August 29, 2009

Moving is today's theme at the Advance Publications Alabama properties

The publisher
isn't the only one moving on at the Advance Publication newspapers in Alabama.

Columnists moved to new days and places as the Birmingham News launched a plan to make local news coverage more dynamic - editor's words, not mine. His explanatory column includes a nod to take advantage of "where we can break stories in real time and supplement them with a rich array of original source materials, such as full court filings and searchable databases. ", by the way, was one of the sponsors of Social South, Deep Fried Social Media. which you can read about elsewhere.

Bors Blog first alerted me with a Flash of Hope that The Chicago Tribune hired Scot Stantis, who had worked for the Birmingham News since 1996. Stantis explained why he's heading north and the Tribune put together the Stantis cartoons gallery. (That snowy 'toon was on Stantis' 'i'm leaving' post. His farewell post - After 12 years, 11 months, I say goodbye is words only. (corrected Aug. 31)

Also now in snow country is Ian R. Rapoport, who traded the University of Alabama sports beat to cover the New England Patriots. He's already writing in Boston, where his banker wife of three months is preparing for her first snowy winter. Snow is not new to Rapoport, who wrote about heading home to New York in December.

Reversing the weather chain - leaving snow for warmth - is the new advertising head for the Birmingham Times. Kurt Vantosky, the new vice president of advertising, spent the last four years at Washington's Tacoma News Tribune and was in Alaska before that.

Media of Birmingham reported those changes and had some speculation about the new role of Ricky Matthews, who replaced Howard Bronson as president and publisher at the Mobile Press-Register, Baldwin Register and Mississippi Press and picks up oversight of the Birmingham News and Huntsville Times in the new role of president of Advance Alabama/Mississippi.

The timing of the 72-year-old publisher leaving an Advance Publications newspaper in Alabama is the main focus of Bidding Bronson Bye post in the Lagniappe. Bronson was remembered for creating a Sound Off column and moving corrections to the front page. (Update on 9/18/09) The publisher sued Advance Publications)

A former editorial writer heaps much more praise on Bronson on, citing his work to help redevelop parts of the city and some of the awards the newspaper won. The letter followed an editorial "Howard Bronson's rich, broad legacy." (I wrote about Bronson when the Press-Register took on the printing of a Florida newspaper and he was on a local TV station.)

Matthews role with Advance Alabama/Mississippi led the Lagniappe speculation to speculate the news operations could combine if circulation drops.

While I'm hanging out down south, let me lead you to Roasted Rump, where J.D. Crowe the cartoonist for the Mobile-Register, let peers and politicians get back at him for a night. He serves a second helping of the roast in Notes 'n Quotes.

Plus John Ehinger, the editorial page writer for the Huntsville Times and author of Bird Droppings who left June 30 via a buyout returned briefly with a remembrance of Apollo 11 Saturn V launch.

Read it quick as is one of the Newhouse sites getting much more aggressive about moving articles and columns behind a pay wall. An example is the May article about Ehinger's replacement, John Peck, announced on the same day the Opinion pages changed.


  1. 72 year old Editor? In Portland, the Publisher is 87? I see a theme here...I understand loving the business, but are these the people we are counting on to take us into the future? to embrace change and new technology? Time to hand over the reigns was about 20 years ago.

  2. Some folks love what they are doing so much they don't want to retire?