Newspaper Association of America: 20 Under 40 (Rajiv Pant)
NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY’S TOP YOUNG TALENT
HONORED AS PRESSTIME MAGAZINE’S ’20 UNDER 40′
Twenty of the best and brightest young professionals in the newspaper business are profiled in the 14th edition of PRESSTIME magazine’s ’20 Under 40′ feature, designed to recognize those who have proven themselves as ‘change agents within their companies and the industry, providing much needed leadership and vision,’ according to the editors.
The 20 were selected from nominations made by executives at NAA-member newspapers across the country.
Vienna, Va. – Twenty of the best and brightest young professionals in the newspaper business are profiled in the 14th edition of PRESSTIME magazineís ’20 Under 40′ feature, designed to recognize those who have proven themselves as “change agents within their companies and the industry, providing much needed leadership and vision,” according to the editors.
The 20 were selected from nominations made by executives at NAA-member newspapers across the country. “Each year it gets more difficult to narrow the focus to just 20 of the industryís bright young innovators,” said Rebecca Ross Albers, NAA vice president and editor of PRESSTIME. “Those honored this year will be at the forefront of this changing industry for many years to come.”
Laura Gordon, senior vice president of marketing at The Dallas Morning News, served as guest editor for the December issue, and worked with the writers and editors to develop the magazineís content.
In her guest column, Gordon writes: “What we need most are leaders, like those honored in this issue, who can both inspire and provide focus. Great leaders lay out a plan not only for what we must do, but also for what we should not pursue. They help us transform from a defensive culture to an offensive one. They recognize that we cannot be all things to all people. They develop talent in the organization and provide the training and tools necessary for them to adapt and grow.”
This year’s 20 Under 40 features additional content, as editors sought opinions from each nominee on how their current jobs will evolve and how the industry should change. The honorees’ profiles and opinions appear online at www.naa.org/presstime/20U40.
“We thank all of those who took time to nominate candidates for this year’s 20 Under 40 awards,” said Su-Lin Nichols, NAA senior vice president of communications and publisher of Presstime. “It was a privilege to learn of their professionalism and the steps they have taken to help transform the newspaper industry. I’d also like to extend special thanks to Laura Gordon for serving as a guest editor and providing her perspective on the industry’s future.”
Past guest editors for the PRESSTIME’s ’20 Under 40′ edition include: Javier J. Aldape, editor and vice president of product and audience development of Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper published by Tribune Co.; Peter Bhatia, executive editor, The Oregonian, Portland; and Marty Petty, publisher and executive vice president, St. Petersburg Times.
The Presstime 20 Under 40 for 2006 are:
- Ted Anthony, editor/asap, The Associated Press in New York City
- Oneil Chambers, chief technology officer, Daily Press in Newport News, Va.
- Rob Curley, vice president of product development, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive in Arlington, Va.
- Kirk Fisher, operations director and business manager, The Advocate in Baton Rouge
- Kim Buckner Land, marketing director, Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal
- Michael Landauer, assistant editorial page editor, The Dallas Morning News
- Michael L. Maness, vice president of strategic planning, Gannett Co. in McLean, Va.
- Domini E. Mostofi, retail sales and new business development director, San Francisco Chronicle
- Michael OíLeary, operations director, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
- Rafael Olmeda, assistant city editor, South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale
- Rajiv Pant, chief technology officer, COXnet/Cox Newspapers Inc. in Atlanta
- Jody Poe, publisher, Sierra Sun in Truckee, Calif.
- Sharon Prill, vice president of interactive media & marketing, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Michael Riggs, chief financial officer and senior vice president for finance and information technology, Star Tribune in Minneapolis
- Brad Robertson, vice president of advertising, The Des Moines Register
- Julio Saenz, general manager and editor, ConXion/Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.
- Alison Scholly, general manager, Chicago Tribune Interactive
- Dominique Shwe, advertising director, The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif.
- Stacy B. Simonet, publisher, Teton Valley News in Driggs, Idaho
- Mae Stokes, vice president of sales and marketing, Atlantic and Mid-South divisions, Newspaper Holdings Inc. in Valdosta, Ga.
PRESSTIME, published monthly by the Newspaper Association of America, reaches executives across all departments with information about the issues that affect newspaper operations today and in the future. It serves as an authoritative voice in an increasingly competitive media world that helps newspapers improve their journalism, their businesses and their role in a democratic society. Rebecca Ross Albers, NAA vice president, is editor of PRESSTIME.
NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $55 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Most NAA members are daily newspapers, accounting for 87 percent of the U.S. daily circulation. Headquartered in Tysons Corner (Vienna, Va.), the Association focuses on six key strategic priorities that affect the newspaper industry collectively: marketing, public policy, diversity, industry development, newspaper operations and readership. Information about NAA and the industry also may be found at naa.org
NAA Communications Manager
Twice Recipient Knight Ridder Excellence Award (2001, 1999)
2001 Knight Ridder Excellence Award for Technology (Rajiv Pant & Team)
(From KR press release. SAN JOSE, Sept. 10, 2001)
The Cofax Team from Knight Ridder Digital won the Technology Innovation award for developing an easy-to-use system for updating Web sites.
Team members include: Rajiv Pant, vice president/tech development and team leader; Patrick Carter, senior director/technology; Karl Martino, developer; Don Henry, senior producer/project leader; Hung Dao, developer; Charles Harvey, manager/leader site operations; Derek Dinh, developer; and Robert Tartamosa, then-Web site usage analyst who is now employed by Comcast.
Knight Ridder’s Real Cities Network of Web sites aims to be the “Go Local” button for people seeking information in its markets. It is critical that content from the local newspapers be part of the sites.
The Cofax team developed a proprietary content management system that allows newspapers to automate news feeds and to archive news stories. The software, which utilizes templates to simplify the process, allows the newspaper people to focus on their primary jobs – editing and designing the daily newspaper – without having to spend valuable time posting material to the Web site. It turned what had been eight hours of work for a single newspaper into a 45-minute task.
Launched by Philly.com in collaboration with newsroom colleagues at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, the Cofax system was being used by 20 Knight Ridder newspapers by mid year. Another 10 are scheduled by year end.
The jury said, “The product they developed has been a tremendous help to all of Knight Ridder’s newspapers. It saves time and money – and will be a revenue stream when sold to other publishing companies. We are impressed with the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of the team.”
The 2001 Jury
A 13-member judging panel led by Joan Ridder Challinor, member of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and a retired Knight Ridder Board member, selected the winners. Other panel members were Jeanne Fox Alston, executive director, National Association of Minority Media Executives; Jim Bettinger, director of Knight Fellowships, Stanford University; Leo Bogart, columnist, PressTime magazine; Don E. Carter, retired vice president, Knight Ridder; Felix Gutierrez, senior vice president, Newseum; Barbara Barnes Hauptfuhrer, Knight Ridder Board member; Larry Jinks, retired publisher, San Jose Mercury News; Carl Morris, editor, The Morris Memo and former executive director, National Association of Minority Media Executives; Linda O’Bryon, senior vice president, Nightly Business Report/WPBT; Orage Quarles III, publisher, Raleigh News and Observer; Roberto Suarez, retired publisher, el Nuevo (Miami) Herald and Associates; and Bill Winter, president and executive director, American Press Institute.
Click here to read the full 2001 press release mirrored from Knight Ridder’s site.
1999 Knight Ridder Excellence Award for Technology (Rajiv Pant)
(From KR press release. SAN JOSE, Sept. 21, 1999)
Rajiv Pant, director of technology and implementation for Philly.com at Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., won the Technology Innovation award for his ingenuity in devising solutions that have allowed Knight Ridder’s online products to move ahead with new features.
Pant performed his first feat when he was a college freshman hired part-time to tackle a problem that had stumped the technical staff at Philadelphia Newspapers for weeks: how to get the contents of the two daily newspapers automatically posted online. His solution, developed in the next 36 hours, is still in use. Other newspapers continue to ask to purchase this system.
Now 24, Pant has racked up a long list of accomplishments. In 1997, he developed PhillyFinder, a unique portal software for the Web, and still the only product that integrates a search engine with a directory, helping users narrow their searches in useful ways. He added a component to Philadelphia’s Web publishing software that automatically serves as a “handheld edition” of the newspaper for devices such as Palm Pilot. Early on, he developed a personalized newspaper that could be read on the Web or delivered via e-mail. He developed powerful AdManager software, Yellow Pages software, an e-mail gateway to PNI’s legacy Atex system … the list goes on.
His nomination cites his “rare ability to see through complex problems and find effective, often highly creative answers,” and describes his devotion to his work and his generosity with his time for others working with challenging problems.
The jury said, “He does an exceptional job and has a wide range of accomplishments. His work is phenomenal. He’s done more in four years than some do in a lifetime. He’s bright, enthusiastic and willing to do things to help other parts of the company.”
The 1999 Jury
A 12-member judging panel led by Knight Ridder Director Joan Ridder Challinor selected the winners. Other panel members were Jeanne Fox Alston, executive director, National Association of Minority Media Executives; Leo Bogart, columnist, PressTime magazine; Don E. Carter, retired vice president, Knight Ridder; Mr. Felix Gutierrez, senior vice president, Freedom Forum; Larry Jinks, retired publisher, San Jose Mercury News; Carl Morris, editor, The Morris Memo and former executive director, National Association of Minority Media Executives; Ken Noble, Noble Consultants, Inc.; Linda O’Bryon, senior vice president, Nightly Business Report/WPBT; Orage Quarles III, publisher, The Modesto Bee; Rochelle Riley, associated editor and columnist, Louisville Courier-Journal; and Roberto Suarez, retired publisher, el Nuevo (Miami) Herald.
Click here to read the full 1999 press release mirrored from Knight Ridder’s site.
Other Awards and Recognition
- Two development teams under my direction received two separate Newspaper Association of America 2004 Best Practice Awards in New Media for the development of web and multi-platform publishing tools and software upgrade system for high traffic web sites.
- Engineering team under my direction received the Newspaper Association of America 2001 Best Practice Award in New Media for the development and implementation of Xmultra.
- My team’s product, Cofax was featured as the top story on Sun’s Java home page in February 2001 as an example of a large enterprise benefiting from the use of Java technology.
- At a news media conference, Bill Gates of Microsoft praised the sites’ use of technology and innovation showing examples of my team’s work. (link to Quote from Bill Gates)
- I was also part of a team nominated for the 1997 KR Excellence Award for the success of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News web sites.
Click here to read a list of some of Rajiv’s technology related work.