The New York Times has a piece today putting Howard Kurtz's move from The Washington Post to The Daily Beast in the broader context of so called "brand-name" journalists who migrate from traditional media to digital platforms. It also looks at the difference between the old print world and the online blah, blah, Internet changed the news game, blah blah making money online is hard, blah, blah ad infinitum until someone figures it out ... Read the full article here.
Anyhow, there's a great pair of sentences in the fifth paragraph that, to me, is the crux of the piece:
"More and more, media outlets are becoming a federation of individual brands like Mr. Kurtz. Journalism is starting to look like sports, where a cast of role players serves as a platform and context for highly paid, high-impact players."
Not that this is a new trend by any stretch. I think over the last several years the best media brands making the shift from print-only to ramped up online efforts have done a fantastic job promoting their top talent by name. Two prime examples that come immediately to my mind: On the national level is The Atlantic, with a roster that includes the likes of Alexis Madrigal, James Fallows, Andrew Sullivan and a host of others; on the local level, the Times Union, back in my old stomping grounds of Albany, with staff bloggers who became their own brand, most notably food and drink guru Steve Barnes and fashion/culture commentator Kristi Gustafson. Anyone else have good examples to share?
This notion, as touched upon in the New York Times piece, provides further proof why I need to stop the procrastination that keeps me from blogging my thoughts. I articulated this idea some time in the last two years -- at least verbally, and have reflected on it quite a bit since. In fact, I was quite confident I HAD presented it here as well, but it appears I did not; I couldn't locate anything in my previous posts. It's possible I had it in a draft post that I since deleted, though. It looks like the closest I came to officially touching on the concept was earlier this year in March, when I dissected a forum I'd gone to about blogging (and featuring the two TU bloggers mentioned above on the panel). Read that right here.
So, you know: Damn it and such. Lesson learned? Maybe. But I had the same thing happen to me in May 2009 when Rupert Murdoch beat me to the punch on a prediction regarding online news operations (seventh graf in this post).