Greener pastures

Dateline: Tue 28 Jul 2015

 Two Indianapolis Star staff members are moving on.

Award-winning investigative reporter and business writer John Russell is taking a job with the Chicago Tribune. His departure from the biz desk leaves longtime reporter Jeff Swiatek as the only Star journalist covering the city's business community.  

Jeff Herman, formerly copy desk chief (until the Indy desk was dissolved a year ago), and now an IndyStar digital-print producer, will move to Austin, Texas, as web editor for a His downsizing a year ago cooincided with the elimination of the watchdog copy desk to vet reporters' work.

Smart moves on behalf of Herman and Russell; bad news for the Indianapolis Star, which continues to bleed talent, cut salaries and lay off employees.

Russell and Herman are careerists -- guys who put their jobs first, or mighty high on the hierarchy. They both have the moxie and skill to climb the ladder of success.

Gannett does not reward such people. So, they leave.

Russell distinguished himself by digging deep into stories, such as his series deconstructing the construction of Central Library and, last winter, a series how the profit motives in the pet-medicine industry produce shortcomings.

Herman is a solid and creative chief copy editor who saw the writing on the wall a year ago, with the dissolution of the desk. 

More in an upcoming post on what is wrong with Gannett. For starters, consider this: Publisher Karen Ferguson, nee Crotchfelt, is now overseeing operations of the Gannett papers in all of Indiana, as well as Louisville, Cincinnati and most recently Phoenix. It's all about the digital, digital, digital -- and that is not going well. 

Congratulations to Russell and Herman.



John Russell [unverified] said:

Actually, it was former Star reporter Kevin Corcoran who investigated the Central Library.

I investigated Duke Energy's unethical relationship with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

I don't consider myself a "careerist," whatever that is. I'm moving to the Chicago Tribune because it seems like a good opportunity. I'm not unhappy at the Indy Star. I had 10 good years there.

John Russell

2015-07-28 15:48:22

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