up early.

    Whereas The New York Times sees an early-morning traffic increase as readers check in for a morning briefing, BuzzFeed’s readers tend to stop by hours later, said Alice DuBois, director of editorial content at BuzzFeed.

    “We do not have that same early-morning bump,” DuBois said. “BuzzFeed readers are not waking up at six or seven.”

    Similarly, CNN sees its mobile audience surge at night, when people have some downtime after work, Horowitz said. This means editors are inclined to publish content for their mobile audience during these optimal hours rather than saving something for the early morning.

  3. Reorganize for mobile
    When The New York Times reimagined the organization of its project development division in 2012, they decided to assign dedicated teams to tackle separate mobile assignments, said Alex Hardiman, executive director of mobile at The New York Times.

    One group handled iOS development. One was in charge of making Android products. In total, there were four separate teams, composed of individuals from various divisions throughout The Times, that each handled a different aspect of mobile development. This has allowed them to tackle projects with more speed and agility.

    BuzzFeed has adopted this approach as well, establishing separate product development teams to build a news app and create content on mobile-centric platforms like Vine and Instagram.

  4. Cultivate a mobile culture
    The vaunted page one meeting at The New York Times is no longer print-centric, Hardiman said.

    Times editors still weigh which stories merit front-page treatment, but mobile decisions are now featured prominently during the meetings.

    Mobile-first thinking has permeated CNN and BuzzFeed as well. CNN now displays the landing page for its mobile site on monitors throughout the newsroom, alongside live feeds of the desktop homepage and the broadcast channel, Horowitz said. Editors project the mobile site at meetings and make sure to let the newsroom know when CNN reaches major mobile milestones. BuzzFeed has added a mobile preview into its editing window so reporters and editors know what each story will look like on mobile before its published.

    Another tactic for getting a staff buy-in? Show skeptical journalists the raw pageview numbers that well-formatted mobile posts attract, DuBois said.

    “I always say, for this, just like anyone else, if you go to a reporter for mobile, you have to tell them what’s in it for them,” she said.

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4 quick Twitter tips from Time, CNN, Mashable and NPR

Four social media experts offered tips from their experiences detecting news, reporting news, publishing news and engaging with audiences at a panel moderated by Twitter’s head of news, Vivian Schiller, at the Online News Association conference in Chicago. Here are four of them.

Get retweeted by telling people stuff they don’t know

Quiz time: Callie Schweitzer, director of digital innovation at Time, asked attendees to guess which of these two tweets received the most retweets:

Schweitzer said the second tweet gave people info that they didn’t already know, accounting for its success. “Thinking for the retweet” is part of Time’s larger strategy for boosting social traffic.

The second tweet above contains a factoid that’s useful to readers even if they don’t click the link. More retweets means potential for more impressions, but remember that sharing doesn’t always correlate with clicking. The most shareable tweets aren’t always those that are most likely to compel followers to click a link.

Even on social media, it’s possible to have difficult conversations

Engaging with audiences on Twitter can go much deeper than asking for opinions on the news. Kat Chow, a blogger/social media producer for NPR’s Code Switch, highlighted how she cultivated conversation around topics that wouldn’t ordinarily be broached on social media.

One such topic: interracial relationships. Check out a Storify of tweets on the topic that Chow put together here.

Use geolocation to find and verify content

Searching for tweets by location is an advanced search option on Twitter and Tweetdeck. It doesn’t prove that a user reporting on, say, the arrest of Justin Bieber is telling the truth, but if you find out she’s located in Los Angeles, that can set you on the right path toward verification.

CNN Digital’s Dorrine Mendoza, senior social media producer, talked about CNN’s use of Dataminr, a tool for surfacing potential breaking-news tweets that officially launched this week for all news organizations. Using Dataminr is “like learning to play the piano,” Mendoza said, and it still requires a human touch to verify what the service uncovers.

There’s no substitute for on-the-ground coverage

When Mashable’s real-time news editor Brian Ries — in Mashable’s New York offices — heard word on social media of tear gas being used during riots in Ferguson, Missouri, he messaged Amanda Wills, who was on the scene, to fill her in. Her response: “I know.”

Mashable’s mastery of social reporting from its New York office freed up those on the ground to do deeper reporting, Ries said.


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