Introducing Eagle’s new Digital Media Director

Eagle Newspapers – Salem, OR.

When Ben McCarty, director of Digital Media for Eagle Newspapers, introduced himself and the newly-created position via email to the sites April 23, he boiled it down to: “I’m here to see that reporters have more time to report, sales people have more time to sell and production folks have more time to do production things.”

And he knows whereof he speaks. For the past six and a half years Ben has worked for the Hood River News as sports editor, general assignment reporter and multimedia producer. In the past nine months, Ben has been active in the transition to ePublishing while maintaining a full-time reporting and news editing position at the newspaper.

Ben will continue to work with the tech savvy David Arndt, Eagle Publishing Technology director, as they transition the websites in three states to ePublishing. He also will have David’s support as he executes projects as determined by each publisher.

“On my end,” Ben wrote in his announcement email, “I have some projects, both long-and short term. I’ll be researching and working to help us improve how we do things in the digital sphere and to do them in a unified and cohesive manner. From your end, here are some of the things I am available to do: edit and post video and photos, assist in social media, build and post online ads, help support the roll out of your new sites as they go live, coordinate communication between properties for web projects and do some basic technical trouble shooting. If you already have a strong multimedia and online presence, that is terrific and I will support you however I can. If not, I’m here to do whatever I can to help.”

“With the pace of change in the digital realm,” Ben continues, “it is important to have a common and quickly executable strategy.” He put it in historical perspective: 

It took nearly 500 years from the invention of the printing press to the invention of a powerful computer which occupied an entire room, 30 years from the room-size computer to the PC, 20 years from the PC to the full-fledged Internet age, five years from thatfor WIFI to become readily available and about three years from that to the launch of the iPhone.

“I know,” Ben adds, “that not all of your properties have the time or resources to commit to making these things happen individually. It can be hard to find enough time in the day to get tasks done when one person is serving as a reporter/photographer/print designer/web editor. I can personally attest that it is possible to write notes, shoot video, take photos and send out Twitter updates all at the same time. But once you get back to the office, putting that video together, writing the story and editing the photos can consume the better part of the day. That’s where I can help.”

From Joe Petshow – Vice President, ENI – Publisher, Hood River News & Columbia Gorge Press:   “As director of digital media, Ben will work for all Eagle properties, overseeing the content on their websites—among other things. One of Ben’s charges is to enhance what we’re doing online, whether it’s news, advertising, social media or marketing. Ben was the lead person in Hood River for all the things we did online for many years. It’s a bonus for all of the Eagle properties that have websites to have someone with Ben’s background working for us.”