This week’s ticker features news of Alden Global Capital’s latest catch: The San Diego Union-Tribune. The newspaper was sold for an undisclosed amount and the new owner will offer buyouts to staff through next Monday. In other news, CTV News parent has announced a staggering 1300 layoffs across management, production, editorial, operations, sales and marketing, administrative and clerical jobs. On the upside – meet Gannett’s new service journalism ME Mary Ann Georgantopoulos.
The Alden Global vulture strikes again… Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has sold The San Diego Union-Tribune to Alden Global Capital for an undisclosed amount. The Union-Tribune reports, “In a subsequent email sent to Union-Tribune employees from the MediaNews Group, Sharon Ryan, executive vice president of California for MediaNews Group, said that cutbacks will be needed to “offset the slowdown in revenues as economic headwinds continue to impact the media industry.” Staff was notified Monday that the new owner is offering buyouts through next Monday. If the company does not “reach a sufficient number of employees” to take buyouts, “the company will lay off additional employees,” the staff was informed. It is unknown at this time how deep the potential cuts could be.” Such notices should be taken with a boulder-size gain of salt, as Alden has an established history as a “vulture capital” firm, gutting newsrooms from Denver to Chicago to enrich its board. Read more here.
CTV News parent announces 1300 job cuts… In a devastating blow to the news industry, Bell Canada, the parent company of CTV News, has announced the termination of 1300 jobs. The impact will be felt across the board: in management, production, editorial, operations, sales and marketing, administrative and clerical jobs. Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada said, “To succeed in today’s challenging economic, regulatory and competitive environment, and be ready for what comes next, we need to accelerate our shift away from how telecom and media companies have operated in the past.” Canada’s largest union in the private sector Unifor national president Lana Payne said, “These layoffs cut deep, especially in smaller communities that rely on local news, and undermines democracy. Bell had other choices, in anticipation of policy changes, but chose to pull the trigger on these layoffs. If the government doesn’t act now, there will be little left of Canadian journalism to save.” Read more here.
Meet Gannett’s new ME, service journalism… Mary Ann Georgantopoulos will join Gannett as managing editor for service journalism. She comes over from BuzzFeed, where she worked for more than eight years, recently as news director. She reported for Metro Newspaper and was a production assistant at Boston.com. She also worked as an editorial assistant at The Boston Globe. Georgantopoulos has a B.A. from Northeastern University and a M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Be sure to congratulate Georgantopoulos on Twitter.
American Public Media’s investigative hire…Emily Corwin has joined American Public Media as senior editor, investigations. Recently, she was a reporter at Wondery, an Amazon company. Corwin worked as an investigative reporter and editor at Vermont Public and served as a state impact reporter and reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio. Corwin graduated from California Institute of the Arts. You can congratulate Corwin on Twitter.
Messenger reporter Severns departs… Maggie Severns will join the Allbritton Journalism Institute as a reporter and mentor to train the next generation of journalists. Recently, she was a reporter at The Messenger. Previously, Severns reported for The Grid and Politico, where she worked for eight years. Severns graduated from Dartmouth College and can be reached via Twitter.
Messenger hires Aiden as social media manager… Sinobia Aiden has joined The Messenger as a social media manager from her post as digital producer at Politico. Prior to joining Politico in May 2022, Aiden was a digital producer and social media editor at Arizona PBS. She also worked in digital programming and as a social media producer at CNN and social media editor at the ACLU. Aiden graduated from Arizona State University and can be reached via Twitter.
CNN’s London promotion I… CNN has promoted Gianluca Mezzofiore to editor of the open-source intelligence team based in the London bureau. During more than five years with CNN, he has held the posts of social discover producer, investigative researcher and investigative producer. He also worked as a UK real-time news reporter at Mashable and as a foreign news reporter at MailOnline. He has also worked at IBTimes UK, The Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard, Guardian News and Media, and The Independent. Mezzofiore has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Bologna in Italy and a master’s degree from City, University of London. You can congratulate Mezzofiore via Twitter.
CNN’s London promotion II… CNN has tapped Eliza Mackintosh to serve as senior editor of investigations and enterprise for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in London. She has been with the network for more than six years. She freelanced for GlobalPost and interned at and served as a special correspondent at The Washington Post. Mackintosh has a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Be sure to congratulate Mackintosh on Twitter.
AP nabs NPR’s Cheng… Shelly Cheng has joined The Associated Press’ elections and democracy team as a data visualization developer, a post she recently held at NPR. Previously, Cheng held the same post at NBCUniversal and The Texas Tribune. She also worked as a graphics reporter at The Wall Street Journal. An award-winning journalist and data visualization engineer, Cheng has a B.A. from Colorado College and a M.S. from Columbia University.
Austin American-Statesman’s political hire… Ella McCarthy has joined the Austin American-Statesman as a city hall and city government reporter. Recently, she was a David Kaplan Fellow at ABC News, based in the Washington bureau. Previously, McCarthy worked as an assistant city editor at the Columbia Missourian, where she also served as a general assignment reporter and equity reporter. She interned at The Kansas City Star and Jefferson City News Tribune. McCarthy graduated from the University of Missouri.
Khalid is ABC News’ new contributor… ABC News has hired Asma Khalid as a contributor. She is a White House correspondent and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. Khalid joined NPR in February 2018 as a political correspondent. Before that, she was a senior reporter/editor at WBUR, where she launched a new business and technology team, Bostonomix. From August 2015 to February 2017, she worked as a political reporter at NPR, where she also served as a reporting fellow and producer for “Morning Edition.” Khalid has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge. Be sure to congratulate Khalid on Twitter.
NY Times hires a nutrition reporter… Alice Callahan has joined The New York Times as a nutrition reporter, Well. Since September 2012, Callahan has worked as a freelance science writer for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, FiveThirtyEight, Smithsonian, Scientific American and Slate. She is also the creator of Scienceofmom.com, a blog focused on evidence-based parenting information. Callahan has a B.S. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.
States Newsroom hires three to launch ‘West Virginia Watch’… States Newsroom has launched West Virginia Watch to provide free, high-quality, non-partisan reporting on the important issues affecting the Mountain State. The newsroom will be led by editor-in-chief Leann Ray. The new publication brings on three staffers:
Amelia Ferrell Knisely has joined as an investigative reporter. Previously, she was a reporter at West Virginia Public Broadcasting and covered poverty in West Virginia as an investigative reporter at Mountain State Spotlight. Knisely has a B.S. from Shepherd University and an M.A. from Marshall University.
Lori Kersey has joined as a reporter and deputy editor. Recently, she was a staff writer at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, where she has worked as a staff writer, reporter and editor covering health, business, the city of Charleston and Kanawha County beats. Kersey has a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and a master’s degree from Morehead State University.
Caity Coyne has also joined as a reporter. Recently, she was a Report for America Corps member covering Southern West Virginia for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. She was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for National Reporting in 2019. Coyne graduated from West Virginia University.
Smith departs KC Star after 38 years… Joyce Smith, a reporter at the Kansas City Star covering restaurants and retail, is leaving the paper after more than 38 years. “I will continue to post some restaurant and retail news on social media during this transition,” she wrote on Twitter. “I also have started a longer project and a new volunteer gig.” Smith attended the University of Kansas.
Gizmodo reporter Leffer departs… Lauren Leffer, a breaking news reporter at Gizmodo, has left. She wrote on Twitter, “Despite a…challenging environment, there are really wonderful people there doing really great work and I will miss many of them. Next stuff and bylines elsewhere tk soon!” Previously, Leffer freelanced for National Geographic, Popular Science, and Audubon Magazine. She also interned at Popular Science. Leffer has a B.S. from the University of Maryland and a M.A. from New York University. Reach out to Leffer via Twitter or LinkedIn.
Drum’s senior tech reporter Sutcliffe laid off… Chris Sutcliffe, senior reporter for tech at The Drum, wrote on Twitter, “Some personal news (bad edition). Journalism’s tough in 2023 and unfortunately it’s my turn on the redundancy chopping block. If you spot any roles or opportunities going in the reporting/podcasting/supermodel business, please give me a shout.” He joined The Drum in August 2019 as editor of The Drum Network. He also worked as a content publisher at Advertising Association in London and as a media columnist at The New European. Sutcliffe has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Leicester and a master’s degree from City University of London. Reach out to Sutcliffe via Twitter or LinkedIn.
Massa moves to Bloomberg’s wealth team… Annie Massa has joined Bloomberg’s wealth team to cover “rich/powerful families and how they exert their influence on the rest of the world,” as per her tweet. She has been with Bloomberg for more than eight years, previously covering asset management, exchanges/trading and technology. Massa has a B.A. from Vassar College and a master’s degree from Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.