Dave Morgan, the former LA Times and Yahoo sports editor who has just overseen a massive change in personnel at USA Today, explains that it was about getting the right kinds of journalists in the right places for the future. "As part of redefining our news organization, we're reducing generalization and increasing specialization," Morgan says in an interview with The Sherman Report. Fifteen staffers, many of them veterans, were let go last week. Excerpt:
Morgan said the moves were made as part of a reorganization of the USA Today sports group among its many platforms, and that includes a dramatic upcoming renovation and upgrade of its website.
“This is about us resetting our priorities and redefining our roles going forward,” he said.
Among key points, Morgan stressed, “This isn’t a cost-cutting exercise. We’re probably adding 20 positions over where we started.”
He said this move isn’t a case of dumping old, expensive journalists in favor of young, cheap journalists....
What we did was create 90 news job titles and classifications. If you look at every one person at the paper, their job didn’t exist anymore. Portions of it, but not the entire job. So if you were based in Seattle and covered the NBA and colleges, that’s not a job I have going forward. You’re either going to be NBA or colleges....We’re creating centers of expertise."