Day in the Life: How Hearst’s centralized features editor makes stories travel

For the past three years, Hearst has been pushing collaboration across its titles including Cosmopolitan and Esquire to meet digital media’s demand for scale. Carrying out this mission falls to people like Whitney Joiner, Hearst Digital Media’s senior features editor. As she shared a typical day in her life, part of the job is tracking stories’ performance in real time. “I love the instant feedback we get in digital; we can see how well a story is doing at any given time.”

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The Washington Post: ‘We are a growing business’

Now that it’s privately owned by Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post rarely discusses financials, but a recently leaked internal memo says annual digital ad revenue at the paper now tops $1 million. The memo also said the business is growing, led by a 48 percent increase in digital sales revenue year to date. These figures have caveats, though. The paper still has a long way to go to get in the black, digital subscriptions are hard to come by and readership, while growing, is hard to translate into ad revenue.

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Day in the Life: What Hearst’s celebrity talent ‘wrangler’ does all day

As entertainment director for Hearst Magazines Digital Media, Nojan Aminosharei is responsible for wrangling celebrity talent for shoots across Hearst’s 21 digital brands, ranging from Cosmopolitan to Country Living to Esquire. Coming up with fresh ideas and pulling them off takes a lot of coordination and creativity and isn’t as glamorous as it may seem, he revealed. “It’s a mix of highs and absolute grunt work.”

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The Huffington Post’s midlife crisis

The Huffington Post built a massive online audience by embracing traffic-building practices that other web publishers still follow today. The one-time internet news darling has lost its namesake editor, but its decline started a while ago. It’s lost 36 percent of its U.S. traffic in the past year and a half, and there’s a prevailing sense among former executives and media buyers that it’s lost its lead while other digital sites have leapfrogged it in terms of editorial and advertising. “Essentially, what the Huffington Post became is a portal,” said OMD’s Ben Winkler. “There’s not that much room for a multi-disciplinary news site.”

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Day in the life of Thrillist’s branded content creator

Hayden Lynch is the creative director of CoLab, the branded content unit of Thrillist Media Group. In the latest installment of our Day in the Life series, Lynch walked us through a typical day where he’s charged not only with applying editorial principles to brands but making sure the resulting campaign reaches the audience it needs to and meets the brand’s campaign goals. “It definitely stresses your creativity,” he said. “You’re not just creating something to be beautiful to you.”

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Newsletter editors are the new important person in newsrooms

The popularity of e-newsletters is giving rise to a new specialty at publishers: the newsletter editor. The Washington Post has an editor in charge of strategy for its 75-plus newsletters. Quartz has a small team to ensure its Daily Brief is consistent in content and tone and Vox Media is hiring newsletter editors at its verticals, recognizing that “newsletters are their very own platform, and we should think about them in the way we think about other platforms,” said Melissa Bell of Vox Media.

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‘They just want a quote to back up their agenda’: The 10 things PR people hate most about working with reporters

Last week we asked journalists to share their biggest pet peeves about PR pros. This week, in the spirit of equal time, we asked people in public relations what is hardest about working with reporters. From their point of view, too many reporters are just looking for a clickbait-y story, will kill stories with no explanation and misspell names of CEOs. And one hates it when reporters seem to be carrying water for big brands: “Sometimes the media give the bigger players an unfair pass.”

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‘An octopus hopped up on Adderall’: Newsrooms have a love-hate relationship with Slack

Newsrooms have glommed on to Slack as a way to reduce reliance on email, coordinate coverage and, of course, spread gossip. But as much as they can no longer live without it, newsrooms are considering the productivity app’s addictive nature. “I sort of see Slack as an octopus with all these tentacles and hopped up on Adderall,” said Brian Anderson of Motherboard, which has pared back its use of Slack after a short hiatus.

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Day in the Life: What BuzzFeed’s VR expert does

Augmented video is hot among publishers these days, but they’re still figuring out how to execute them. Among them is BuzzFeed’s Ben Kreimer, a fellow at the publisher’s Open Lab for Journalism, Technology, and the Arts. Kreimer said 360 video may not work for every story, but used right, “it can immerse you in a completely new environment and give you a real idea of what a place is like.”

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