This week, we have some important news from the HR Department at Food Safety News.
I would like to introduce Cathy Siegner and Lydia Zuraw, our newest staff members.
Cathy has taken over as our chief copy editor. It’s her job to take stories filed during the day by staff and contributing writers and turn them into a readable package for the next day.
Starting in September, Lydia will be our Washington, D.C., correspondent with responsibilities for covering all the food-safety news produced by the federal government and its legions of camp followers.
These new additions to our staff come with the departures from Food Safety News of two of the best, Helena Bottemiller and Gretchen Goetz.
Helena was part of our start-up staff four years ago as our Washington, D.C., correspondent. She is leaving Food Safety News for somewhat better-known POLITICO.com.
Gretchen started at Food Safety News two years ago as a reporter and took over as managing editor with the departure of Mary Rothschild last year. She is leaving Food Safety News to pursue a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University.
We are going to miss Helena and Gretchen, but I think it’s important that the HR department did not go about trying to replace them. You cannot replace the irreplaceable, but you can go about making up the difference.
Anyone who saw the movie “Moneyball” knows exactly what I am talking about. Billy Beane did not try and replace Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Jason Isringhausen, whom the Oakland A’s lost to free agency, but rather he replicated their combined On Base Percentage (OBP).
That’s what HR did for Food Safety News. To help accomplish this, we’ve added managing editor duties to James Andrews’ list of responsibilities. From Seattle, James will maintain story budgets and work with freelancers and contributing writers, in addition to his regular staff writing duties.
As most readers know, we publish on a 24/7 basis when we think it is warranted, and we send a daily package of stories early each morning. The editing and scheduling work for that daily edition will shortly be coming out of Helena, MT, where Cathy Siegner is located.
From 2002 to 2010, Cathy was editor and publisher of the Queen City News in Helena and has also reported for newspapers in Montana and Oregon. Her career has been a great mix of journalism and government, and she has journalism degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the University of Oregon.
And into Washington, D.C., we are sending Lydia Zuraw. Actually, she is already there. The 2012 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University worked as an editorial intern and production assistant on the science desk of National Public Radio before joining Food Safety News.
Helena has left some deep tracks in the nation’s capital that we believe Lydia will be able to follow.
That’s it. Food Safety News is officially four years old in September. As we begin our fifth year of service, it’s hard not to think about how far we’ve come. But it’s more important to focus on the improvements we can make to better serve the food-safety community.
And keeping our OBP up.© Food Safety News