This Week’s Headlines: Columbia Gets a Chief Digital Officer, Banyan Project Plans Co-Op News Site

Happy Friday, and hope all our readers are staying cool. Here’s a look at the media and publishing headlines that stood out this week:

  • Columbia names J-school dean chief digital officer: Sree Sreenivasan, once dean of Columbia’s journalism school, will now help the university develop online curricula in his new role as chief digital officer.
  • Banyan Project planning its first community-owned news co-op: The Banyan Project has announced work on a cooperatively owned community news site that will debut later this year in Haverhill, Mass. The co-op model is designed to be replicated in other markets. We’ll be watching to see how it works.
  • Insider: Variety acquisition cost will far exceed a $40M price tag: Variety‘s bidding process has reached an advanced stage, and PaidContent recently analyzed the costs involved with the acquisition, which run higher than the $40 million price tag due to deferred maintenance and other costs.
  • TV station newsrooms staffed up in 2011, as print newsrooms shrank: A new study by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University showed that TV news staffing reached its second-highest level ever last year (due in part to fewer stations). Meanwhile, ASNE reports that newspaper staffing is at its lowest point since it began its annual census in 1978.
  • NYC Is Turning Payphones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots: New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications is turning the cities now-obsolete payphones into wireless hotspots where locals and visits can connect smartphones, tablet, or laptops to the Internet. Wonder if other cities will emulate this innovative idea?

Anything else we should be following? Leave a comment and let us know!

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About Susan Johnston

Susan Johnston is a Boston-based freelance writer whose work appears in, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor,, Parade Magazine, and SELF, among other places. She is the author of The Urban Muse Guide to Online Writing Markets and blogs at The Urban Muse.