WSJ names new strategy leaders
Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray and editor of newsroom strategy Louise Story sent out the following announcement on Monday:
We’re pleased to introduce you to new leaders in the Strategy Department. They’re here to help all of us expand our digital reach and experiment with new formats and types of coverage.
All of these team leads are new partners you can work with, and they will help us move forward even faster in our change initiatives. Feel free to reach out to them or us any time if you have suggestions or thoughts.
Louise & Matt
Here’s the lineup:
Our young audiences initiative will be led by Lauren Redding and Ethar El-Katatney.
Lauren joins after seven years as the publisher of Rookie Magazine, a digital magazine that published and nurtured creative work by teenagers, people in college and other young people. While leading Rookie, Lauren managed the brand’s expansion into book publishing, podcasting, events and more as well as managed a team of editors on staff at the site. Lauren graduated from the University of Minnesota.
Ethar was until recently the senior executive producer overseeing the newsroom at AJ+, the digital-focused unit of Al Jazeera. She has 12 years of international journalism experience, working on news, features and investigative stories for print, online, and TV. Her first book on Sufism in Yemen was published in London in 2010. She has an MBA and an MA in Television and Digital Journalism from the American University in Cairo.
Ethar and Lauren are hiring a team of journalists with skills in multiple mediums to produce original content and to partner with reporters around the newsroom. The team will work to expand our reach and resonance with young audiences. To stay up to speed on how this initiative evolves, click here.
Ebony Reed will be leading our new audiences initiative.
Ebony joins from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Missouri School of Journalism where she ran an innovation lab and taught media sales courses. Her background is in journalism, business development and advertising with stints at the Associated Press, American City Business Journals (Boston), The Detroit News and The Plain Dealer. She has her M.A. and B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Ebony will begin with a focus on professional women and leading a financial literacy project for the broader public. She will develop future initiatives for minority groups. She will also help continue to change the mix of people we quote in our stories and feature in our photographs. To stay up to speed on how these initiatives evolve, click here.
Ross Fadely has joined us as our data sciences chief.
Ross most recently ran the New York office of Insight Data Science, a professional education company that helps people move into careers in data science, data engineering, and AI. Prior to that, Ross did his Ph.D. in astrophysics at Rutgers University and two postdocs in astronomy, one at Haverford and another at N.Y.U., focusing on applications for machine learning in astronomy.
Ross is hiring a team of data scientists and analysts who will help us to better understand what our audience values in our journalism. To stay up to speed on how our audience data initiatives evolve, click here.
Emily Anderson has joined as our agenda editor, developing our digital programming strategy and working to make more impact with our most ambitious journalism projects.
Over the past year, Emily set up the Hasan Minhaj show “Patriot Act” for Netflix as the supervising producer, leading the Peabody-winning news team that reported out each episode. Prior to that, she held managerial and production roles in video and programming at Vice News Tonight on HBO, BuzzFeed News, CNN, Vice News Tonight on HBO and at The New York Times, where among other things, she oversaw the line-up of live coverage for the 2016 election. She’s a graduate of Boston College.
Emily is interested in teaming up with reporters and editors early in their projects to figure out the ways to make the most impact with ambitious work. She is also serving as a partner with PDE to help the newsroom and PDE coordinate on large projects.
Edward Hyatt, our new SEO editor, works on the Agenda team. He joined the Journal this spring from News UK, where he was an SEO manager. He is a resource to anyone who wants pointers on headlines and optimization for Google.
The R&D Team, led by Francesco Marconi, is growing. Alyssa Zeisler, Erin Riglin and Eric Bolton have joined to help the team work on initiatives that use machine learning and new editorial processes.
Alyssa joins us as R&D editor from Barron’s, where she was Audience Managing Editor overseeing the development, presentation, and distribution of Barron’s journalism. In this role, she established and led the editorial development team and created several new editorial products. Before this, she was at the Financial Times, where she was a founding member of the audience engagement and communities teams. She’s a graduate of the London Business School and McGill University.
Erin and Eric are both graduates this spring from Columbia’s joint master’s program in computer science and journalism. Erin previously worked at Microsoft, and Eric is a former data science fellow on the R&D team. To be updated on what R&D is up to, click here.
John Schimmel has returned to the Journal as the Director of Engineering for Newsroom Innovation after two years at The New York Times, where he worked on NYTimes Beta / New Products and Ventures. In his prior role at the Journal, John worked on the Newsroom Development team helping to create dynamic insets, experiential stories, WSJ Pro and Live Coverage.
And Pietro Passarelli is joining from the BBC News Labs Innovation team. Pietro is a product developer with a track record of creating tools for journalists as well as new editorial story formats. He is a former Knight-Mozilla fellow with Open News at Vox Media, in New York, where he worked on tools for making video production and post-production easier, such as www.autoEdit.io.
The WSJ Innovation team will be running the Idea Portal to partner with many in the newsroom.
We are still interviewing candidates for the Innovation Chief role, who will be a partner to John and Pietro as we move more quickly to test ideas and build prototypes. You can find information on that role here, as well as information on newsroom developer roles here. Please spread the word!
Audience Voices and Community Team
As you all know, we have overhauled our comments system and are seeing positive results. The Audience Voices team will be continuing to work to elevate the level of discourse and faciliate interaction with our audience.
Staff members of the team are: Josh Rivera, the editor, who joined the Journal from the editorial board of USA Today and previously worked as a reporter for Univision Washington and El Nuevo Día in Puerto Rico; Anne Michaud, a longtime journalist at Newsday and Crain’s New York Business; Carrie Reynolds, a former book editor and existing member of the Journal’s moderation team; Taylor Nakagawa, who worked in community interaction at TechCrunch; and Sarah Chacko, a former member of the Journal’s platforms team who was previously a reporter at The Hill.
The Audience Voices team is interested in partnering with people who want to include the audience more in their work. We are currently developing some processes and tools for audience call-outs and working with WSJ+ on member events. To be updated on these initiatives click here.