How Deseret Media Does News On A Reduced Staff

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By Rachel Kaufman Comment

Salt Lake City-based Deseret Media completed its transition to a “multi-platform newsroom” recently and the company, which owns a TV station, radio station, newspaper and two websites is trying to, surprise surprise, do more with less.

The newspaper lost 85 editorial staffers in the move to the new system, or about 40 percent of the newsroom. We’re not sure how the TV and radio station fared but certainly they’re feeling the pain as well.

So what’s a media company to do? Deseret Media’s brought back an old concept: the rewrite desk.

TVNewsCheck reports that reporters collect video, audio, and text from the scene and the rewrite desk decides where the content should run and how to run it, with an emphasis on the web.

The strategy is working: KSL.com is the number 1 local TV site in the country and ranked by unique visits, it’s the fourth most visited TV news site behind only CNN, MSNBC and Fox news. At the site, revenue is expected to grow this year by 46%, page views by 14% and unique visitors by 16%.

So. Separate reporting from content creation and then consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. It seems to be, at least in Salt Lake, working.


Photo: moriza