Moving On From Thunderdome


Media changes very fast these days and nothing changes faster than digital.

Make a change, then get set in your ways and become reluctant to make other changes and you get left behind.

Today, we are going to be making some changes to our Project Thunderdome activities and go in a new direction.

In the past two years we have learned a tremendous amount from Project Thunderdome much like others that have come before it like our Ben Franklin Project.

We have explored, experimented but more importantly we have learned and have a much higher level of digital skills than we did before. And, best of all, a higher level of confidence in our digital abilities across our entire Company.

Our skills in data journalism, video production, website and mobile developments are all the better for Project Thunderdome.

But what once were fairly isolated skills located in one place are now skills shared by many in our Company. Where once initiatives, like Project Unbolt were led centrally, we now have divisions taking their own Digital First initiatives.

And that means it is time to change again.

Going forward, some of what happens at Thunderdome today will continue; some of what Thunderdome does will be redistributed to our staff in the field to continue and some will be stopped.

Over the coming days and weeks DFM Editor-in-Chief Jim Brady and Project Thunderdome Editor Robyn Tomlin will be putting those changes into effect.

While our Company will continue to invest heavily in digital development, increasingly our focus will be in local where we are the news and information leader in our markets.

Those efforts will total millions in the coming years and will include everything from innovative partnerships like Tout for video and Rumble for mobile to the continued improvement of our digital products.

There a lot of people to thank for Project Thunderdome but I want to single out two in particular.

First is Robyn.

Robyn has invented new hours in the work day to bring our Company to the fore in our digital skills and products. We are all the better for her efforts and her example of endless grace under pressure.

And I want to single out my friend Jim.

As Digital First Media’s Editor-in-Chief, Jim, a recognized digital news leader around the world, agreed to take on the thankless task of leading 75 daily papers and more than 2,000 journalists into the future.

Both have been a big part of Digital First Media’s success.

Jim and Robyn have chosen to move on as a result of these changes.

I can’t thank them enough.

Until next time, John.

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