Archive for February 11th, 2010

McClatchy sticking to top-down approach

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

McClatchy Company is looking to the leadership that steered the newspaper publisher nearly into bankruptcy to figure out the way forward as part of a task force to “strengthen newsrooms, modernize how we work, make the most of resources and consider how we can work together more effectively,” a memo distributed Wednesday says.

The task force of 10 editors and publishers is to review newsroom strategies over the next several months, beginning with “deep interviews with all McClatchy editors over the next two weeks.” The team’s work is to be completed in time for 2011 planning.

The task force will be chaired by Anders Gyllenhaal, executive editor of The Miami Herald (formerly of The News & Observer in Raleigh); and include Rick Thames, executive editor of The Charlotte Observer; Melanie Sill, executive editor of The Sacramento Bee (also a former N&O executive editor);  Stan Tiner, executive editor of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Mississippi; Pat Dougherty, executive editor of the Anchorage Daily News; Mark Zieman, publisher of The Kansas City Star; Mi-Ai Parrish, publisher of The Idaho Statesman; Eric Johnston, publisher of The Modesto Bee; Brian Kirlik, vice president for affiliate services at McClatchy Interactive (based in Raleigh); and Washington bureau chief John Walcott.

McClatchyNext is a blog that calls itself “a shared discussion for McClatchy journalists and others to talk about the way ahead for journalism, news companies and people who care about them” started by former VP for News Howard Weaver.

Here’s a piece of a discussion about top-down vs. bottom-up management styles from McClatchyNext:

“McClatchy is looking for a new way to do business and all the answers are already here, in house, waiting to be utilized to their fullest.  By tweaking management styles to a bottom-up approach and looking to the people in the field, doing the work, we will find the answers we need to be an even better company and be leaders in the newspaper industry of tomorrow.”

“People in the field, doing the work” — like publishers and editors.