Including a change at the top
A few personnel changes at the Birmingham News of note:
• Ian R. Rapoport, University of Alabama sports beat reporter, is headed to his hometown to cover the New England Patriots for the Boston Herald. He writes on his final News blog post:
“In fact, the past three seasons spent covering Nick Saban — and Alabama football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and everything else — for The Birmingham News have been crazy, unpredictable, and incredibly rewarding.
“I had a blast.”
“It has been a great 13 years. Everything from Tinker Fob to Jimmy Blake to Bettye Fine to LaLa and every crazy thing in between. It has been my great honor to cartoon for the people of Birmingham, Jefferson County and Alabama. I hope you have liked it as much as I have.”
• Kurt Vantosky is the new vice president of advertising. He was previously at the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune and the Anchorage Daily News. He told the News:
“I think the strong editorial commitment — its history and its continued belief of being the voice of the community — drew me to The Birmingham News.”
• Perhaps most intriguing is this item, sent to us by a News insider. Birmingham native Ricky Mathews is the new president and publisher of two Advance Publications properties, the (Mobile) Press-Register and the Mississippi Press in Pascagoula. (Amusingly enough, his name is misspelled in the announcement story.) He served in the same capacity at the Sun Herald in Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss.
But his job description doesn’t end there, as Mathews will also serve in a newly created position …
“Mathews was also named president of Advance Alabama/Mississippi and will assume oversight responsibility for the Birmingham News and the Huntsville Times, in addition to the Press-Register and Mississippi Press.”
What, if anything, does this mean for the ailing Birmingham News? Can anyone weigh in?
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