Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Newspaper Design Board in Crisis Mode

The Society for News Design is working on a deal to move its headquarters from a strip mall in Rhode Island to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a move that has been stalled by questions of who the executive director will be.

Disagreement on the 32-member board -- to some extent related to the handling of a search for a new executive director -- led to the resignation of President Matt Mansfield, a professor at Northwestern University. SND announced last week that Executive Director Elise Burroughs' contract will not be renewed at the end of the year, a decision that Burroughs said in an interview surprised her. [snip]

The dissension on the board caused Tyson Evans, SND's publications director and an interface engineer at The New York Times, to submit his resignation Tuesday. Of the atmosphere on the board, he said, "I think it's becoming increasingly toxic, so that's why I'm trying to step aside at this point. ... I think this is an important time that we can't sidestep important questions and focus on petty ones." [snip]

Bill Gaspard, deputy managing editor at the Las Vegas Sun, said in an interview that he is resigning from his position as president of the SND Foundation because of how the board handled its disagreements, which he wouldn't specify. [snip]

Also tendering his resignation was Jon Wile, a regional director and a designer at The Washington Post. [Full story]
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