Monday, January 28, 2008

Bio of James Breiner

Jim Breiner is director of the Center for Digital Journalism launched in partnership with the University of Guadalajara, in Mexico, and the International Center for Journalists.

He has been a business newspaper reporter, editor and publisher for more than 30 years and draws on this experience in his journalism training.

He is fluent in Spanish and has done newsroom seminars on leadership, business journalism and investigative journalism in Bolivia and Peru. He has a special background and interest in newsroom leadership training.

Most recently he was the editorial consultant on the launch of Crain's Manchester Business, a new business weekly in England, where he interviewed, hired and trained the editorial staff.

He also is fluent in Italian and proficient in French.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Launch of Crain's Manchester Business



On Dec. 17, 2007, Crain Communications launched the first business weekly in Western Europe. This is part of the editorial team that produced the 32-page edition of Crain's Manchester Business that quickly sold out on newsstands. The website was launched at the same time.

My job was to interview, hire and train the editorial staff for this weekly business newspaper, produce a 24-page prototype and launch the first edition, all in about 15 weeks.

Crain's already has four similar publications in the States -- Chicago, New York, Cleveland and Detroit. It also has other specialized business publications in the UK and Germany for insurance, plastics, urethane and automobiles.

A weekly business journal focused on one city is a new concept in the UK, indeed in Western Europe, although it is in every major city in the US.

This consulting job involved blending the best practices and skills of the British journalists with the elements of the US business journal model that could be replicated successfully. We hired people with a mix of experience , including one with very little business reporting experience,

More than 15,000 copies are being mailed each week to a rotating list of C-level executives, professionals and business owners.

The effort has attracted a lot of attention, since news media are consolidating in Great Britain, just as in the US, and few are launching new print vehicles. The Financial Times weighed in with a piece on regional business media. It has been quite well received so far by local communications professionals.

The UK version of Editor and Publisher published an extensive piece as well.

We were posting a good dozen web stories a day to keep the pressure on the Manchester Evening News, the principal daily in the region.