Friday 27 August 2010

USA Today: Major shake-up with mobile first goal

America's national newspaper USA Today has launched a major restructuring of its newsroom management and staff - which will include about 130 layoffs - with the goal of becoming a "mobile-first" organisation, Editor & Publisher reports.
E&P says that the 28-year-old structure of reporters and managing editors working in the Gannett-owned paper's four sections -- News, Sports, Money and Life – is being replaced by “content rings”.
USA Today publisher David Hunke told The Associated Press that the changes later this year would include about 130 more layoffs, or about 9% of the staff of 1,500.
"This is pretty radical," Hunke told the AP. "This gets us ready for our next quarter century."
USA Today’s announcement said the restructuring “reflects USA Today’s evolution from a newspaper company to a multi-platform media company” of print, digital and mobile. But in an internal presentation, the emphasis appeared to be on mobile, E&P reported.
"We have to go where the audience is," editor John Hillkirk told AP. "If people are hitting the iPad like crazy, or the iPhone or other mobile devices, we've got to be there with the content they want, when they want it."
  • According to the Gannett Blog, circulation of USA Today has fallen 14% from a year ago, knocking the paper down to the No. 2 position after The Wall Street Journal, now owned by Rupert Murdoch.
  • Murdoch is embarking on an ambitious plan for a new national digital newspaper in the US to be distributed exclusively as paid content for tablet computers such as iPads and mobile phones, the Los Angeles Times has reported. It said the initiative would directly compete with the New York Times, USA Today and other national publications in the US.

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