Braden Nicholson leaves

Dateline: Thu 24 Jul 2008

One of the more talented young journalists at the Star, Braden Nicholson, 29, formerly project manager for innovation/development and general manager for and magazine, has left Gannett to join Sports Graphics as a vice president/account services.

Braden's many fans, one of whom gave me the word, wish him the best in his new position. That's because they have such good memories of working with him.

Braden, ditto.

Here's some of what he had so say about his departure and what was accomplished during the heady days of, first, INTake and later

"Frankly, I look back at it all very fondly. I've told everyone who's

asked that 'I'll never badmouth The Star.' And I won't. Love most of the

people. Loved my time there. I just couldn't convince myself that

everything was going to be okay at the corporate level any more....

"We were working on some unbelievable stuff, really innovative stuff,

at the time. Hell, we even took home an EPpy for (over a

product from corporate in the same category) the week I left. But I saw

how the majority of our best work was being undone by corporate. Rather than working hard because I loved what we were doing (which I did), I started working hard to spite corporate. To make a better whatchamacallit than them, show them that these kids in Indiana can do it better, faster, now.

"I wouldn't trade most of the people I worked with at The Star for

anything in the world...I wouldn't trade the opportunity I was given

for anything in the world. But the gig was up."

Braden was hired by the Star in March of 2001. He took over for INTake --- Gannett's edgy, short-lived youth publication -- in late 2005/early 2006 after then boss Kevin Poortinga moved to a VP slot for new development status with the newspaper.

Braden's departure is significant on a couple of levels: first, under his watch, won points from peers: Editor and Publisher and MEDIWEEK named it the best entertainment web site; that's the EPpy reference. But, as my source notes, Braden has not jumped ship for another journalism/newspaper job. He's joined a small parade of former INTake people at Sports Graphics, and he's part of a group of four or five other INTake people who have decided to seek their fortunes outside the realm of dailies.

You know what is a bummer about this? When INTake was first launched, the young men and women working there were so stoked that some of them actually slept on the office floor rather than take a break at home. It used to be fashionable for older journalists to bitch about young reporters not having "fire in the belly." Well, these kids had fire in the belly.

Braden said it best. Corporate doused the fire.

Best of the best to Braden and his comrades.


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