If there were awards for Most Boring Internal Memo at a publication, this one from WaPo might get a Pulitzer in that category. Reading this was like trudging through mud, but if you care to, be my guest. The long and short of it (after I took a quick nap at phrase 20) is that a variety of obscure changes are happening at WaPo. For instance, Editor Tim Curran moves to Weekend editor with his “strong” news judgment. And watch out. He will, at times, “wield a scalpel”.
Bolded are some of the better phrases so you don’t die through it.
“Staff News: Universal News Desk 2.0 editing team To build on our successes and resolve a few outstanding issues, we’re modifying the structure of the Universal News Desk. The changes are designed to focus our editing firepower on our two core missions — boosting the growing online news operation and creating an even stronger newspaper. Tim Curran will be moving to a newly created position as the Weekend/A Section Editor, a dual role that will take advantage of Tim’s strong news judgment and his ability to pull together complex threads into authoritative and compelling stories. His leadership on the universal desk has been crucial to its success, and his sophisticated understanding of politics has improved our stories day after day. As Weekend editor, Tim will work closely with UND Enterprise Editor Steve Reiss, as well as with the originating teams, to make sure our Sunday and Monday newspapers have timely and sophisticated enterprise and are competitive on big news stories. He will run the newsroom every Saturday, taking over from R.B., and on alternate Sundays. As A section editor, Tim will be responsible for ensuring that the section is as strong as possible, wielding a scalpel when necessary to keep stories crisp and the mix correct. He will work closely with the presentation team and will edit when needed. Vanessa Williams will become the B Section editor, deciding what goes in the Metro section and how stories are played. A creative and sharp-eyed editor with a deep knowledge of local issues and communities, Vanessa will work closely with the presentation team and the Local originating editors and will jump in to edit when it makes sense. Eric Rich will become Day Topics Chief, supervising a team of five other editors. The Day Topics team will be focused on editing stories and blog posts from early in the morning until about 6:30 p.m., handling the increasing number of bloggers and reporters focused on the Web, as well as breaking news by all reporters and enterprise stories ready to go up on the Web during the day. This team will be at the heart of our effort to become the leading online news site. These editors will also flag for Tim and Vanessa the Web stories and blog posts that should make it into the newspaper. Eric’s deft editing, high energy, management skills and strong Web instincts make him the obvious person to lead this important effort. The team will consist of Anne Bartlett, Victoria Benning, Gene Fynes, Liz Ward and one more editor to be named soon. Each is a seasoned editor with important specialties: Anne in politics, Gene and Victoria in local news and Liz in Foreign. Those specialities [SIC] will be valuable, although the editors will work as a team, handling whatever the story of the moment is, much as our overnight and early morning teams operate. Vince Bzdek has been invaluable as the UND Night editor, tracking big stories, pushing copy flow and working with Jon Wile and others on the look and feel of the paper, making numerous improvements to the paper each night. He has agreed to add to his portfolio, alternating on Sundays with Tim Curran and filling in for him as A Section Editor on days when Tim is off. Vince also will direct an A section Night Topics team of Scott Butterworth and Mike Shepard, that will work closely with the night operations of Style, Local and Sports. Mike and Scott are strong night editors, and we will rest well knowing they are in charge of national, world and business news in the evenings. We are excited by this new lineup and eager to move forward. We plan to put this structure in place by May 24. Sandy R.B. April 27, 2010.”