Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Career Beat: Conn Carroll named White House correspondent for Townhall

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

  • Conn Carroll will be White House correspondent for Townhall. He has previously worked at National Journal. (Politico)
  • Jack Shafer will be a columnist and reporter for Politico. Previously, he was press critic for Reuters. (Poynter)
  • Hugo Sánchez will be a soccer analyst for ESPN Deportes. Previously, he was a guest analyst there. (Media Moves)
  • Erika Maldonado will be an anchor at Univision Chicago. Previously, she was a general assignment reporter there. (Robert Feder)
  • Laura Zelenko will be interim senior executive editor for beat reporting at Bloomberg News. Previously, she was executive editor for markets there. (Poynter)
  • Susan Montoya Bryan will be New Mexico correspondent for The Associated Press.
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Why the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is cutting its metro section

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Starting Thursday, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram will combine the first two sections of the paper in a bid to save money and feature local content more prominently, executive editor Jim Witt wrote to Poynter Tuesday.

Witt told Poynter in an email that combining the two sections every day except Sunday will give the Star-Telegram flexibility in managing its newshole:

With two sections, our space for national/foreign and local was always the same. If we had more local news than budgeted, the only option we had was to add pages (and expense) to the second section.

Now, because there will be just one section, I can decide day-by-day how many pages to devote to local news, business news or national/international.

Three years ago, the paper combined the two sections on Monday and Tuesdays and found it was “a great tool” for organizing the paper, Witt wrote. Read more

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Dallas Morning News will print Star-Telegram, which plans layoffs

Dallas Morning News | Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Los Angeles Times

The Dallas Morning News will start printing the Fort Worth Star-Telegram next year, Gary Jacobson reports. Two hundred and seventy-five people will lose their jobs, 75 of them full-time positions, because of the move. “This makes all the sense in the world,” said Morning News Publisher and A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney, according to Jacobson.

The Star-Telegram plans to sell its printing facility. Its publisher, Gary Wortel, tells his paper that “one added convenience for Sunday subscribers is that they will begin receiving their advertising circulars in a sealed plastic bag.” Read more


Furloughs, job cuts coming to Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A memo to employees sent on behalf of Publisher Gary Wortel lays out the bad news:

Some single incumbent positions will be eliminated and several positions that are currently open will not be replaced. Work groups in several operations and circulation departments will be offered a voluntary separation package today. If enough employees do not take the voluntary option, the positions will be eliminated through the least-tenured employees in those work groups.

Employees will be required to take a one-week unpaid furlough between Feb. 11 and July 31, the memo says.

The Star-Telegram was one of five McClatchy-owned newspapers to introduce a paywall last fall. In an otherwise unhappy third quarter earnings report, McClatchy President and CEO Pat Talamantes said revenues from the paywalls “will begin to make a more significant impact in the fourth quarter.” In December, the company announced it received more than $38 million from equity investments in 2012. Read more


Police, Star-Telegram finger the wrong Austin Carpenter

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Fort Worth police screwed up mightily during an investigation of drug dealing and drug use at Texas Christian University. Eighteen people, 15 of them students, four of them — gasp — members of the Horned Frogs football team got popped on various charges, and the police released photos, which were run in local media.

While the original reports were somewhat breathless, a bigger problem was that one of those photos was of the wrong man. Austin Carpenter was named as a suspect at large because one undercover officer bought drugs in a parking lot from a guy named Austin, who drove off in a vehicle registered to someone with the last name Carpenter. Read more