Shake Up At The Asbury Park Press

Hollis Towns, APP's Editor of the Future.  Photo via facebook

Hollis Towns, APP’s Editor of the Future. Photo via facebook

Editors and writers at the Asbury Park Press are vying to keep their jobs in Executive Editor Hollis R. Towns’ “Newsroom of the Future.”

Gannett, the owner of the paper, announced on August 5 that it is separating into two publicly held companies.  APP will be part of a  publishing company that will be debt free and own the company’s newspapers including USA Today and 81 local daily newspapers and their affiliated websites.  The more profitable broadcasting  and digital divisions will be folded into a company that will assume the existing debt and consists of the 46 television stations the company owns or services as well as the websites Cars.com and CareerBuider.com.  The publishing company will retain the Gannett name.

The following day, Towns announced on app.com and the paper’s front page that he, along with the executive editors of four other of Gannett properties were charged with creating the “newsroom of the future.”  There will be fewer editors and more reporters who will hang out in coffee shops and delis hunting for stories that they will be able to post to app.com without a gatekeeper reviewing their work.  And there will be public events like the Sleep Con event they hosted with an advertiser earlier this month where readers could pay $10 to learn how to sleep better by buying a mattress from the advertiser.

What Towns didn’t announce publicly was that current Asbury Park Press employees had to apply to keep their jobs.  “To be hired into the Newsroom of the Future” is how is was spun in Neptune.

Editors completed the interviews to be managers in the Newsroom of the Future last week.  On Friday evening at 5:18, Towns sent an email announcing the winners.  MMM obtained the email.  The list of new managers can be viewed here.

Those not hired as managers include State Editor John Schoonejongen, Metro Editor Lisa Kruse and Assistant Metro Editor/Ocean County Joseph Cacchioli.  Three management positions, Accountability Coach, Storytelling Coach and Regional Features Planner, have yet to be filled, according to Towns’ email.

Towns said in his email that interviews for non-management positions will begin this coming week.  Current reporters, “staff writers” and those who did not make the management cut, will find out of they have jobs when that process is complete.

Posted: August 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Monmouth County, Neptune Nudniks | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Shake Up At The Asbury Park Press”

  1. Oh, darn. said at 12:12 pm on August 24th, 2014:

    Was hoping they were shuttering the doors, finally.. Any word on who the “trash all Republicans” editor is? Guess it’ll just stay him, for now… And, oh, great- no filters at all on hearsay at coffee shops, getting posted as fact?.. How so like them, yet again..kinda like a Facebook for “news”- emotion and personal opinion..not impressed,oh “Newsroom of the Future”!!

  2. proud Republican said at 7:37 pm on August 24th, 2014:

    Is this a joke? Storytelling coach? In any form, under any group of hacks, this liberal rag is doomed. And it can’t happen soon enough.

  3. Jim Granelli said at 9:13 pm on August 25th, 2014:

    The APP still publishes? Who knew?