Media Moves

Polk Award winners, NewsWhip bolsters NY staff, Arizona pub departs: TBN Ticker for Feb. 24

February 24, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

It’s an exciting ticker this week as Talking Biz News brings you news of four prominent news organizations honored with the Polk Awards. Dublin-based NewsWhip, a real-time media monitoring platform, has announced to increase its New York staff by 50% and Arizona Daily Star publisher John D’Orlando steps down.



Polk Award winners… Joshua Schneyer, Mica Rosenberg and Kristina Cooke of Reuters — along with Kendall Taggart, John Templon, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold of BuzzFeed News — have captued Polk Awards. The Reuters team revealed how staffing agencies in Alabama cashed in on lucrative commissions in a tight labor market. BuzzFeeds fantastic foursome demonstrated how quality of care diminished after the global private equity firm KKR purchased hundreds of homes for people with severe disabilities. The New York Times was also honored with three Polk Awards, including two for its Ukraine war coverage, and another reporting on private schools for New York’s Hasidic Jews. You can read the Reuters/BuzzFeed details here and The New York Times’news here.



…and a financial Polk Award winner… The Polk Award for financial reporting has been awarded to Ian Allison and Tracy Wang of CoinDesk for stories that brought young Sam Bankman-Fried and his $32 billion crypto currency empire crashing down in just 10 days.

All the Polk winners will be honored Fri., April 14 with a luncheon ceremony at the New York Athletic Club. Read the details here.



Paul Quigley

Dublin’s New York investment… Silicon Canals reports that “Dublin-based NewsWhip, a real-time media monitoring platform, announced on Wednesday that it has secured $13 million (approximately €12 million) in a round of funding from AshGrove Capital. “We’re excited to bring AshGrove Capital on board as investors,” says NewsWhip CEO Paul Quigley. “Their team recognises the transformation underway in the communication profession, and the unique position NewsWhip has in enabling that transformation.” Read more here.




Bloomberg backs female empowerment… On-air female guests on Bloomberg Television increased to 34 percent in 2022, up from 10 percent in 2018 when the company began an initiative to increase female voices. “Our coverage is stronger, fairer, and smarter when we include diverse voices that are fully representative of the industries we cover,” said Laura Zelenko, Bloomberg senior executive editor of standards, training, diversity and talent, in a statement. “Through this expansion, we can continue the critical work of pushing against the status quo of traditional sourcing, broadening the pool of diverse voices, and will provide our viewers with more accurate and comprehensive coverage as a result.” Read more on Talking Biz News.



John D'Orlando
John D’Orlando

A top exec steps downJohn D’Orlando, president and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star, has left after more than five years to join Wick Communications as chief operating officer. Commenting on his appointment, D’Orlando said, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to an organization with the history and reputation for the highest quality local journalism that Wick Communications has earned in nearly a century of publishing. I look forward to contributing to the future growth of Wick and working closely with its outstanding team of passionate, dedicated local community leaders and experts.”




Theodore R. Johnson

Former U.S. Navy commander joins WaPo as a columnist… Theodore R. Johnson is joining the Opinion section as a contributing columnist. Johnson is a retired U.S. Navy commander and author of “When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America.” “He is currently the director of New America’s Us@250 initiative,” reports The Washington Post. “We’re thrilled to share Ted’s writing and thinking with Post readers,” said editorial page editor David Shipley.  “He’s an essential voice on American identity, race and civilian-military affairs.” Read the latest commentary from the section here.



Ed Sealover
Ed Sealover

Biz journalist Sealover brings on the Substance…Denver Business Journal senior reporter Ed Sealover has been hired by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce to start an online publication “The Sum & Substance.” The new publication will cover Colorado’s legislative and political news related to the business community. Sealover is a veteran, having been with the Business Journal for 14 years. Commenting on his appointment, Sealover said, “Working with the Colorado Chamber, I hope not only to educate businesses more directly about policy and regulations but to have an impact that can lead to the creation of more jobs and a better economic ecosystem.”



Forbes nabs FT’s Smith as newsletter manager… Sophia Smith has joined Forbes as a product manager for newsletters. Recently, she was a newsletter editor at the Financial Times. Previously, she held editorial roles at Medium and Maker Media. Regarding her new job, Smith tweeted, “Switching from newsrooms to product is a really exciting step for me, and I’m excited to be working on editorial projects in a whole new way.” Smith is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Dave Lee
David Lee

…and another FT departure… David Lee, a technology correspondent at the Financial Times, will join Bloomberg Opinion in March. Previously, Lee worked at the BBC for more than a decade. Lee also worked at the Evening Standard and Press Gazette in London. Lee graduated from the University of London.






…but at least they have an affordable app…The Financial Times’ mobile app only costs around £5 (or $6) a month. So, why was it launched? To answer this question, Simon Owens turned to Malcolm Moore, a longtime FT editor who was put in charge of FT Edit, which is the name for the new mobile app. You can watch the discussion on YouTube.



Muhammad Ittefaq, Ph.D.
Muhammad Ittefaq

Say the J Word… Muhammad Ittefaq has been invited to join the editorial board of Journalism Practice and the The J Word Podcast. JP is one of the leading journals that publishes reflective, critical, and research-based studies focused on the professional practice of journalism. Ittefaq is an assistant professor at James Madison University. He is the co-founder of the Asian Journalism Network, which promotes free media and investigative journalism in the Asian region.





Business Insider South Africa closes… Business Insider South Africa announced that it will close by the end of the month. A story on BizCommunity states, “Business Insider SA launched in February 2018 as a partnership between what was then known as Business Insider, a German-owned American-headquartered outlet that pioneered a new way of online publishing, and News24, part of the Media24 group,” said the publication. According to the publication its licensing agreement comes to an end with News24 on 28 February. Now Insider has decided not to renew the licensing agreement that created this publication, which comes to the end of its five-year term this month. Read the details here.



Sports Illustrated hires, lays off… Sports Illustrated has announced layoffs for 17 staff members in conjunction with opening 12 new positions. A memo obtained by Front Office Sports, “Today is a day of change in our sports business. We are restructuring our Sports Illustrated group to reflect how consumers engage with us, and how we address the needs of our partners and audience. We are saying goodbye to 17 colleagues and have created 12 new openings to reflect the new needs of the SI business.” Read the full details here.



Sarah Kelly

Kelly among Sports Illustrated layoffs… TBN sends well wishes to Sarah Kelly, a copy editor at Sports Illustrated,  joined in September 2020. Her tweet reads, “Hey Sports Illustrated just laid me off so I guess if anyone’s looking for an editor I’m newly available. Amusingly, this is almost 5 years to the day since SB Nation laid me off.” Previously, she has worked at The Washington Post, PBA Health and SB Nation. Kelly graduated from the University of Kansas. You can contact her on LinkedIn.





South Dakota local news gets another outletTroy McQuillen, who owns McQuillen Creative Group, has launched The Aberdeen Insider, to fill the local news gap that is widening due to the economic conditions and the shuttering of news outlets. “There’s just so much content, so many stories, and that’s just of what’s happening. There’s stories we can go out and find like a rising athlete, an amazing artist that’s emerging, a little band that needs some coverage, some new businesses starting up,” said McQuillen. “The options we had were dwindling in terms of local news coverage. I knew there were good, seasoned newspaper people around town that I wanted to talk to see if they’d be interested in joining a new venture.”



The Information launches pro service… The Information has unveiled a new subscription called Information Pro that features expanded organizational charts, brand-new databases based on reporting, a new survey product and a specialized weekly newsletter. A subscription to The Information is $399 a year. The Pro service is an additional $100 a year. Founder Jessica Lessin wrote,Numerous services—often specialized by vertical—are charging astronomical fees for access to data that does little to help those customers stand apart. And often, the data isn’t accurate. The rush for volume leads to shortcuts and errors. Verification is in short supply. Our newsroom feels this problem acutely. When we rely on these sources, we have to correct them. And so, over the years, we’ve built out our own tools based on something in too short supply: careful reporting with trusted and vetted sources. Those resources are what we are starting to share with you today.” The full details can be read here.



McGraw Fellowships applications open for 2023… Applications are now open for the Spring 2023 McGraw Fellowships. Awarded twice a year, the Fellowships provide experienced journalists with a grant up to $15,000 and the editorial support needed to produce deeply-reported enterprise or investigative stories that “follow the money.” Both freelance and staff journalists in all forms of media with at least five years’ professional experience are eligible. Journalists from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply for Spring 2023 is March 31. Read more here.



Remembering a Boston standout… WHDH reports,Longtime WBZ-TV reporter Bill Shields died Friday night at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer. Shields reported for WBZ for more than 41 years before retiring in September of 2021. He leaves behind his wife and their three sons.”




Mariam Ahmed is Talking Biz News’ content correspondent. For tips on the Friday TBN Ticker, email her at or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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