The gradual blurring of the lines between the MediaNews Group newspapers in Southern California is taking another step. Now there will be a single VP for news over all of the Los Angeles News Group newsrooms, an enterprise editor with a team of reporters providing investigative stories to all nine papers, group editors also over opinion, sports and features, and other changes — including further cuts in the copy editor ranks. The new positions are open to internal candidates only.
Here's the memo:
LOS ANGELES NEWS GROUP LANG EDITORIAL REORGANIZATION
Many of you have been involved in discussions about how we can more rapidly transform into the multiplatform digital news organization we need to be if we are to prosper in coming months and years. Underpinning the dialogue has been the passion to preserve and pursue quality journalism as well as figuring out how to best deliver it to our audience.
As everyone knows, a thoughtful, well-planned transition is key to our greater objective to transform our business.
We want to build an organization that strengthens the core of who we are and what we do: the best possible storytellers using the right platforms at the right time. We want to build an organization that can quickly deliver local initiatives – and your ideas - across the nine newsrooms. We want to blow up the walls in LANG and work together to give our readers more and better articles told in new and exciting ways.
To do that, we are creating a single senior management team that will be responsible for LANG editorial operations across departments. We will function, essentially, as a single newsroom across nine titles and their various platforms. While this reorganization begins with senior management, it will touch all departments as we align the best thinking for print and digital. For example, we want to create an enterprise team to jumpstart the process by providing richer news stories across the group. Our colleagues in the Bay Area News Group embarked on a similar rethinking of their organizations last summer and report very positive results.
One result of our efforts will be to grow audience on all platforms and to streamline the production of our newspapers with more shared pages and a uniform design. Our digital growth goals are aggressive but achievable if we are willing to act boldly, changing fundamentally the way we gather and distribute news. And that is exactly what we’re going to do – with your insight and help.
LANG’s senior management team will consist of the following positions:
• VP/News: The vice president for news will oversee all LANG editorial departments and will be responsible for strategy and implementation of corporate and local initiatives, working with revenue and operations executives to ensure we maximize efforts for the highest returns.
• Enterprise Editor: LANG’s editor for enterprise will oversee a team of reporters working on high-end investigative journalism for all nine newspapers.
• Local Editors: Local news remains our core mission and each LANG cluster will have an editor in charge of local news operations for Metro, San Gabriel and Inland. In addition to managing local and enterprise news, these editors will also be responsible for implementing strategic initiatives and community engagement, participating in editorial boards and interacting with readers across all platforms.
• Managing Editor-Digital: A key element in our plan is to consolidate and reinforce our digital teams under a single top editor who will be responsible for strategic improvements across our network, implementing DFM initiatives and leveraging local initiatives and projects to increase readership and audience. LANG’s digital team will focus on rapid posting of breaking news, improved presentation of enterprise projects, innovative use of new media tools and better use of visuals (photo and video) on digital platforms.
• Opinion Editor: We will have one opinion editor who will coordinate a common LANG voice on major issues that affect all LANG markets. This individual will ensure we speak with one voice on shared issues and will also lead the way in developing initiatives to improve reader engagement on our opinion sites and pages as well as in driving audience across social networks.
• Sports Editor: LANG’s sports editor will oversee sports throughout the group, building a stronger pro and college sports report for the entire group while at the same time standardizing the handling of prep sports coverage to improve delivery of local sports news on digital platforms.
• Features Editor: LANG’s features editor will be responsible for overhauling LANG features departments to create Digital First entertainment and lifestyles content streams, upgrading our print and digital content while at the same time driving additional audience with via better presentation of content and reader engagement.
All of these positions are open for application to internal candidates only. As economic conditions remain challenging, our goal is to effect this reorganization with existing resources wherever possible. To apply for any of these positions, contact Gloria Arango, Human Resources Director at email@example.com by June 22, 2012.
The next steps in our reorganization will involve a deeper dive into each department – news, digital, opinion, sports, features and production – as we attempt to improve our workflows and find the right people to help lead and meet our strategic initiatives and goals.
And finally, as many of you are already aware, we are currently reviewing the makeup of our centralized copy desk and determining how we can improve editing earlier in the process while at the same time operating more efficiently in terms of production for print editions. We anticipate restructuring on the desk will result in changing assignments for some staff, and as discussed in an earlier copy desk staff meeting, a likely reduction in personnel.
While change is never easy, it’s important to recognize that in times such as these, it’s vital. If we are to thrive, we must enthusiastically embrace the future, recognizing that only by evolving – changing – will we maintain our place as the preferred and trusted media in our communities. There is no doubt that tomorrow’s readers will increasingly turn to new platforms, devices and networks to obtain the information they want and need. It’s critical that we be there for them with that news and information, engaging new audience groups and building loyalty in a new generation of readers. Yes, the challenge is daunting, but it also brings with it great opportunity to invent our own futures. While that may be a little scary (or even a lot), it will also be exhilarating.