9News Opens the Information Center
The Denver Post, whose newsroom reorganization plan is detailed in this More Messages blog, isn't the only local media outlet giving longtime staffers new responsibilities. KUSA-TV/Channel 9, the Post's print/synergy partner, has also done some shifting, owing to a new initiative from its parent company, Gannett. Below are two memos sent out on July 11 by Channel 9 news director Patti Dennis (pictured). The first explains the rudiments of Gannett's Information Center concept -- an attempt to promote greater communication among print and electronic outlets. The second spells out who'll be implementing the approach locally:
From: Dennis, Patti Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 10:35 AM To: KUSA-Everyone Subject: From Pulse to the 9News Information Center
We have been very successful with the Pulse rollout as many of you are now participating in newsgathering and distribution and selling on multiple platforms. I believe KUSA sets the curve for the entire Gannett Company on fast, accurate, thorough distribution of news and information on the many platforms of the 9news Network. Congratulations!
To bring the enormous newsgathering efforts of Gannett together, we are now going to call our operation The Information Center. All of the Gannett Newspapers (85 dailies) USA Today and all of the television stations (23) will be called Information Centers. This will ensure that we are all “talking the same language” when we use company-wide newsgathering to expand our reach and resources.
The 9News Information Center is now open! The Friday report will now be called The Icky. Look for it in two days!
From: Dennis, Patti
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:50 AM
Subject: Newsroom Restructure
With our Information Center plan, we have required all newsroom and many technical employees to begin to write, shoot, stream, etc. to make sure we are moving news and information as fast and as accurately as possible.
We have also re-evaluated the newsroom management structure and are making some changes to help problem-solving and progress in our Information Center age.
Assistant News Director/Content: Tim Ryan will continue to be in charge of the daily news content. He will work closely with all newsroom journalists on story assignments, resource allocation, content distribution, and reporter schedules. Tim will continue to oversee the Sweeps projects. He will work alongside the Director of Production for daily and long-term assignments.
Director of Production/Special Projects: Asa Darrow will be in charge of the newsroom graphics, sets, all productions, brand image and take on managing any and all special projects. Asa will work alongside Tim Ryan in running the day-to-day news operation.
Technology Manager: Mike Harrity will begin a shared position between engineering and news. He will manage the IT staff; train newsroom employees on Unity and Newscutter so that our ability to move video faster becomes a shared skill.
Executive Producer/New Media: Linda Kotsaftis will be the manager of 9News.com in the content, graphic-look and layout. Linda will also be involved in the daily on-air newscasts in terms of working with online and on-air producers to keep content moving users and viewers across each platform. She will work with field crews to get updated information to 9News.com and 9News on-air as quick as possible. Linda will work closely with the other Executive Producers with show and online content, copy editing, breaking news, streaming video, etc. Linda will oversee the staff assigned to produce online content on a daily basis.
Executive Producers AM/PM : Jack Maher and Tiffani Lupenski will continue to work on morning and afternoon newscasts. They join Linda in also focusing on 9News.com content as well as managing specific newscasts on their respective shifts. Jack will oversee the 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am and noon newscasts. Tiffani will oversee the 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 9pm and 10pm newscasts. Linda will work throughout the day on content for online and on-air. Linda will manage online producer schedules and Tiffani will manage on-air producer schedules.
Chief Editor: Mark Peterson will manage the editing department in terms of quality control, editing systems, personnel, schedules and video archives.
Mark will work with Asa Darrow on any production needs and with Mike Harrity on technical issues involving equipment and storage.
Director of Photography: Eric Kehe will continue to manage the photography staff in terms of equipment, vehicles, schedules, breaking news needs and training. Eric will work with Asa Darrow when there are special projects and video needs.
Assignment Manager/New Media: Jonathan Ashford will continue to manage the assignment desk but with a new focus on multi-media. Jonathan will work with Tim Ryan and Linda Kotsaftis on immediate news distribution and communicating with field crews.
Executive Producer/9 Wants to Know: Nicole Vap will continue to manage the investigative unit with daily and long range story planning.
Executive Producer/Sports: David Hunt will continue to manage the sports department, event planning and daily coverage on-air and online.
Please congratulate Linda Kotsaftis, Mike Harrity, Asa Darrow and Mark Peterson on their *NEW* responsibilities and opportunities!
Will these behind-the-scenes moves impact what 9News viewers see on the air? Hard to say -- but the emphasis on cross-platform cooperation demonstrates why the lines that once divided newspapers and TV stations are growing blurrier every day. -- Michael Roberts