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Archive for the ‘TBD’ Category

I tell journalism students they are entering my profession at a time of extraordinary opportunity. I still believe that, even if the opportunity at TBD didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting.

I agreed today to pursue another extraordinary opportunity. I will be rejoining my friend and mentor Jim Brady and joining the visionary John Paton, Jon Cooper and other Journal Register Co. colleagues I am eager to meet.

I will be leading community engagement efforts for JRC: social media, community blogs, community conversation, the full range of community engagement. More on that as this adventure unfolds. (more…)

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Erik Wemple, editor of TBD, will excel in his next role, blogging media criticism for the Washington Post.

Erik told the staff of his move this afternoon. He wrote a lot of media criticism as editor of City Paper, and his video Fuego/Frio riffs have been a delight at both City Paper and TBD. We’re wondering whether the high-energy F/F can make the transition to the staid Washington Post. Even with his editing duties at TBD, Erik did some outstanding media criticism for as well. With the 2012 election campaign already rolling, Erik will focus initially on political media.

The energy, edge and drive that marked TBD, especially in its first six months, were a direct reflection of Erik’s leadership. He has been a joy to work with and leaves with my deep respect, admiration and affection.

I’ll repeat publicly what I told Erik this afternoon, before leading a round of applause from the staff: He did a hell of a job under difficult circumstances.

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TBD’s community engagement team has all moved on to new challenges now, except for me. Elliot Kort, a late addition to the team, left Thursday to take a new job as an interactive strategist for NJI Media.

Elliot Kort

Elliot and Elyse Greenberg produce Capitol Bites, one of the first members of the TBD Community Network. Before he began working for us, he was an enthusiastic TBD supporter and we were following each other on Twitter.

He pitched me last year with a thoughtful plan to produce podcasts for TBD. While I couldn’t hire him to carry out that plan, I liked what I saw and heard, and kept him in mind as a prospect to work with TBD. (more…)

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Jeff Sonderman

When a friend at The Poynter Institute told me Poynter was looking for someone to write about mobile and social media, I thought immediately of Jeff Sonderman.

Jeff starts his work with Poynter next month. He will be the final member of the outstanding community engagement team I hired last year to leave TBD. Other than me, he will be the only one to make it to his first anniversary, and just barely.

I first met Jeff when he was an editor at the Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa., and I was leading a discussion for a seminar at the American Press Institute. I probably met 30 editors at that seminar, but Jeff was the only one to stay in touch. I left API to become editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. We followed each other on Twitter and through reading and occasionally commenting on each others’ blogs.

When I announced that I was leaving Cedar Rapids to join Jim Brady’s as-yet-unnamed and still optimistic local news venture in Washington, Jeff immediately sent me an email saying he wanted to join our team. He stood out among a strong field of candidates and I hired him as our senior community host. (more…)

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One of the best pieces of leadership advice I ever got came from Dave Witke*, one of the best bosses I ever worked for: Hire good people and get out of their way.

Our social media strategy at TBD worked because I hired Mandy Jenkins and managed (most days) to stay out of her way.

Mandy is one of those people of whom I know that someday I will say, “I knew her when …” After I hired her, I told the story of how she was already telling me things I didn’t know about social media before she sat down for the interview.

That was just the first of many days that Mandy amazed me. Soon she will be amazing colleagues at HuffPost Politics, the next step for one of the best digital journalists anywhere. I was shocked when our company eliminated Mandy’s position. But I wasn’t at all surprised that she had three outstanding offers within a month from leading  digital media organizations. (more…)

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Another member of our community engagement team, Nathasha Lim, left TBD this week.

Nathasha Lim

 

Nathasha will be a morning producer for WAMU, joining TBD colleagues Rebecca A. Cooper and Elahe Izadi, both of whom also found jobs with WAMU.

As community host, Nathasha recruited dozens of dining blogs to the TBD Community Network and wrote our @TBDRestaurants blog. (I’ll confess that I avoided the blog some days, because Nathasha’s engaging writing about food made me hungry, and I really should be trying to lose weight. However, my will power isn’t that strong, so I didn’t avoid it that often.) (more…)

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My favorite team of my journalism career is breaking up.

Again and again, I have been blessed to work with extraordinarily talented and friendly colleagues. But I have enjoyed working with the TBD community engagement team more than any team in my career. And I have enjoyed the larger collection of TBD colleagues more than I have enjoyed co-workers anywhere. (more…)

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