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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Vita’

Reid Replaces Wilbon at WaPo Sports

Redskins reporter Jason Reid has been named new Sports columnist for WaPo, filling the spot vacated by veteran writer Michael Wilbon who recently signed off to pursue his gig with ABC/ESPN full time.  Reid’s Redskins beat is temporarily available but Sports editor Matt Vita suggests in an internal memo that a strong external contender for the position has been identified.  Memo announcing Reid’s promotion below:

“I am very happy to announce that Jason Reid will become a columnist for Sports. Jason is one of the most hard-working, conscientious and thoughtful sports writers in the country who has covered the NBA (Clippers), MLB (Dodgers) and NFL (Redskins). In his four years at the Post, Jason has become the dominant beat writer on the Redskins with impeccable sources in the locker room, front office, among player agents and around the league. His tireless work leading the Redskins Insider has helped grow the audience for the blog in each of the last three seasons. This past year, Jason demonstrated his considerable skills as an analyst and observer in writing weekly On Football columns that routinely were among the most widely read Redskins stories on the website. I am confident Jason has the experience, work ethic and drive to become a top-flight commentator on sports and their role in society, and will be a welcome addition to Tom Boswell, Sally Jenkins, Mike Wise and Tracee Hamilton as the best lineup of sports columnists in the country.

Jason’s new responsibilities create an opening on the Redskins beat. A strong external candidate has emerged but we are open to hearing from others in the newsroom interested in taking on the mantle of chief Redskins blogger and Redskins news hound on one of the most high-profile and demanding beats at the Post.”

Matt Vita

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WaPo Seeks New Nats Writer

Chico Harlan is shifting gears at the Post and leaving his spot as the Nats writer up for grabs. Memo obtained by FishbowlDC below:

After two very long seasons doing an outstanding job covering the Washington Nationals, Chico Harlan is eager for a new challenge at the Post, and a well-deserved one. We do not fault Chico for having failed to bring winning baseball to the District. In fact, he now joins a long list of baseball writers who have come up short in that regard. What this means is that we are looking for a new reporter to cover the Nats. This is one of the most high profile and rewarding beats in Sports because our coverage of the city’s MLB franchise is at the center of our department’s mission. It is also a very demanding job. It involves covering upwards of 140-150 games per year, in addition to spring training and the off-season.

The beat writer is also responsible for regular posts to the Nationals Journal blog, which has a large and passionate following of baseball fans. A background in sports is not essential, though the ideal candidate would be someone who has high energy, a willingness to travel and a love for the game of baseball.

We would like to fill this position soon to give the writer time to acclimate before the start of spring training in Florida in mid-February.

If interested, contact Matt Vita, Peter Perl, or Alexa Steele by December 2.

WaPo Redskins Reporter to NFL Network

DREAM JOB OPEN… well, not my dream but I know plenty of guys that would kill for Jason LaCanfora‘s gig covering the Redskins beat for WaPo. The post is up for grabs because LaCanfora just landed an on-air spot with the NFL Network. WaPo memo below:

After five years of outstanding work on the Redskins beat, Jason LaCanfora is moving on to the world of television sports journalism. He’s taking a job as a correspondent with the NFL Network. Jason’s departure leaves a gaping hole in one of the core beats not just for Sports, but also for the entire newspaper. We are looking to fill it with a reporter who is willing to work long hours on a demanding beat in a highly competitive environment. Candidates should be able to file game stories on tight deadline, break news on-line and in the newspaper and write the occasional feature or player/coach profile.

If interested, please contact Matt Vita or Peter Perl by Monday, June 15.

WaPo Sports Web & Print: New Game Plan

WaPo Sports Web & Print groups are experimenting and now working together under one roof. An internal email (that reads much more like a play-by-play/game plan than a memo) obtained by FBDC states that WaPo Sports will run their newsroom more like a TV/Radio broadcaster than a traditional newspaper. Read on for the deets:

Beginning Monday, Sports will launch an experiment that will combine our web and print operations under one roof, creating a 24-7 news outlet that will lay the groundwork for changing the way we serve our audience.

We are delighted to welcome Jon DeNunzio and the web staff to the downtown office, where we hope the opportunity to work together will offset the pain from a precipitous drop in restaurant quality (no Five Guys) and panoramic views (we have no views) from Courthouse. Jackie will be scheduling a staff meeting at which we will go into further detail about the changes and address any of your questions, but I wanted to provide a brief outline of our first steps.

With Jon’s folks here, we will publish all stories online immediately after they are filed and edited. All non-night stories and columns will have a deadline set by their assignment editor during the day, allowing us to create a schedule of when stories will be published online. Each story on the budget will have a mandated web publication time. We will space stories out throughout the day when our online audience is at its peak and stop relying on a nighttime dump of copy that coincides with our smallest online audience.

In this regard, we will resemble a radio or TV station’s programming much more than a newspaper’s model. I want to stress from the beginning that merely improving our website and growing its audience are not enough. I have asked Jon to fill the new position of Innovations Editor, with the task of exploring new and current platforms on which our work can appear. He will select and run a small team of reporters and editors to assist him in this task and we will allocate as many resources as possible to this endeavor. He and his group will be looking at everything from mobile phones to some gadget that just got invented. I have told Jon there is nothing more important to our future than this work and he will have at his disposal everything we can give him. Jon says that if you’re interested in joining him, he would love to hear from you.

I also want to stress that all of this is indeed an experiment. We want to tweak it as we go along so that it is as successful as possible. We’ll begin with two groups of editors. Matt Vita will lead the 8 a,m. to 4 p.m. staff with Matt Gray in a new day slot position, in charge of all early copy. This will give us at least two reads on everything we publish, including blog posts. Matt Rennie will lead the 4 p.m. to midnight group with Steve Lewis remaining as the night copy chief. Dan Hargett will begin his tenure with us working with Rennie and Lewis managing the web front. Tracee Hamilton will lead the weekend staff.

We will build upon our sport-by-sport approach to editing by assigning as many night staffers as possible to specific sports. Our decision to specialize copy editors Matt Bonesteel (colleges), Keith McMillan (NBA), Dave Larimer (NFL) and Tom Heleba (Baseball) has improved our content as each has proven more than worthy of the added responsibility. It will get even better when we add the baseball skills of Cam Smith to the night operation. Bonesteel will move to the day desk during the experiment, replacing Rennie. His loss will be offset by gaining the college basketball expertise of C.J. Holley, who will add his talents to our daily March Madness coverage. I’m also delighted to announce that Rennie’s NHL responsibilities will be handled during the experiment by Lindsay Applebaum. Most of you know Lindsay from the terrific work she has done on myriad parts of the site and we look forward to seeing what new wrinkles she can bring to assignment editing our NHL and Capitals copy.

We still have some decisions to make on copy flow but computers have been upgraded, new TV monitors are up all over the department and computer training for editors has begun (although we learned today that we’ll need one more session next week). Any doubts about our ability to make this transition were strongly answered Friday with our Redskins coverage. We blogged and tweeted from 7 a.m. to midnight with Les, Mike and Mike filing early columns that we spaced out throughout the day and Jon’s staff quickly published. The end result was an almost 50 percent increase in our audience from the previous Friday and a massive day for the Redskins Insider. We are more than ready for this. It’s time to go.

So I got lost somewhere around Matt #3. Is it a prerequisite to be named Matt to work for WaPo Sports? Matt Vita, Matt Rennie, Matt Gray, Matt Bonesteel

Downie, Bennett Announced “An Editing Change for the Sunday Newspaper”

Below is an internal memo obtained by FishbowlDC sent from Len Downie and PHil Bennett:

    After a decade as a senior editor, Jill Dutt is moving to Beijing this summer to join our team of correspondents in China. Jill will be succeeded as weekend editor by Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, who will oversee the Sunday newspaper while continuing to shape our daily journalism as AME/Sports.

    Jill was drawn back to reporting by the chance to witness China’s transformation at close range, a process she had helped The Post chronicle from her position as AME/Financial. As we noted when she left Financial late last year, Jill has been a force for innovation as an editor at The Post. During the last six months, she has supervised changes in the Home, Food and Health sections and run the Sunday and Monday papers. She has infused the weekend papers with energy and broad appeal, and has sponsored projects in the weekly sections such at Recipe Finder on wp.com. Jill and her family will be moving next month to Beijing, where she’ll continue her language training until reporting to the Foreign Desk as part of our coverage of the 2008 Olympics. Jill will be changing her byline and Post email to her married name, Jill Drew.

    We’ve asked Emilio to advance our efforts to make the Sunday paper essential reading — newsy, surprising, useful and a showcase for some of our best investigative and enterprise journalism. The Sunday newspaper remains our most important of the week, a phenomenon that reaches hundreds of thousands of additional local readers. It is our biggest forum for new ideas and richest canvas for innovation. Emilio has made Sports a model for exploring new forms and creating interaction between print and online journalism. Although his principle responsibility will be decisions about A1, we expect Emilio to help us think about how to make the entire Sunday paper an evolving model of impact, service and beauty that we can draw from every day of the week.

    Emilio will start his new role on the second weekend in September. Asking him to take on these added responsibilities was reasonable only because of the proven abilities of Deputy AME/Sports Matt Vita, who has agreed to pick up an increasing share of the daily supervision of the Sports department. From this weekend through Labor Day, the weekend papers will be supervised by a rotation of senior editors.