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Joel Sappell Off LA Times On-line; Russ Stanton In as Innovation Editor

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Joel Sappell is out as Assistant Managing Editor for Interactive, and Russ Stanton will move from being current Business Editor to the new Innovation Editor (FBLA can’t believe writers come up with these titles). LA Times.com will get an new editor, but no names yet. Jim O’Shea, editor of the Times, says the new mission is

Break it on the web, expand on it in print.

Makes sense to us.

David Hiller, who did promise some big changes, wrote:

Russ’s mission, working with editors and reporters across news and features, is nothing less than the transformation of our newsroom into a 24/7 operation that breaks news all the time online (and mobile, etc.) and publishes in print with the analysis, personality, and utility that only great writers and editors can provide.</blockquote

The Times is also going for some new products. This week sees the launch of MyLatimes.com, and followed by new, integrated print and online products for Travel in February, Image/Fashion in March, and CalendarLive/CalendarWeekend in late spring.

FBLA has never felt that Sappell had any affinity for the online world.
The full memo continues.


From: Hiller, David
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: New Integrated Approach to Content and News Gathering

Folks,

We’re announcing organizational changes today that will help move us toward our vision of a true multimedia enterprise – delivering news and information across channels, all through the day, to meet the evolving needs of readers, users, and advertisers. We report on the changing media world everyday, and we need to change what and how we do what we do accordingly, and dramatically. Our colleagues on the Spring Street Project have underscored many of these needs, and their recommendations, together with the work of our colleagues at latimes.com, are the foundation of the moves we are making today. Key points:

* Accelerate our growth on the Web by allocating more resources, and speeding product development, to improve the site and grow our online audience.

*Re-orient/re-tool the whole company to think and operate across multiple media.

*Develop online, but also change the print newspaper to better meet the changing needs of print users.

* In all media – focus, focus, focus on growing local audience.

To help drive these changes, we’re making the following organizational moves:
Russ Stanton, Business Editor, has been named to the newly created position of Innovation Editor, reporting directly to Jim O’Shea. Russ’s mission, working with editors and reporters across news and features, is nothing less than the transformation of our newsroom into a 24/7 operation that breaks news all the time online (and mobile, etc.) and publishes in print with the analysis, personality, and utility that only great writers and editors can provide.

Joel Sappell, Assistant Managing Editor for Multimedia and Editor of latimes.com, is going to return to editing some of our very important project work. Joel has been a pioneer in our online editorial efforts and contributed much to the growth we have seen at latimes.com in the last two years. We will now split Joel’s responsibilities between Russ, as Innovation Editor, and a separate position of Editor of latimes.com. A search to fill this position is currently underway.

Rob Barrett, General Manager of latimes.com, has also been named a Vice President of the Los Angeles Times Media Group. Rob has been a key leader in the development of latimes.com and our related web businesses, and his new position reflects the importance of his company-wide role in transforming our business for the next generation of users and readers.

Russ and Rob will work closely together in guiding and integrating our efforts across print and online. The two will also lead a company-wide team to assess and recommend changes across all departments to ensure that we are, in fact, re-tooling our whole enterprise for the web and print.

Over the next several months, we will debut several new products under this new multimedia approach to content development, beginning this week with the launch of MyLatimes.com, and followed by the launch of new, integrated print and online products for Travel in February, Image/Fashion in March, and CalendarLive/CalendarWeekend in late spring.

We will be sharing more developments in the coming weeks, but at the core, we will need everyone’s commitment to aggressively help shape the Los Angeles Times Media Group to become a truly multimedia company for the next generation. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Russ and Rob in their new roles.

David

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