Friday, August 12, 2005

Howard Owens moving on to Bakersfield

Owens has been at the forefront of innovation and experimentation as new media director at California's Ventura County Star.

Now, he writes, he's moving to the Bakersfield Californian as vice president for interactive. (He was nice enough to e-mail me so that I didn't have to read it somewhere else. Thanks, Howard.)
I'll have increased freedom to pursue innovation, especially in key areas of participatory journalism, deep content and new revenue ideas. As you know, Bakersfield is a leader in innovative new media, but most of those experiments have taken place outside of the core news business. I've been hired to concentrate on that core business and grow both audience and revenue.
Bakersfield is best known for its Northwest Voice experiment in citizens' journalism and its Bakotopia free classifieds site. At Ventura, owned by Scripps, Owens was noted for being one of the first to see the need to turn news into a conversation and introduced staff and public blogs, comments and photo blogs.

Bakersfield is independently owned -- just like the innovative Lawrence Journal-World -- and so I expect we'll be hearing even more about Owens' creativity there. I'll be especially interested to see what he does in deep content and how the paper tackles the editing and workflow issues that come along for the ride.

Good luck!


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