Editors at The Chicago Tribune are facing the same problem corporate editors began tackling years ago: how to integrate print with online.
Seems Tribune editors are struggling with integration—perhaps downright ignoring it— as they plan a reportedly drastic redesign of the paper. Someone at the Tribune told a Chicago columnist that no one overseeing the redesign has even mentioned print and Web integration.
Corporate editors are deeply concerned with integration, so much so they have an acronym for it, IPO. In fact, creating a quality print publication that works seamlessly alongside a strong intranet is the goal of most, if not all editors. And many of you are reaching that goal.
Maybe you should work for Sam Zell, the billionaire real estate mogul and owner of the Tribune Company.
Zell is laying waste to Tribune-owned newsrooms and slashing the amount of actual news in his papers. To accommodate the diminished news, he ordered redesigns at his papers.
The bright side is he’s letting newsroom staff from each paper handle the redesigns. No meddling from the front office.
At the Chicago Tribune a team of about 30 editors and reporters are mapping out the redesign with an eye on Great Britain’s The Guardian, explained Michael Miner, a columnist for the weekly Chicago Reader. His column focuses primarily on the Chicago media world.
Miner’s information comes from an anonymous source at the Tribune. This paragraph appears near the end of Miner’s July 10 column on the Tribune redesign:
“‘The most troubling thing about this process,’ my contact added, is why no one’s ‘talked about how this new print product will integrate with the Web. These committees are focused solely on the paper, which I think is a futile exercise, because in order to survive we have to figure out how the two complement each other.’”
Scary, isn’t it? In 2008, editors and reporters at one of America’s largest newspapers are not focused on how to integrate their print newspaper with their Web site.
If Miner’s information is correct then I’d advise selling your Tribune shares, but don’t worry, Zell took the company private. He’s the one who should be worried.
Maybe corporate editors should lend a hand—for a reasonable fee, of course.