Poynter.org says Gannett — owner of The Enquirer, Louisville Courier-Journal and Indianapolis Star, among others — is reorganizing newsrooms, job and pay scales “to better attract an (online) audience of 25- to 45-year-olds.” Emphasis will be on reporting, Kate Marymont, Gannett’s vp for news, told Poynter. “We’re going to invest the fewest resources necessary in production.”
That’s Gannettspeak for further staff cuts among editors and designers. Each paper will have fewer staffers overall after the reshuffling of job tiles and descriptions, Marymont said.
Changes start at dailies in Nashville, Asbury Park, N.J., Greenville, S.C., Pensacola, Fla., and Asheville, N.C. All five sites will require staffers to reapply for jobs in the newsroom, Marymont confirmed, but “reapply” isn’t the right way to look at it, she told Poynter. “No one is reapplying for an existing job, because all the jobs have been redefined.”
“We’re giving our employees first crack, of course,” Marymont added. “Some may look at it and not see a role — I hope that’s a small number. Some may interview for the new jobs, which are very different, and may not have the skills — I hope that’s a very small number.”
Reporters at Gannett are outfitted with “audience dashboards,” Marymont said, allowing them to look at “real-time and long-tail data.” Reporters must pay more attention to audience feedback with short-term changes to underperforming stories, like adding interactive elements or tweaking headlines, and with long-term tailoring of beat coverage.
At The Tennessean, executive editor Stefanie Murray said the newsroom will have more “self-sufficient reporters producing publication-ready copy.”
That resembles the philosophy at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where there’s “a little more expectation that the reporters are more independent and produce stories that are in better shape,” Executive Editor Neil Budde said in June.
Added Marymont: “We are not removing copy editing from the local sites. Most of the copy editing has to be done locally because they have the experience and the knowledge.”
CONTACT BEN L. KAUFMAN: [email protected]