The Oregonian

Career Beat: Cara Buckley is an Oscars blogger at The New York Times

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

  • Cara Buckley is now an Oscars blogger for The New York Times. Previously, she was a culture reporter there. (New York Times)
  • Adam Kushner will be editor of the Outlook section at The Washington Post. Previously, he was the editor of PostEverything there. (Email)
  • Michelle Nicolosi is now director of digital operations at The Oregonian and OregonLive. She was the managing editor of the Los Angeles Register. Benjamin Sherman is now director of sports and multimedia at The Oregonian and OregonLive. Previously, he was director of digital operations there. Fedor Zarkhin is now a data reporter at The Oregonian and OregonLive. Previously, he was a reporter at the Palm Beach Post. Carli Brousseau is now a data reporter at The Oregonian and OregonLive. She previously worked at the Arizona Daily Star. Tony Hernandez now covers Multnomah County government for The Oregonian and OregonLive.
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The Oregonian adds 7 staffers, some in leadership roles

Oregonian Media Group has recently added seven journalists to its editorial team, writes Mark Katches, vice president of content at Oregonian Media Group.

The hires come after a broad reconsideration of The Oregonian’s newsroom organization that included rethinking beat coverage and the creation of a data reporting team.

Four of the hires are effective today. Among them are Michelle Nicolosi, who is now director of digital operations at The Oregonian and OregonLive, and Benjamin Sherman, who is now director of sports and multimedia at The Oregonian and OregonLive.

Here’s the full list of hires and their approximate start dates, from Katches:

Starts today
Michelle Nicolosi is now the director of digital operations at The Oregonian and OregonLive. She was the managing editor of the Los Angeles Register.

Effective today
Benjamin Sherman has been named director of sports and multimedia at The Oregonian and OregonLive. He previously served as director of digital operations.

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Bloomberg publications await launch dates, alt-weeklies get together on a story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Where are Bloomberg’s new verticals? Its politics site will launch in October, “30 days before the 2014 Midterms,” Joe Pompeo reports. Bloomberg Business, Bloomberg Markets and Bloomberg Pursuits have “no hard launch dates,” Pompeo writes. “‘It’s still mostly chatter about strategy with no product being delivered,’ said one executive who was not authorized to speak on the record. ‘People want to see something on the table, basically.’” (Capital)
  2. Pulitzers have a new boss: Former Concord Monitor Editor Mike Pride will become the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes this September. (NYT) | Pride talks with Kristen Hare: “What the Pulitzers really have to do, like every other institution associated with journalism, they have to change with the times and the times are changing very quickly.” (Poynter)
  3. Brown Moses is launching a site for crowdsourced reporting: Bellingcat will give citizen journalists “a chance to learn what I’ve learnt over the last two years by trial and error,” Eliot Higgins, a.k.a.
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Oregonian Digital Shift

Advance defends bonuses for reporters who post frequently and join comment chains

Advance’s quota and bonus system at The Oregonian came in for heavy criticism last week, prompting a rejoinder from the typically close-mouthed private company.

In a note to senior executives shared with Poynter, Advance Local’s President Randy Siegel says that each newsroom “decides how to structure its own bonus program and what qualitative and quantitative criteria will be used.” He adds “every one of our local plans is different and will doubtless evolve over time.”

Siegel also includes recommendations on rewards from “an internal committee of Advance journalists.” It puts quality at the top of the list, and says prolific digital posters should not be considered “exemplary” unless their work rates high on that dimension too.

The Oregonian is in the middle of a switch having reduced print delivery to four days a week and giving higher priority to breaking news on the Oregon Live website. Willamette Week obtained a leaked internal memo establishing targets for daily posts by reporters and asking them to be first commenters on their stories. Read more


Oregonian goes to smaller print format

The Oregonian

The Oregonian will go from a “broadsheet size to a compact format,” the paper announced Tuesday. The new paper will be “about 15 inches tall by 11 inches wide.” The paper expects to complete its transition to the new format by April 2.

The type size will not change. Local, national and international news will be combined into the main news section. Sports will remain as a stand-alone section, as will Business on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. On Wednesday, Foodday + Living and health news will be combined into a single features section. On Sundays, the features sections also combine into a single A&E, Living and Travel section.

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Advance Local president: ‘signs of success are everywhere’

Privately held Advance has been mostly mum on the results of its cutback of print editions in most markets and the relaunch of its newspapers as digital media companies. But in a year-end letter to employees, Advance Local President Randy Siegel partly answers one key questions skeptics like me have been posing:

Most of our new organizations are rapidly increasing their digital revenue and approaching the point where digital ad revenue growth will be larger than print ad revenue declines. This positions us well for the future given the inexorable shift of print advertising dollars to digital. When we started launching our new companies, growing digital ad revenue faster than losing print ad revenue was one of our preeminent goals and we are getting there sooner than expected. A special shout-out to our sales teams in Michigan, New Orleans and Syracuse where 25-30 percent year-over-year digital gains now seem par for the course.

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Oregonian hopes to ‘keep reporter numbers where they are today’

How many jobs did The Oregonian shed after it announced staff and home-delivery reductions last week? Willamette Week’s Aaron Mesh reports “about 95 employees” lost their jobs.

University of Oregon professor Suzi Steffen was more exact:

Asked about layoff numbers, Oregonian editor Peter Bhatia referred me to publisher N. Christian Anderson III, who told me in an email: “I am not commenting on the number of layoffs, either company-wide or in the newsroom. At any rate, not everyone who was offered a severance package may end up leaving.” Read more


What will Oregonian reductions mean for competing news orgs, readers?

The Columbian | Editor & Publisher | Gambit | The Advocate | Willamette Week | The Portland Mercury

The just-announced reductions in home delivery and staff at Advance’s The Oregonian aren’t good news to journalists who’ll find out Friday whether they still have jobs or to people who like getting the newspaper at home. But what do they mean for other news organizations and to people who consume news?

The Columbian is published just across the Columbia River from Portland in Vancouver, Wash. Its publisher, Scott Campbell, tells Columbian reporter Cami Joner the paper has no plans to cut delivery frequency.

“If there are subscribers over here that subscribe to The Oregonian only and they’re interested in a seven-day publication, they may want The Columbian,” Columbian circulation and production director Marc Dailey tells Joner. “The caveat is that someone subscribing to The Oregonian may want more Oregon and Portland news.”

Experiences in other markets dominated by Advance papers may prove instructive. Read more

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Oregonian to reduce home delivery, lay off staff

Oregonian | Willamette Week
The Oregonian announced Thursday that it will be reducing home international delivery to four days a week. The paper will deliver on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will continue to publish daily.

N. Christian Anderson III announced that “newsroom layoffs are beginning immediately” and that staffers will know by Friday morning if they’ve been laid off, Willamette Week’s Aaron Mesh reports. Read more


Oregonian adds another small-town weekly

The Oregonian, a publication older than the state it serves, announced in late March that it’s created a new publication called the Beaverton Leader to cover news for the town that’s home to Nike. Apparently it missed the industry memo to stop the presses and get out of the print business.

“Our idea is that part of a successful [newspaper] strategy has to include effective community-level journalism and advertising,” said Peter Bhatia, The Oregonian’s editor, in a phone call with Poynter.

The Leader isn’t The Oregonian’s first town-specific newspaper. It also distributes the Hillsboro Argus and the Forest Grove Leader. Like the Forest Grove paper, Beaverton will be distributed for free, with an advertising insert, to most of the Beaverton community on Wednesdays, and will also be included with Beaverton residents’ Oregonian papers, if they’re subscribers. Read more

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