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Houston Chronicle SE leaves for MLB.com

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SnoopyBoy, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. SnoopyBoy

    SnoopyBoy Member

    http://www.mije.org/richardprince/obama-answers-black-complaints#Thompson

    Carlton Thompson, one of a handful of African American top sports editors at a U.S. daily, has been named executive editor of mlb.com, the Web site of Major League Baseball, his colleagues at the Houston Chronicle were told on Tuesday.

    Thompson, 39, will serve "as my right hand," Editor in Chief Dinn Mann told Journal-isms. "I expect him to play a leadership role that's profoundly impactful, bringing his personable nature, his competitiveness and energy."

    The two met at the old Houston Post, where Mann was sports editor and Thompson was a beat writer covering the Houston Oilers NFL team. That paper folded in 1995.

    Mann said the New York-based mlb.com, entering its 10th year, produces original content with more than 100 people. It has 30 reporters, one for each team, and in total, close to 40 full-time reporters, he said. One of Thompson's roles will be "traffic control," as well as exercising his appreciation for "the power of the printed word" at the multimedia site.

    "We all know where the business and the eyeballs are going," Dinn said of the Internet. The executive editor's job is a new position.

    Thompson told Journal-isms he took the job because, "I thought it was a proverbial opportunity too good to pass up — a great situation. They're doing great things."

    Thompson had been at the Chronicle for 12 years before ascending to the top sports job at the Chronicle in 2007. He was sports editor during a period of industry-wide staff cuts. The Chronicle's sports department went from 46 to 29 on his watch, he said.

    In a short bio prepared for the Maynard Institute, whose Media Institute Thompson attended in 2008, Thompson said:

    "Sports always have been a passion and something at which I expected to make a living, but when I topped out at 5-foot-6 and realized I had no athletic ability, I re-evaluated my master plan.

    "I grew up in Hitchcock, Texas, a small Gulf Coast town about 45 miles south of Houston and attended Houston Baptist University and earned BA degrees in mass media and speech. In 1992, my senior year at HBU, I received an internship at the Houston Post and then got a full-time job there when I graduated, reporting and working on the copy desk. In 1994, at 24 years old, I was promoted to Houston Oilers beat writer, at the time, the youngest NFL beat writer at a major U.S. daily. The next year, the paper closed.

    "Fortunately, I was hired by the Houston Chronicle two weeks later. I became assistant sports editor in 2004, and in November 2007 was named sports editor."

    In another departure of a journalist of color at the Chronicle, Business Editor Laura Goldberg told staffers on Dec. 11 that, "Tara Young has resigned her position as assistant business editor, effective immediately. She is planning to move back to Alabama to be close to family where she will pursue a law degree at the University of Alabama."

    Photo of Carlton Thompson Copyright Houston Chronicle Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
     
  2. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Does this leave Garry Howard and Leon Carter as the last black sports editors in the country?
     
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I didn't know Carlton was that young.

    Does this open the door for Fred to return to the Chronicle, or is that bridge burned?
     
  4. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Member

    There certainly is no shortage of experienced sports editors looking for work.
     
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Seeing a 40 percent cut in staffing, I almost wonder if a top sports editor with experience at a large metro has the right skills to lead a section anymore. And before anyone get their hackles raised - I'm referring to editors in all sections. If you are an editor who is more of a week to week, in-depth, enterprise type of person, or maybe you deal with the budget and administrative stuff, would they be willing to go back to the day to day nuts and bolts stuff, maybe even actually giving first edits to copy?
     
  6. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Do they simply promote the next guy in line and "re-organize" the staff (i.e., do more with less?).

    Congrats to Mr. Thompson, by the way.
     
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Does he want to return? Didn't Fred leave of his own volition?

    Talked to a friend not that long ago who was an SE at this level. Said it was what he wanted all his pro career and the reality wasn't what he imagined it would be.
    Hey. Been there. And I got out before the major cuts hit.

    The best sections today are those that have figured this out: Here's what we can do with what we have left, here's what we can't do. We'll do what we can like we always have and we'll just have to live with not being able to do the rest.

    If "upstairs" is not on board with the plan, it can be a real pain.

    Not saying this is the case in Houston. I have no idea. I'm just pointing out some of the things that make being an SE these days a pain in the ass.
     
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    The industry needs to know, after all.
     
  9. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    Is mlb.com's work considered journalism or promotion?

    this is an ongoing debate, and i just wonder where it is at the present.

    how can a business report on itself?

    sometimes newspapers report on their own labor news - so perhaps the answer isn't cut and dried.

    another question, does MLB feed breaking news to mlb.com?
     
  10. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Member

    As BrianGriffin asks above, any word on who will be running sports?
     
  11. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Congrats to Carlton. Nice step up.
     
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