Media Moves

Managing change at a business newspaper

October 1, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Jon Wile, the creative director at American City Business Journals, talked recently with Albany Business Review editor Mike Hendricks about the changes at the paper, including a redesign launched last week.

Here is an excerpt:

You don’t seem to mind change. In fact, you embrace it very well. How do you do that? What’s your mindset?

I have no patience for rules and I have always found the status quo to be a bore. I value judgment over rules. I have always stressed that. Every time I have been given a job: AP correspondent in Syracuse; AP news editor in Albany, this job; it has been with the mandate of driving change. I am sure it is that way for all editors. I cannot imagine any editor in my lifetime being given the mandate to maintain the status quo. People in newsrooms should not find comfort being in a box with rules defining what they can do.

You frequently move people’s desks around in the newsroom. Why? What’s the advantage there?

In the past year everyone in the newsroom has moved at least twice. I personally have moved four times. I gave up a new standup desk to be out in the newsroom.

It is about stimulating communication and attacking resistance to change. It is important to disrupt patterns of behavior and raise energy levels. It is amazing how resistant people can be to moving their desks.

We have also changed beats for the reporters in the last few months. In some cases we invented a new beat.

Read more here.

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