P-D Internal Memo Shows Paper is Shuffling Entertainment Coverage

Sep 3, 2008 at 10:24 am

A friend at "a local daily newspaper" recently passed along details about a host of changes to said daily’s features sections. The newspaper is apparently trying to beef up its offerings under the entertainment rubric, mainly online. Same local daily has also rolled out a new, Friday, dead-tree entertainment section called "GO!"

That’s funny, 'cause RFT (or, "a local alternative newspaper," as the local daily likes to call us) also has an entertainment feature that appears on Fridays, and is called... "Go!"

Imagine that: a local daily thieving from a lowly local alternative newspaper! Who'da thunk.

It's not the first time the local daily has pilfered from another journalism outlet in town. Back on March 30 came the announcement that the local daily had plans for a new online feature with a name curiously close to that of an online news website run by former daily staffers who took a buyout. The local daily's title? The Platform. The name of the former staffers' website? St. Louis Platform.

The details of the daily’s up-do come in the form of an August 25, 2008, internal memo from Christy Bertelson, deputy managing editor for features.

In light of the changes in our print feature sections and the urgent need for up-to-the-minute, robust feature offerings online and in print, we are changing the responsibilites of several features staff. These changes are effective immediately.

GO! Jody Mitori will expand her responsibilities and become the editor of GO!, as well as the A&E section.

Gabe Hartwig moves over from the design team to become the creative director of GO! Gabe, who produced the spiffy new design for our GO! section, will also play a key role in giving our entertainment website a new look, new content and a new attitude.

Calvin Wilson will be responsible for writing, coordinating and updating a yet-to-be-named arts and culture blog, to which several staff members (Judy Newmark, David Bonetti, Sarah Bryan Miller) will be contributing. In addition, Calvin will continue his excellent cultural reporting on dance, jazz , film and more online as well as in GO! and A&E.

Joe Holleman, Life Sherpa, will continue to schlep our emotional baggage online and in the Tuesday Everday section. He takes on additional responsibility for our online entertainment site, making sure the content is fresh, fun, interactive, lively and inclusive. He will contribute regular bar reviews (Bar Exam) and a Cheap Thrills (fun, free) feature to GO! and to our website.

Judy Evans & Jackie Hutcherson will share editing responsibilities for Eat, Drink, Live. Jackie, of course, remains editor of Explore.

Joe Bonwich will soon begin (Sept. 2) offering online readers daily recommendations -- his and readers' -- for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktails or eggs at 2 a.m. Joe and Judy Evans will also be responsible for keeping our massive restaurant database current.

David Bonetti will expand his beat to include coverage of craft, design and architecture in addition fine arts. Look for more profiles and Q and A's with working artists and craftspeople, as well as architectural critiques.

Charles Williams will be responsible for the implementation of our online calendar, coordinating entries from all points of cyberspace, restructuring its architecture as needed, making sure it is fed and refreshed many times a day with stories, photos, blogs, polls, videos, multi-media presentations, etc. Charles will also help train other feature staff in order to sharpen their online skills.

Debra Bass will add a video component to her daily blog, focused on shopping. She'll be interviewing area merchants and consumers about what's hot and what's not in fashion, beauty and home decor.

Karen Deer will launch a new blog alerting consumers to the best local steals and deals -- while they're happening.

Sarah Bryan Miller, in addition to covering classical music, will take on responsibility for online multi-media offerings, producing slide shows, video and audio on a wide variety of topics in arts and entertainment.

A1 On Sept. 2, we will institute a regular rotation schedule to ensure that our talented features reporters are doing their part to keep the news beast fed and friendly. Look for a minimum of two stories per week enriching the offerings in A1, Metro or business from our team.

Christy Bertelson Deputy Managing Editor for Features