Fair-haired boy back

Dateline: Mon 06 Aug 2012

Welcome back to the Indy Star, Kevin Poortinga, who started as a lowly copy editor in Indianapolis, then became the new-kids-on-the-block guru (that's a reference to all the youth sections the paper did -- I think it was INTake under Poortinga's watch), then got kicked upstairs to Gannett HQ to do digital wizardry, or something.

Now he's back in town.


Buddy Tom Henderson calls it "a very interesting pick...as it portends they give a shit."

Henderson amplifies:

"Here's a guy that went to Gannett Corporate, coming back to look over the changeover in CMS (content management) systems. His position there was pretty high. Now he's ME of a comparatively backwater newspaper that's starting to seriously fail.

"Why would he take a spot like that? 

"This seems like a step backwards for him. Although they need someone with a command of, or at least a working understanding of how these things work, the CMS that they use is just awful. It will be NO fun to implement a new one. I have colleagues that have gone through this process of CMS changeover, with all of the structural elements, and it's not fun-- a problem exacerbated by the new paywall they're putting in."

Thanks, Hendy. My take: Is Indy the test kitchen for whatever Gannett is cooking up? Could Poortinga be the chef of the moment?

I have no idea. Like Henderson, I find it interesting....and I do wish Kevin well. God knows, I want there to be information centers or whatever they call them in the future...and reporters staffing them. But if anyone can screw up that simple formula, Gannett can and probably will.



hendy [Member] said:

Most Gannett sites run off the same gooey CMS. Go to places like: nytimes.com. Boston.com. SFGate.com. Compare. Please have your airsickness bag nearby.

The IBJ.com site is somewhat better, and their paywall stinks, but I dislike most paywalls anyway.

Remember the McLuhanistic difference though: mistake not the medium for the content. Both need some improvement, and perhaps some volleyball players to keep Kravitz happy. Mmmmm. Love those uniforms.

2012-08-06 14:31:05

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I read this three time.s I still don't know what his title is here in Indy.

But it's late. It may be hidden in there somewhere. I drank my supper. And therein lies the problem, maybe....

2012-08-06 21:35:38

Digital something-or-other [unverified] said:

Isn't Gannett placing some kind of digital operations in Indianapolis that has promised to hire like 100 to 150 people? Makes sense that they'd bring a homeboy of sorts and technology guru back to lead that as well as content of the paper. Who else is going to do it? A past-editor from San Jose and Arizone? A current ME who came here from Florida? How about that new editor from Detroit? At least Kevin is from Indiana and understands what Hoosiers want in their news products. Also, could Gannett be saving more money by placing its digital operations in Indiana instead of the DC area? Rent downtown is high but it's nothing like the DC area. And with technological advancements, we're fast approaching the era where no one lives where they work.

I wish Kevin the best, but I stopped following The Star months ago, shortly after I told my kids they should be reading The Star. Their response: "Why?"

2012-08-08 13:55:23

former Star staffer [unverified] said:

Kevin was never a 'lowly copy editor.' He came to the Star in 2000 as News Design Director. He spent time as the Graphics Editor and then he presided over the birth and success of InTake. He is a great journalist and a great asset for the Star.

2012-08-09 16:40:12

hendy [Member] said:

A seeming heavy hitter, but I still wonder why Gannett would send him back to The Star. I can understand wanting to do things locally. Yet it seems like a demotion to me. OTOH, their CMS needs heavy lifting to be done right, and justifying the paywall will be majorly difficult. Hoosiers can be real pikers.

2012-08-09 19:53:33

Success really? [unverified] said:

InTake success? Really? What'd it last 3 years? Even when some of the content migrated to the online version, they didn't keep the InTake name. If it were a success, we'd have that instead of Metromix, or whatever they now call the online party photo version. It was a fad and a short-lived one at that.

2012-08-10 07:21:09

Yes, success [unverified] said:

To Success really?

INtake was on the verge of overtaking NUVO. After 3 years, I started to notice young people referring to INtake more often than NUVO. Then what happens? The independent staff is merged with the old farts in the newsroom and Gannett changes the name to Metromix, the Indy.com. Each name change confused readers. Metromix was an attempt to brand a chain of similar-titled publications in Gannett markets. What a farce.

2012-08-10 13:40:54

Success really? [unverified] said:

Nuvo was here before INtake, and it's still here after INtake. Just because young people you were around talked about INtake doesn't make it a success. Nor does the alleged fact that it was "on the verge of overtaking NUVO." Success in this industry is measured by longevity ... and ad revenue. Both of which, apparently, INtake didn't have. And don't blame the old farts, either. Their product is still being printed and would be far more greatly missed if it stopped printing. Never heard a soul, ever, bemoan the demise of INtake.

2012-08-10 17:39:14

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

InTake being mentioned in the same universe as Nuvo. Funniest thing I've read here in a year or so.

Not. Even. Close.

2012-08-11 05:36:22

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Old farts in the newsroom?" The ones with institutional memory, you mean? Who know who SerVaas and Bulen and GIPC and Market Square Arena and Goldsmith and the RCA Dome were and how they came to be what they were. And who could ferret out a story and write complete sentences and get confirmation from two sources. Those old farts? Young bobbleheads focused on pop culture are no substitute for Harrison U, and InTake at its best was barely on a level with Nuvo at its least. There will always be an audience for sugar, and as science now explains, sugar just makes you fat and stupid and addicted to more sugar.

2012-08-12 09:49:48

rob [unverified] said:

To quote Mr. Taylor, "All this and for less than the price of a cup of coffee".

Has Mr. Taylor noticed that Starbucks (and virtual everyone else) has radically overpriced their coffee?

Thirty five years ago, the daily star had Bob Collins, Tom Keating, and several other columnists writing daily columns. The font page had between four to six stories written by staffers.

When is Mr. Taylor and the other powers that be, realise that a daily newspaper has content, and then making just enough money to keep the presses going is actually the right thing?

2012-08-12 14:02:06

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

The new subscription cost for The Star is 76 cents per day.

Not worth it.

By the time The Star hits my driveway, I've read everything online (elsewhere).

Rob is right: a daily newspaper has to have content worth reading, and The Star hasn't in years.

2012-08-12 19:56:48

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