From an internal memo, obtained by FishbowlDC:
To the staff of The Washington Times
It is with great respect, admiration and enthusiasm that I soon will be joining you in the newsroom of The Washington Times. Under the steady stewardship of Wes Pruden, you have built an extraordinary news brand that delivers insightful analysis, cutting-edge investigative reporting and diverse coverage to a marketplace craving such reporting. So I cannot thank Wes and Fran enough for building a solid foundation for the future.
Read the rest after the jump…
I’ve been in newsrooms during leadership changes and it is natural to wonder about what the future holds. Even without a change of guard, you and the rest of our industry colleagues already have been grappling with many pressing questions about the future of newspapers, their financial underpinnings and the loyalty of their audiences. So what should you expect over these next few months?
First, rest assured I do not share the bleak assessments of many industry leaders that the Fourth Estate has entered an era of inevitable decline. The news industry’s greatest times still lay ahead of us. The next several years offer an unprecedented opportunity to liberate all of our products from the confines of two-dimensional story telling.
With the full support of the Times’ parent company, Tom McDevitt and a company-wide effort on the news and business sides, much of the heavy lifting for this journey has already been done. All of us along with our readers will benefit from this unprecedented effort. The Washington Times has charted one of the most ambitious courses toward 21st century journalistic success that I’ve seen in all my travels across the country. With your muscle and heart, over the next few months, we will begin to witness the fruits of this visionary effort in the form of new print and digital products and new business strategies. In advance, I say thanks.
At the outset, I offer you two commitments: first, I will review and fully understand the strategic and product plans that have been developed — most importantly, the forthcoming changes to the local newspaper and an aggressive expansion of the online offering. But plans go nowhere without people.
That’s why, for those of you on the news side of The Washington Times, my second commitment is to learn about each one of you and the culture of our newsroom. Let’s build the bonds that result in shared pride as journalists, and foster the daily and even hourly creation of the superior print and online news product that Washington Times readers have come to expect.
We share a simple challenge — to think big and execute even bigger. This means each of us becomes more innovative, collaborative and creative. Our content will become more instantaneous, personalized and accessible; our reporting broader, deeper and more enterprising — all with a robust national and global reach. Through all of this, our work should become more profitable, and personally fulfilling. And yes, we can also have some fun and celebrate our successes.
I hope to drop by the newsroom next Wednesday afternoon to get better acquainted. I look forward to our journey together.