Harry Montevideo, an icon of college media, is out as publisher of The Red & Black.
Over 30 years, Montevideo helped build the University of Georgia newspaper into one of the country’s elite programs. It excelled both in its editorial and business operations and became a powerful voice on its own campus and in the college media industry. After I started at the Emerald two years ago, Montevideo was one of my first phone calls. He quickly became my mentor, tutoring me on the history and business of college media. As we considered our own future here at the Emerald, Montevideo was a critical adviser at every step.
As an independent nonprofit company, Montevideo and his crew had to make their own future. When few of us were willing to take the risk, Montevideo bet big on the future. In 2011, The Red & Black converted the storied daily into a weekly newspaper with a digital newsroom.
The transition wasn’t without its rough patches. But very few revolutions are. We used lessons from The Red & Black’s revolution in our own this year. And we’re better off because of it, thanks to Harry and his team.
I have no inside knowledge about Montevideo’s departure and do not mean to pass judgement on the board or Montevideo. But I did want to share two thoughts in light of his departure:
1. The Red & Black provides a window into the pressures felt by all legacy media, especially newspapers. But for the ranks of independent college newspapers, that pressure is intense and will only continue to grow over time as we balance our educational mission against the brutal realities of running a business in a highly competitive industry.
2. Thank you, Harry. I and many others deeply value your 30-year contribution to our industry and to the generations of students who learned the craft under your leadership.
We’re hosting a Google Hangout to hear your ideas about the future of college media.
The session starts at 5 p.m. Pacific time. We’ll stream it here. To join the conversation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re having some technical difficulties. We’ll be streaming shortly.
Nearly a year ago, we killed our daily newspaper. On Thursday, we’ll announce what’s next for us.
But mostly, we want to start a conversation about the future of college media. We all need a little revolution. Please, share your stories about what you’re doing at your college newspaper, TV station, radio station, blog, newsletter, whatever. What works? What’s failed? What lessons have you learned that you can share with the rest of us? We’re looking for ideas in news but also in tech, marketing and advertising.
We’re hosting a discussion on the future of college media during a Google Hangout on Thursday at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Email email@example.com to RSVP.
Or, send us your questions or discussion topics to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on Twitter with #collegemedia or on Facebook.
We’re all looking for good ideas. Let’s learn from each other and it will be alright.