Following is a memo Editor Steve Smith sent to the SR staff Thursday evening announcing some pretty major changes in newsroom leadership and, to a lesser extent structure.
By now most everybody has at least some knowledge of the upcoming shifts, adjustments and staff changes. The changes were announced this morning at our annual manager retreat and they are summarized in this e-mail. I’ll schedule a staff meeting for next week so that we’ll have an opportunity to discuss things in more detail. The changes were driven by a couple of significant demands. The change begins with an understanding we need to realign our existing staff to meet new challenges in journalism and newspaper technology. We will not be growing the staff next year to any meaningful extent. If we are going to make changes, we must make them with the staff we have in place. The first imperative is to grow the number of people devoted to online and electronic media. The second imperative is to realign and grow our Voices operation (restoring some of what we lost in years past). The third imperative is to leverage our staff across media systems and new editorial products in such a way that I can successfully argue for maintaining newsroom staff at current levels. The changes announced this morning should help us accomplish those goals — Steven A. Smith/News Is A Conversation. (Full text announcing changes here).
DFO: The changes will have a significant positive effect re: Huckleberries Online. In January, I will begin devoting 80% of my time to Huckleberries Online and Huckleberries Print. I’ll remain a member of the Editorial Board. But I will be responsible for only an editorial or a personal column per week. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can take this blog in the coming year. I’ve been pushing for this change for almost a year. It should be fun.