Monday, December 10, 2007

Open thread: Advice for Jeff Sonderman

Sunday's Times-Tribune carried a story (click above) announcing Jeff Sonderman's promotion to metro editor. For no reason, an assemblage of such stories:

"Jeff Sonderman has an outstanding track record as a reporter and editor and will do a great job as The Times-Tribune continues to expand its local news coverage in print and online at www.thetimes-tribune.com." – Larry Beaupre on Sonderman, 12/07

"Stephen Daily is an outstanding journalist who has been instrumental in the development of one of the best newspaper business sections in the country.... We look forward to his leadership as The Times-Tribune and Citizens’ Voice continue to expand business and personal finance coverage in Northeastern Pennsylvania." – Beaupre on Daily, 4/06

"We were looking for someone with experience in business news and strong editing skills with imagination and leadership ability." – Beaupre on Fred Reinecke, 1/05

"It is a pleasure to turn over responsibility for local news coverage to an editor with the experience, background, talent and integrity of Ken Knelly." – Beaupre on Knelly, 10/04

"Mr. Knelly comes from a newspaper with a distinguished business section and he, himself, has an outstanding reputation as a business editor and journalist." – Beaupre on Knelly, 9/03

Any management advice for the new editor? Career advice? Job leads?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

watch your back.

Anonymous said...

Take notice of the "debit card" fiasco in Luzerne County and observe how interested local folks are in government scandal.

Most people in these parts believe local government is corrupt, and that most politicians are on the take in one form or another. Put together a good investigative team and let them run wild on this. You will likely find more stories than you know what to do with. You can make your readers happy. And you can do good journalism at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Learn from the mistakes of others. Focus on good journalism. You have some good reporters and editors on staff. Let Larry Beaupre be your mentor and steer clear of John Murphy as much as you can. His negativity and need to micromanage and control will destroy you like it did all of those before you if you let it. It's a powerful blackhole that will suck you in but you can beat it. May the force be with you Jeff Sonderman.

Anonymous said...

How exactly does the metro editor steer clear of Murph? That would be useful advice.

For that matter, running an local investigative team is great idea. Keeping Murph away from it would be an even better one. That guy could fuck up a two-car funeral.

Anonymous said...

Go to Larry Beaupre instead.

Anonymous said...

That guy IS a two-car funeral.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does anyone else think it's a little ridiculous to name a guy who's been a journalist for all of what, three years, maybe four, as the metro editor of a daily newspaper the size of the TT? Even if he's some kind of wunderkind (and I worked with him, he's not) I just don't get it, not if the intention was to promote based on actual merit rather than other ulterior motives.

Lisa Z said...

If he's hot I'm Jessica Alba

Anonymous said...

"We were looking for someone with experience in business news and strong editing skills with imagination and leadership ability." – Beaupre on Fred Reinecke, 1/05

Larry Beaupre: The Crack Years

Anonymous said...

Don't own, lease.

John Mitchell said...

Jeff: Concentrate on the journalism. A metro editor should be judged by enterprise, covering the big story, putting out an interesting and provocative page 1 every day.
Not by beat notes, story counts, team meetings, the Friday afternoon quiz, meetings about beat notes, memos about meetings about beat notes, memos about story counts, etc. etc. etc. Forget the bureaucratic bullshit and be an advocate for getting news in the paper.
That would be a departure for Times Shamrock -- Beaupre, Murphy and Christine are all process-oriented guys. But this will be good training for dealing with know-it-all assholes at your next newspaper in a year or two.
:)

Anonymous said...

It's beyond ridiculous. The credibility of that paper has just shrunk even more. It smells like a weak front for John Murphy continuing to run the ship.

Anonymous said...

Advice to Sonderman: Don't spend too much time staring at the Wiz...or admiring his taut, tight physique...or checking out his rock-hard glutes....or gazing into his deep, dark eyes. You'll end up crazed and frustrated like Christine.

Anonymous said...

"Is it just me or does anyone else think it's a little ridiculous to name a guy who's been a journalist for all of what, three years, maybe four"

It is just you. Ed Christine was a journalist for decades, didn't make him a good metro editor.. he was still an incompetent ass.

I say its about time to have someone in there who knows what he's doing and has some skill and focus and actually cares about the reporters. Besides... four years is a longer tenure than well over half the people at the paper.

Anonymous said...

4 years is a longer tenure...? To run a newsroom that size? Get real. He came there straight out of J-school as a reporter. Within less than 2 years he became business editor then less than another year he's metro editor. That is ridiculous. Four years is not a longer tenure is terms of experience. Those other people had decades of it. And you're right it does not make someone a good metro editor but it makes them a more experienced, well-rounded one and that's important.

John Mitchell said...

If it's my newspaper, I'm looking to go outside and hire somebody a little more experience, some editing chops, a track record of running successful projects and investigations.
(Side note, Ed Christine had decades of experience, but it mostly involved jumping from job to job every 2 to 3 years after shitting in his own nest. It wasn't what you'd call a successful track record).
Sonderman, however, deserves a break and the benefit of the doubt. He's a bright guy and a good egg and probably will get a hell of a lot better in the job if they don't make him crazy and drive him away.)

Anonymous said...

who the fukc is john mitchell?

Anonymous said...

Ok, thanks for reassuring me I haven't completely lost my mind. Sonderman may be a good guy, he might have talent and tons of potential -- that's might -- but he's way too young, way too inexperienced to be running a newsroom, let alone a daily newsroom of that size. I mean, my God, come on! I thought it was nuts when they made him business editor, but to tell you the truth, absolutely nothing that brain trust does surprises me anymore. If they made a good decision, now that would surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Here's my advice to Jeff: Pull a George Costanza.

Whatever they tell you to do here, do the exact opposite.

Jeff will do just fine. Settle down now peeps. Let him stand or fall on his own. He needs no help from this place. (which, by the way, represents about 1% of all journalist who have ever worked in NEPA)

Anonymous said...

Fucking idiot:

""""Here's my advice to Jeff: Pull a George Costanza. Whatever they tell you to do here, do the exact opposite. """"

Right, don't concentrate on good journalism, don't do investigative journalism, don't steer clear of Murphy's negativity, concentrate on bureaucratic bullshit.

You'll fit right in at Times Shamrock.

Anonymous said...

"Free advice is worth the price."
-- Robert Half

murfzadick said...

Jeff: Run away as fast as you can!

Anonymous said...

Do what you do Jeff and all will be well. I say it was a great choice. The guy has great taste in dogs too.

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Anonymous said...

Jeff is hot. Do you have better photos?

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