Philly Voice Poaches Kempski, Tevis From IGM

Jimmy Kempski, Philly.com’s popular Eagles blogger, is joining the staff of PhillyVoice.com, George Norcross’s forthcoming startup online news source.

Kempski is not the only new hire poached from Interstate General Media, where Norcross was a part-owner before losing an auction for the company earlier this year. Jonathan Tevis, who previously served as IGM’s spokesman — representing the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com to the press and public — is joining PhillyVoice.com as director of external relations.

Both moves were announced Monday afternoon in a press release.
Read more »

George Norcross Back in Journalism With the Philly Voice

norcross-philly-voice-940x540

Less than six months since he was outbid for the company that owns the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com, it looks like South Jersey powerhouse George Norcross is ready to jump back into the oh-so-lucrative game of local journalism, joining BillyPenn.com and the maybe-one-day-it-will-happen, Ajay Raju-backed Philadelphia Citizen in the field of Philadelphia news startups. Read more »

Interview: Jim MacMillan of GunCrisis.org

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

GunCrisis.org announced this week it is “curtailing” its operations due to funding shortfall. While the curtailed site will still offer the occasional reports and analysis, the announcement marks the end of an era in which the site tried to document every shooting — and every murder — that occurred in Philadelphia.

Jim MacMillan, a former Daily News photographer, was one of the site’s founders. He talked with Philly Mag about the decision to pull back. Some excerpts:
Read more »

Philly.com Hires Next City Editor

Diana Lind, editor-in-chief at NextCity.org. Photo by Inna Spivakova.

Diana Lind, editor-in-chief at NextCity.org. Photo by Inna Spivakova.

Philly.com has made another high-profile hire — bringing Diana Lind, the editor in chief at Next City, aboard to be its director of digital audience development.

Employees at Interstate General Media, the owner of Philly.com, the Inquirer, and the Daily News, were told this morning in a memorandum emailed to the staff.

“This is a new role that will collaborate closely with the newsrooms and other parts of the organization to evolve how we promote and share the work we do and to help us engage the community in our journalism,” Eric Ulken, Philly.com’s executive director of digital strategy, said in the memo. “Diana joins a growing team of leaders with diverse digital experience, and her appointment represents another big step toward expanding our audience and strengthening our bond with readers.”

Lind spent six years at Next City, a Philly-based website that covers issues involving urbanism. She spoke to Philly Mag in September abut cultivating a mostly female masthead; she is scheduled to interview Christina Weiss Lurie at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest on Nov. 14.

The full memo below:
Read more »

Meet the New Philly.com Brain Trust

topel ulken 940 x 540

Mike Topel, left, and Eric Ulken of Philly.com.

Meet the new braintrust of Philly.com. These are the guys who may hold the future of Philadelphia’s two major daily newspapers in their hands.

Mike Topel, the executive editor of Philly.com, is an old hand — he worked on the print side at the Inquirer, then Philly.com, before leaving for several years. He returned this summer to lead the operation. Eric Ulken arrived shortly after from the Seattle Times to become the site’s director of digital strategy — a position that has a foot both in journalism and the business of Philly.com

With the recent announcement that the Inquirer and Daily News sites are shutting down and folding into Philly.com, this duo’s work becomes more important than ever to the future of the Interstate General Media, which owns all three organizations. It’s a fraught assignment: The three newsrooms have a spotty record, at best, of cooperation. Philly.com has had its own reputational problems. But the duo vows a renewed emphasis on journalism — and on making that journalism look good on the web.

The two sat down with Philly Mag recently to talk about the future of Philly.com, how to get three newsrooms to cooperate together on the web, what went wrong with the newspapers’ websites, and Philly.com’s advantages in the marketplace.

Oh, and we talked about comments. Of course.

Read more »

(Update) Inquirer, Daily News Continue Circulation Decline

Updated with comment from a company spokesman.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.16.49 AM

Print circulation at the Philadelphia Inquirer continues its long slide, according to preliminary numbers from the Alliance for Audited Media.

The Inky’s average Sunday print circulation for the six month period that ended September 30th was 312,197, down 12,000 copies a week from the last report in March, and off by roughly 18,000 copies a week from the same report a year ago. (The preliminary “snapshot” numbers can be seen — along with audited reports from March 2014 and September 2013 — below.)

Circulation was down for the Inquirer’s weekday and the Daily News print editions as well.

“The trend lines for our print numbers are very much in line with other major metro newspapers, but we continue to aggressively pursue ways to improve our products,” said company spokesman Jonathan Tevis. “The significant expansion of The Inquirer’s arts and entertainment coverage and the enhancements to the real estate and health sections illustrate this point. Special reports like the Daily News’ city gentrification project also demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing readers with the news and information they expect from their local newspaper.

“At the same time, we are very encouraged by the progress we are making on the digital content side. Our replica editions remain very popular, and our September web analytics showed more growth in the area of unique visitors from both desktop and mobile. We also saw a sharp increase in our dominance among competing local news websites in September.”

Read more »

The Inquirer Endorses Nobody for Governor

Philanthropist H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest speak at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | AP, Matt Rourke

Philanthropist H.G. “Gerry” Lenfest speaks at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | AP, Matt Rourke

And in the 2014 Pennsylvania governor’s race, the Philadelphia Inquirer endorses … nobody. Absolutely nobody.

Readers on Sunday were instead treated to a list comparing and contrasting the major positions of Gov. Tom Corbett and challenger Tom Wolf — something that mostly could and should run in the paper’s news pages — but without any kind of weigh-the-facts-and-make-a-recommendation conclusion at the end of it that you’d expect from the op-ed page of the region’s biggest news operation. (A similar grid ran in Friday’s Daily News.) Instead, we got a column from owner/publisher Gerry Lenfest explaining the effort as a kind of high-minded bit of innovation.

Read more »

« Older Posts