When Journalists Cross Over to the Ad Agency Side

Digiday spoke with seven recent newsroom nomads.

In May, Fast Company’s Erin Collier moved over to Huge, where she serves as executive editor. In August, Ben Berentson abandoned a post as site director of vogue.com for the position of senior director of editorial and organizational development at Code and Theory.

They are just two of the seven folks who spoke to Digiday’s Yuyu Chen for an intriguing recent piece about the migration of journalists to the ad agency side, and the differences that lie across that divide. Several of the article participants spoke to Chen anonymously:

“I thought it would be a really easy transition, but it’s actually apples and oranges,” said the anonymous source. “I used to write under a byline, but now I do lots of ghostwriting, so I have to learn how to not sound like myself.”

Meanwhile, there isn’t the same sense of urgency at the agency. In the newsroom, he added, you need to push out something as soon as possible so you are not the last one to the party.

Huge’s Collier agreed that agency life is less about staying on top of the news cycle. Instead, it’s more about having a smart point of view on trends in technology and design that can affect the clients. But her biggest “culture shock” is no longer worrying about the media industry’s challenging business environment.

On a related note, Matt Welch, who moved from The New York Times Editing Center to Carrot Creative, cited improved morale. In lieu of newsroom fears, he said he now more typically encounters hope amidst the cubicles. Read the rest here.