Tag Archives: Business Weeklies
Beth Hunt became manager of editorial operations for Charlotte-based American City Business Journals last year, leaving her job as editor of the Washington Business Journal, one of the company’s 42 weekly business newspapers.
Hunt, who had been editor of the paper for seven years, is now in charge of developing and implementing new content initiatives and editorial training programs, aid recruitment efforts and work on legal issues for the company.
She recently talked to Talking Biz News about her work and the company. (Disclosure: A number of ACBJ papers have hired my students as interns and reporters in the past four years.) What follows is an edited transcript.
As manager of editorial operations for American City Business Journals, what are your responsibilities?
Itâ€™s my job to provide support to our 42 editors and newsrooms across the country, helping with staff training, management training, recruiting, idea-sharing and staff development. I work with editors who are new to our company, and with long-time editors who are looking for a fresh perspective. I serve as a sounding board for editors who are eager to try something new and as a backup when a market needs some help. Truth be told, this job is my dream job.
Since ACBJ has 42 papers across the country, how do you try to address their specific issues on the editorial side?
Each of our papers is a distinct and unique property that serves its market and readership in the way that fits best. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in this company, so I take my lead from the publisher, editor and other managers in theÂ market. They know their staff, readers and market best. My role is to support them as they work to serve all three better.
How do ACBJ papers try to differentiate themselves from daily newspaper business sections?
To be honest, Chris, we donâ€™t really think about things in those terms. Our products, our philosophy and our approach differentiate us from all of our competitors. Our mission is to help our readers make money and get ahead in their careers. To do that, we give them information they havenâ€™t gotten anywhere else, and we get it to them far enough in advance that they can still do something with it. Our mission is to break news long before the press release is written and the CEO is ready to talk. Stories that are being announced â€” or have been announced â€” arenâ€™t what weâ€™re after. Our readers want to know about things long before theyâ€™re ready to be announced. So our reporters focus on stories at that stage of the game.
Does that mean that they report and write stories differently than their daily counterparts?
Yes. Itâ€™s the nature of what we do vs. what they do.
Are the readers different for an ACBJ paper than for a daily business section?
Of course thereâ€™s a good deal of crossover. But our research tells us they look to us for different things than they look for in the daily. They know we are deeply connected to their local community â€” that we have a deep knowledge about the companies and people who are doing business in their own backyard. We donâ€™t cover national stories, we donâ€™t do stock tables, we donâ€™t run wire stories. We focus only on local companies and issues, and put them in perspective for the people who live and work nearby.
Many daily newspapers have been losing readership to the Internet. Have ACBJ papers experienced that same trend?
No. In fact, circulation is growing at a good clip across the company. We find that our Web site, bizjournals.com, serves as a complement to our print publications, and provides us a steady stream of new subscribers throughout the country.
The web sites for the ACBJ papers are updated daily with breaking news. Is that content read by a different audience than the print subscribers?
Research tells us that our print subscribers use our Web site, and the daily emails from each of our publishers, to get a jump on what will be in the daily newspaperâ€™s business section the next morning. We also know that many of the non-subscribers who come to our Web site through search engines find it useful enough to stay long beyond what it takes to read what they came for. The Web is a great tool for us to introduce ourselves to people who donâ€™t know about our print publications.
Whatâ€™s the biggest challenge facing ACBJ going forward?
We face the same challenge all media does â€” staying relevant to a fast-paced group of readers who are increasingly running out of time. Fortunately, publications like ours meet a specific need for people who no longer have time to wade through more general publications.
ACBJ is owned by the same company as Conde Nast, which is launching a new business magazine in April. How has ACBJ helped with that launch?
ACBJ and Conde Nast are corporate siblings. Beyond that, we are separate organizations that fill wholly different roles for our readers.
What made you decide to move from editing an ACBJ paper into a corporate position?
Are you kidding? This is the job of a lifetime. After 17 years as a reporter and editor for American City, this is my shot to put everything Iâ€™ve learned to good use. Besides, after putting out 884 papers, it was time to give someone else a turn.
John McCalla, editor of Washington Business Journal, has died, according to a story posted on the paper’s web site.Â He was 38.
A cause of death was not immediately available.
Neil Arthur has been named publisher of the Dayton Business Journal. He succeeds Heather Martin, who has been publisher since 2003, according to a short story on the weekly paper’s web site.
The story stated, “Arthur brings to Dayton a solid background in sales, training and operations, [American City Business Journals CEO Ray] Shaw said. For the past two years he has had his own consulting firm in Columbus working with publications and business-to-business service companies.
“Previously, he served in several roles with Gannett and Thomson newspapers in Ohio, ranging from Columbus division head to leading training and sales development for 10 daily newspapers.”
Read more here.
Geert De Lombaerde, the editor of the Nashville Business Journal for the past three years, is stepping down from the position at the American City Business Journal paper, according to a brief on the Nashville Post web site.
E. Thomas Wood wrote, “Speaking briefly to NashvillePost.com this afternoon, NBJ Publisher Kate Herman confirmed the editor’s resignation but said she was ‘just not in a position to talk about it at this time.’
“The business weekly, operated by the national chain American City Business Journals, has now seen turnover in its top three positions since July. Herman replaced Bill McMeekin as publisher that month, and Will Higgins left as ad director in August, replaced by Amy Harris.”
A University of Missouri grad, de Lombaerde moved to Cincinnati to be a reporter at the Business Courier, first covering retail and the courts, then banking/finance, investing and macroeconomic issues. Starting in December 1999,Â he began editing the Portfolio section of the Courier.
In August 2002,Â he moved to Nashville to be managing editor of the Business Journal. When the former editor left in 2003,Â he took over. Kenneth Pybus left the NBJ in January to accept a faculty position at Abilene Christian University in Texas.
Read more here.
Barth succeeds Ken Cogburn, who recently left the American City Business Journal newspaper.
After first joining OBJ in 1992 as research director, Barth was named copy editor/special publications editor two years later and assumed a reporting role, as well. In 1997, she was named associate managing editor, overseeing the paper’s special sections, prior to becoming managing editor.
“Cindy’s 14 years of business reporting and editing experience at Orlando Business Journal provides her with a depth of knowledge and understanding of the issues facing the local business community that few other journalists in the region possess,” says publisher Ann Sonntag.
“As managing editor, Cindy has garnered the respect and loyalty of a team of reporters who, over the past decade, have won hundreds of national, state, regional and local awards. As editor, I am confident that she will take OBJ to even greater heights.”
The Idaho Business Review, a weekly business publication based in Boise, has revamped its web site to include more stories.
Managing editor John Foster says on his blog, “We’ve expanded the number of Idaho Business News stories appearing on the main page, and we’ve added a blurb underneath each headline to give you a better idea of what’s in the story.”
On another post, Foster said, “Our new site features breaking news stories, updated throughout the day every day of the work week. We also have a blog (what youâ€™re reading now) about Idaho business and politics.
“But, most important, the site is designed to be useful for you. Over the last few months we talked with many of you about the Internet functions you need from us. We listened.
“First off, this site is free. No user name or password to enter â€” ever. We may ask for your E-mail address if you care to receive regular updates, but you now have access to everything on the site â€“ archives included â€“ without registration.
“Second, our site is easier to search. The new search engine will help you better crawl our site to research Idaho companies and businesspeople.”
Read more here. The new site launched Tuesday. The publication is owned by Dolan Media, which also owns the Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, Ore., and Finance and Commerce in Minneapolis.
The Small Business Times, a newspaper that caters to small businesses in southeastern Wisconsin, announced Friday that it started a weekly commercial and residential real estate bulletin delivered to subscribers via e-mail.
A short story noted, “Like the BizTimes Daily, the BizTimes Real Estate Weekly is free to subscribers. The new bulletin is delivered by e-mail to subscribers on Wednesday mornings.
Andrew Weiland, managing editor of Small Business Times, oversees the compilation of the BizTimes Real Estate Weekly bulletin. Weiland also writes the Commercial Real Estate Spotlight in the print edition of SBT.
“The new e-mail bulletin features exclusive local real estate news and profiles the people, issues and the events shaping the industry.
â€œ’SBT is committed to being the definitive source of news and information about the local real estate industry, which transcends into all other industries in southeastern Wisconsin,’ said SBT publisher Dan Meyer.”
Read more here.
Brian Womack, who writes the technology column for the Orange County Business Journal, is leaving the weekly paper for a job at Investor’s Business Daily.
WomackÂ wrote, “Iâ€™ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here and honestly can say I looked forward to coming into the office each day.
“The people here are great, as is this newspaper.
“OC is packed with some of the highest-profile technology companies in the worldâ€”and that just made my job fun.
“Also, the people in technology in OC have been helpful, making it a lot easier to write my stories.”
Read more here.
Washington Business Journal managing editor John McCalla has been named to lead the weekly newspaper and its Web operations as editor, replacing Beth Hunt, who is moving to Charlotte, N.C., to become manager of editorial operations for the paper’s parent company, American City Business Journals.
A short story in the newspaper stated, “Hunt was editor for seven years and is a 17-year veteran of ACBJ. In her new position, she will develop and implement new content initiatives and editorial training programs, aid recruitment efforts and work on legal issues for the company, which owns 41 business journals across the country.
“McCalla joined ACBJ as a reporter at the Philadelphia Business Journal in 1998 and was promoted to managing editor in Washington in 2001.
“‘Beth and John have been a terrific team these past years,’ says Business Journal Publisher Alex Orfinger, “and I’m confident John will continue Washington Business Journal’s tradition of breaking news, attracting the best journalistic talent — and being the best business publication in Greater Washington.’”
Read more here.
Joe Kennedy, the publisher of Eastside Business, noted on his Web site that he recently received a subscription request from an administrative assistant at American City Business Journals, the parent company of competitor Puget Sound Business Journal and 40 other weekly business papers around the country.
Kennedy wrote that he turned down the subscription offer because of his past dealings with representatives from Charlotte-based ACBJ. He has been threatened by attorneys representing the chain. His paper was previously called the Bellevue Business Journal before changing its name last year.
He wrote, “To make a long story longer, here was my reply to the request for subscriptions to Eastside Business from a staffer at American City / Puget Sound Business Journal:
“Thatâ€™s kind of funny Peggy â€“ you wouldnâ€™t even list the name of your company. I know why – last year your company sent your attorneys after us threatening legal action and this year you want to subscribe â€¦.
“I donâ€™t think so.
“Nobody over there even had the courtesy (or guts) to give me a call to talk before sending in the lawyers and I donâ€™t want to do business with such an organization.”
“Even so, thank you for your interest in Eastside Business.”
Read more here.