OLD Media Moves

Atlanta paper names new biz editor, new biz columnist

August 15, 2008

Andre Jackson, an editorial writer who was the business editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will become the new editor overseeing business coverage at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, according to an internal announcement Friday obtained by Talking Biz News.

In addition, longtime journalist Tom Oliver, who covered Coca-Cola for the paper in the 1980s and then oversaw its Olympics coverage in 1996, is becoming its new business section columnist.

Also, longtime business reporter Matt Kempner is becoming the paper’s public editor.

The changes are necessitated by the recent buyouts at the paper. Among the participants in the buyout were longtime business columnist Maria Saporta and editor Kathy Brister, who oversaw business coverage.

Andre JacksonIn an e-mail from distributed to staffers on Friday, editor Julia Wallace stated that Jackson would become senior editor for business, federal and state. “Andre joined the editorial page in May and has already made a mark, writing about federal oversight of banking, workplace issues and the impact of oil pricing on the economic downturn,” said Wallace. “He has a deep background in business, most recently working as Assistant Managing Editor for Business at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, where he led expansion of the business section and a redesign of the business news Web site.”

As for Oliver, Wallace wrote that he will be “writing about key business issues and what they mean to our readers. Thomas is the former business editor, has written a book on Coke and is a former Journal editorial writer. His knowledge about Atlanta business and keen insights will make this a must-read for smart business people.”

Kempner, Wallace wrote, “The public editor job changes into one focused on working with other departments at the company to build an ongoing and pro-active dialogue with readers about how we can constantly improve. Matt’s work on 2.0 and understanding of how other businesses connect and engage with their customers made him an ideal selection for this critical job.”

In the memo, Wallace said that other newsroom assignments would be announced on Monday.

Disclosure: I worked at the Atlanta paper’s business desk from 1994 to 1997 with Kempner, whom I consider a close friend. I have also worked with Jackson, a fellow board member at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, on business journalism initiatives.

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