In new Indy job, ‘silos’ and ‘accountability channels’

As Gannett replaces traditional newspaper jobs with new digital positions, job descriptions change dramatically. This is an advertisement for a new senior editor at The Indianapolis Star, posted Sept. 19 on

Position: Executive Editor/Digital and Custom Content
The Executive Editor/Digital and Custom Content will lead the Indianapolis Star‘s initiatives to become a next-generation leader in digital and niche print and on-line content. This individual will work with the Information Center Editor and, attuned to advertising, marketing, information technology and research and development goals and support, break down silos, develop new content and content management systems, and engage in strategic planning.

This position will have a strong awareness of the audiences we serve, their lives and their roles in the geographic, cultural and economic make-up of Central Indiana. It will lead the Information Center’s efforts to address the information needs of niche audiences and provide multi-media tools and other products to serve those audiences. Our goal is to reach more audiences with custom content delivered on more platforms, and this position will play a key role in that. This position also will be a leader within our Interstate Group of Gannett newspapers (metros Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati and smaller to medium-sized papers in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin) for multi-platform custom content.

The position’s channels of accountability are:

  • Optimal presentation across all digital platforms of news information and special projects including First Amendment projects, multi-media, databases, calendar information, community conversation and reader/user interaction.
  • The development of new niche websites to bring together communities of users as we build our role as metro Indianapolis’ prime source of community news and information.
  • The integration of advertising and marketing initiatives into our digital and print operations, including new technology systems and advertising approaches that boost revenue while ensuring the independence of the information-gathering process from conflicting advertising and marketing influence.
  • Strong custom publishing print and on-line products that meet the needs of information consumers and advertisers.
  • Strong, audience and niche-focused, themed products for the core newspaper.
  • Attention to budget, human resources, diversity/mainstreaming, ethics and other key goals of our company.

In recognizing the new realities of the digital era, this position will focus solely on the above accountabilities. While it will have necessary involvement with budget, operations, story editing and planning, and other aspects of the information center, it will not have day-to-day accountabilities for those functions. The position reports to the editor and vice president, Dennis Ryerson.

Who controls the new jobs?
How does a new job like this get created? Did a digital or print person have the most control over the final version?

Please post your thoughts in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Hat tip, Ruth Holladay; image: today’s front page, Newseum]


16 Responses to “In new Indy job, ‘silos’ and ‘accountability channels’”

  1. Jim Hopkins Says:

    That’s the $64,000 question!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    That reads as if it was generated by a computer, which, considering the job, sounds plausible. Surely, no one with a journalism background would write such a thing.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I got yer ‘channel of accountability’ right here, pal.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    That’s just grandiose, verbal masturbation… for chrissake. Just hire somebody that knows what they’re doing that has some decent credentials – for a change!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The more qualifications you demand in the job listing, the more you can knock down the asking price of any applicant. Oh, you haven’t done open heart surgery? We’ll have to offer you a little less.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Hell, the job description and the way its written would scare off 99% of the people you would want to interview. Who would want to work for a company that writes s*it like that?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    “The integration of advertising and marketing initiatives into our digital and print operations, including new technology systems and advertising approaches that boost revenue while ensuring the independence of the information-gathering process from conflicting advertising and marketing influence.”

    Say Gannett picks you for an interview for that EE Indy job. Now, read what’s written in the job description (above). Say the interviewer asks you how you’d do that. What would you say?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Accountability? we dont need no stinking accountability!!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    They need to hire executive editors who are 35 or under if they want to save the company and have a successful Web transformation. The ones in charge now are completely lost, and yet they are blindly leading a team of people who are supposed to be producing Web content that appeals to younger audiences. There is a HUGE disconnect, and that’s why newspapers will continue to die.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Hush, 7:39. You’ll hurt the feelings of the Protected Class of employees 40 and over. You don’t want to do that because they’re jonesing for a lawsuit. Now be a good Gannetteer and help Bob over there set that picture of his grandkids as his desktop background.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Hey 7:39 PM
    Do you have preferences for gender, sexual orientation and skin color too?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    This is classic wrong-headed newspaper thinking. I see that job and think it’s designed to protect the accountability of someone higher up. It does nothing to lead or direct. Indy has a strong online department and I imagine it would ‘hum’ along on its own without much interference.

    Digital is a simple process. It really is. It needs only one head speaking directly to the big boss(es) in the newsroom. It does not need an executive of any kind. Most costs are fixed.

    Big fat *shrug* here. You won’t find me applying for that position.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    8:00 PM No, but Gannett does.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    sounds fun. I just might apply.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    If we are going to be writing advertorial copy, many of us would do better going to write it for an ad agency, marketing firm or PR machine and get the pay that usually comes with it. The silos were there for a reason, and knocking them down is just one more sign of desperation as we flail toward the drain.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Wow! I love this new language of the techno-self-inportance age! Platforms of accountability? Silos? Gawd! What crap! What ever happened to simple good journalism? Oh wait, we’re talkin’ about Gannett here, right?

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