Morning Media Newsfeed: Gawker Shakes Up Leadership | Guardian EIC to Step Down

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Gawker Makes Leadership Changes (FishbowlNY)
Nick Denton has announced some major changes to the leadership structure at Gawker Media. Instead of Denton having all the oversight, a collective of seven managing partners (including Denton) “will consult on major matters such as tech investments and the reassignment of department heads,” according to a memo. NYT The move was in part because of the company’s editorial failures in the last year. Denton said he would stay on as chief executive and remain involved in the company’s future, but that recent failures in management had shown he needed more support. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The move, Denton said, was part of an effort to scale back his day-to-day managerial roles and return to blogging, which he called “the only truly new media in the age of the Web” and “the essential act of journalism in an interactive and conversational age.” The move also suggests that Gawker Media may be gearing up for an acquisition or merger of some sort. Denton said that no such activity was afoot. GigaOM The new management structure will make it easier to respond to the increasing competitive threat from sites like BuzzFeed and Vox, Denton said, since decisions will be made by the committee as a whole rather than everyone having to try and get the founder’s attention at the same time. The new group includes former Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs as head of editorial operations, effectively replacing editor-in-chief Joel Johnson, who announced recently that he had been fired. Capital New York The rest of the managing board includes president Heather Dietrick, chief strategy officer Erin Pettigrew, advertising head Andrew Gorenstein, chief operating officer Scott Kidder and chief technology officer Tom Plunkett, who will continue to work on the product side but shed the title of CTO. The memo also mentions that Gawker’s revenues are up 30 percent year-over-year and the company has hired Paul Sundue to head Studio@Gawker, the company’s in-house native advertising agency.

Alan Rusbridger to Step Down as Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian (The Guardian)
The Scott Trust, which safeguards the editorial future and independence of The Guardian, has appointed Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, to succeed Dame Liz Forgan as its chair. Rusbridger will step down as editor-in-chief in summer 2015, following the appointment of his successor. He will become chair of The Scott Trust in 2016, when Liz Forgan reaches the end of her term. HuffPost Rusbridger gained worldwide recognition in 2013 for defending the paper’s reporting of leaked National Security Agency documents provided by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The Guardian and The Washington Post went on to receive the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the NSA and its mass surveillance programs. Poynter / MediaWire For his leadership on those stories, Rusbridger was also awarded the European Press Prize. After he accepted the award, Rusbridger held one of the hard drives the British government made Guardian staffers destroy after the news organization revealed it was in possession of documents leaked by Snowden. NYT Rusbridger became editor in 1995, in a very different media landscape. He steered The Guardian, traditionally Britain’s most liberal major newspaper, through the spread of online journalism, and expanded it to the U.S. in 2011.

Politico, Axel Springer Acquire European Voice (FishbowlDC)
Politico and Axel Springer, owners of the Politico joint venture in Europe, announced Wednesday the acquisition of Brussels publication European Voice. Capital New York European Voice will cease to exist in early 2015. The new publication, with a mission of “covering the politics, policies and personalities in the EU and the continent’s most powerful nations,” according to Politico CEO Jim VandeHei, will take the flagship’s model of high-volume politics and policy news and tailor it to a European audience through a combination of free digital content, a subscriber service and an advertiser-supported print edition. Politico Europe also will come with its own, EU-centric version of chief White House correspondent Mike Allen’s popular morning email tip-sheet, Playbook. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, the owner and publisher of European Voice, will become managing director of the new venture. Matthew Kaminski, of The Wall Street Journal, will serve as executive editor, overseeing more than 30 journalists in Brussels, as well as reporters in Europe’s major capitals. Kaminski will report to Politico co-founder and editor-in-chief John Harris, who will serve as chairman of the joint venture’s editorial committee. Poynter / MediaWire The acquisition is the latest step in Politico’s plan, announced in September, to expand into Europe. The launch will transplant many staples of Politico’s current business model to Europe; it will include the release of a new website, Politico.eu, a weekly newspaper in Brussels, a series of events and conferences and a European edition of Politico Pro.