Tag Archives: Gene Kirkconnell

Media General pulls plug on Skirt Birmingham

Staff vows to continue women’s magazine

logoAnother Birmingham magazine faces a setback today. Skirt, a Morris Communications national publication based in Augusta, Ga., launched in Birmingham in April 2008.

Its closest competitor, Lipstick, folded in February. Its publisher, Media General, cut jobs at NBC 13 in March. During that same round, Media General folded Skirt in Tampa. (It continues as an online-only venture.)

Today, NBC 13 vice president and general manager Gene Kirkconnell sent this e-mail:

Over the past year the creativity and hard work of our Skirt Staffers here has produced a Magazine of the highest editorial standards.

Unfortunately, a very challenging economy has prompted the division to cease publication. July 2009 will be the final edition of SKIRT Birmingham.

We wish Anna, Cory and Terry all the best.

Editor Cory Bordonaro announced via Skirt’s Twitter feed just after noon today:

You heard it here first. Media General is hanging up skirt! We’re moving on, however. This skirt has a lot of wear left.

It’s unclear whether the women’s lifestyle magazine will continue publishing both print and Web versions, or if at all. The Terminal references a tweet from Skirt general manager Anna Alford Nelson that says “skirt! Bham is moving forward just without Media General.

The Birmingham Business Journal reports that Media General plans on transferring its license to publish Skirt to a yet-to-be-determined market.

But Heather Nagel-Doughtie, digital director for Skirt, says Morris now has the Birmingham license and says on the site, “We love Birmingham and are very committed to finding a solution to keep the skirt! voice alive in this great city.” Compare this to her more decisive plan of action when the Tampa print edition was dropped:

Next month, you will begin to see significant changes to the local Tampa Bay site including a new redesign.  We plan to enlist the help and support of local women and writers.

Bordonaro has invited those interested to e-mail her at corybo[at]gmail.com.

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BABJ workshop: Surviving the New Realities of the News Business

Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

Surviving the New Realities of the News Business

Open to everyone interested in the media business. Portion of proceeds go to BABJ Scholarship Fund. Sponsored by the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists.

With all the turmoil in the media, you need to know to survive?  This special half-day session gives you some answers.

It will take a hard look at what’s happening in the media business and why; offer advice from people who know on how to reinvent yourself; and give you practical tips on how to start your own business if you no longer want to work for a company that may be forced to lay you off.

In addition to getting the real deal from people who have been there, you’ll also get a chance to share best practices with each other.

  • When: Saturday, June 27
  • Where: The Birmingham News, 2201 Fourth Ave. N. [map]
  • Cost: $15, includes continental breakfast and box lunch.
  • Register by today, June 24, or notify Vickii Howell by e-mailing editor[at]birminghamview.com by June 25.
  • For more information, e-mail Willie Chriesman at willie[at]chriesman.com.

9–9:30 a.m.: Registration
9:30–10:20: Opening Panel–The State of the Industry

  • Gene Kirkconnell, GM, NBC 13
  • André Natta, Internet entrepreneur
  • Scott Mauldin, Former NBC 13 Reporter
  • George Daniels, Assistant journalism professor, University of Alabama
  • Nichele Hoskins, Heart & Soul Magazine, former senior editor at Southern Progress Corp.

10:30–11:20: Reinventing Yourself for the New World of Media

  • André Natta, Internet entrepreneur
  • Atticus Rominger, Former Fox 6 reporter
  • Marie Sutton, Former Birmingham News reporter

11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.: Going Out on Your Own

  • Edith Ingram, Central Alabama Women’s Business Center
  • Malena Cunningham, former NBC 13 anchor
  • Vickii Howell, former Birmingham News reporter
  • Scott Mauldin, Former NBC 13 Reporter

12:30–1: Lunch/Networking

Event info on the BABJ site.

EXCLUSIVE: NBC 13 cuts another 11 positions

scott mauldin NBC 13Media of Birmingham has learned in this exclusive report that NBC 13 eliminated 11 positions across various departments this week, including senior reporter Scott Mauldin (top left) and reporter Havonnah Johnson (bottom left). Vice president and general manager Gene Kirkconnell cited the economy as the reason behind the latest round of cuts.

havonnah johnson NBC 13Monday, Media General, which owns NBC 13, cut 130 positions total nationwide, after suspending 401(k) matching contributions and mandating two-week furloughs.

NBC 13

NBC 13 laid off 10 people in January, while ABC 33/40 laid off 15 people and Fox 6 laid off 10 in February.

Kirkconnell would not say how many employees NBC 13 has, and referred questions about further cuts from Media General to the company’s representatives. Media General has not responded to e-mail requests.

He said that NBC 13’s employees were doing a good job working with limited resources and that the station’s March ratings were looking good. NBC’s local news programs in the morning and at 5 and 6 p.m. showed increases in household ratings over the same time in 2008.

Update: Birmingham Business Journal story profiles Mauldin’s new company, Vulcan Media Team.