NYT's Keller Moves Up Page 1 Meeting

Today, Times editor Bill Keller announced changes in the paper’s Page 1 meeting schedule. And he insists this move is not just to get AME Rick Berke out of bed earlier: it’s about web strategy.

Full memo after the jump.

Date: Mar 12, 2007
Subject: Note From Bill Keller: New Time, Same Place
To: newsroom@ahot.nytimes.com

Folks,
We take a small step forward in our effort to reinvent the newsroom on Monday, March 19, when we move up the first Page 1 meeting of the day to 10:30.

It’s not just the time of the meeting that’s changing; it’s the purpose. Instead of asking department heads to tell us everything they have for the front, we’ll ask them instead to tell us about their best breaking news (or at least the best that they anticipate at that hour), their best enterprise and what they can put on the Web early, well before the 4 p.m. Page 1 meeting.

The goal of the early meeting is to think more about the Web and to make decisions sooner — sooner for those of us on the masthead as well. We intend to decide Page 1 enterprise after the 10:30 meeting and to stick to our decisions (barring news, of course). We hope that will help department heads make earlier decisions as well. We can’t know everything at 10:30, but we can know a lot, and of course we’ll change our early plans as the news demands.

We expect that the IHT will move its Page 1 meeting to follow ours. And Rick Berke will come in earlier to work with Jim Roberts in getting the day started.

Susan Edgerley and Larry Ingrassia’s pilot project in BizDay is already demonstrating that a little planning the night before and a little effort to move stories to the Web earlier can produce good results. And it’s helping our print editions, too, by getting some non-breaking decisions made sooner. We hope this change in the meeting time will do more of the same.

Cheers,
Bill