The Santa Barbara Daily Sound, our other daily newspaper, has a new editor-in-chief. He is Josh Molina, who perhaps is best known to local readers for the eight years he spent as a reporter with the Santa Barbara News-Press.
Although Molina assumed his duties on Monday there was no announcement by the paper of his hiring. In fact, the appointment was unaccompanied by any fanfare whatsoever. Molina's new job title was noted only in the masthead of Wednesday's edition of the Sound, meaning that only the obsessive-compulsives of the world, like myself, were likely to notice it.
The editor's job had heretofore been held by Jeramy Gordon, who founded the Daily Sound four years ago. Gordon is now listed on the masthead as being the "founder and publisher" of the paper.
Over the telephone late Wednesday afternoon, Gordon told me that with the hiring of Molina, he (Gordon) will no longer be involved in the newsroom operations of the paper and will turn his full attention to the publisher's duties which have become more and more time consuming.
During his tenure as a reporter with the News-Press, Molina was best known for his coverage of city government and politics. Molina resigned from the News-Press shortly after the July 2006 meltdown. Soon thereafter, he took a job as a reporter with the San Jose Mercury News. He stayed there for a couple of years but eventually returned to Santa Barbara where he went to work for Hispanic Business Magazine. While at Hispanic Business, Molina freelanced by contributing articles to the Daily Sound and covered mainly local politics and elections. He has also been, and will continue to be, a regular freelancer for the Ventura County Star. He left Hispanic Business approximately two months ago according to Gordon.
As for what he has in mind for the Sound as he takes over the reins in the newsroom, Molina had this to say via an e-mail to me:
"Jeramy Gordon has given me a good opportunity to be a part of The Daily Sound. I am hopeful that I can help the Daily Sound, both in print and online platforms, continue its growth in this community. Colby Frazier and Eric Lindberg have done a great job covering the South Coast and building the Daily Sound brand.
One of my big goals as editor is to increase traffic to www.thedailysound.com. As we all know, readers are increasingly turning to the web for their daily news. I am hopeful that we can help marry the newspaper's fine print product with a dynamic, lively, newsy web site, to offer something special for our readers.
Of course, the driving factor for it all is strong, and frequent, local news content. There are many great stories to be told in this community and the Daily Sound hopes to be the first to tell those stories.
Gordon acknowledged that it is a challenge to run a newspaper in the current economic times. By putting Molina in charge of the newsroom Gordon appears to be sending a signal that the Daily Sound isn't backing down from that challenge.
Meanwhile, over at De la Guerra Plaza, the departure of another news reporter is imminent. I've learned that Marci Wormser has given the News-Press her two-weeks notice. She is returning to Los Angeles where she has friends and family to take a job with the L.A. County of Department of Mental Health. Too bad she couldn't land one of those phat jobs with the City of Bell.
And speaking of big paydays, over this past weekend the French newspaper Le Figaro did a story on the world's most expensive divorces. Included along with those of Viacom's Summer Redstone and Rupert Murdoch of FOX, was that of Craig and Wendy McCaw, which the newspaper estimated the amount paid by Craig to Wendy to be 365 million Euros or about $475 million dollars using the most current conversion rate. That's a pretty penny or as the French would say, tres magnifique!
© 2010 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com