A new round of layoffs and changes has taken place within Advance Publications over the past few months.
Last month, al.com laid off five people from the Mobile and Birmingham offices, according to inside sources. All were involved in advertising and marketing.
At the same time, in New Orleans four people were laid off, all from the newsroom. This included a longtime photographer, the former outdoors writer, the society columnist and an LSU columnist. New Orleans also saw layoffs among its ad staff as it continues battling The Advocate for dominance in the Big Easy.
In April, Tim Williamson, who replaced Ricky Mathews in August 2016 as head of the NOLA Media Group, left; the Louisiana operation now reports to Tom Bates, head of the Alabama Media Group.
And in June, Kelly Ann Scott was named vice president of content at the Alabama Media Group, replacing Michelle Holmes, who held the position since 2013. Holmes has been moved to head of partnerships. Scott came into AMG from the USA Today Network.
A July newsletter from Advance Local CEO Randy Siegel also indicates the company will begin experimenting with a metered website in Syracuse, New York, this fall. Metering is essentially charging per article for usage, versus a hard paywall with a flat fee for reader usage. Whether such changes will be coming to al.com are unclear, although Siegel clearly says the experiment will help the company learn about the process. Many major newspaper websites are now moving to a metered approach to getting some readership revenue.
“The Syracuse initiative will be an excellent learning environment for us to better understand how we can maximize the value we provide our loyal readers every day while asking them to support our journalistic efforts,” Siegel wrote.
Weis and Barraza leave Fox10
Fox10 star reporter Kati Weis recently left the station to move to Denver with her fiance, photojournalist Franz Barraza.
Barraza and Weis join photojournalist Ron Gaines and meteorologist/reporter Chasity Byrd in leaving the station recently.
Weis and Barraza are both award-winning journalists. Weis was named Best Reporter in this year’s Alabama Broadcasters Association Awards, and Barraza was named Best Photojournalist.
Weis earned a reputation locally for intrepid and sometimes theatrical investigative reporting. However, some competitors and colleagues were rankled by her habit of frequently declaring news stories “exclusives” when they were actually being worked on or had even broken by other media outlets. Still, she routinely covered some of the station’s biggest stories.