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Case study: How The Dallas Morning News reorganized around digital

This case study offers useful insights on how staffing and workflow changes played out in the newsroom of a metro daily newspaper, including how the paper commissioned teams of front-line employees to develop its reorganization plan.

In 2015, the Dallas Morning News commissioned newsroom teams to investigate content, organization and skills and determine what needed to change in each area. These teams produced a 159-page report whose final recommendations could be summarized as: “Tear down. Start over. Build it together.”

The findings of the team led to significant changes. Among the steps taken in the months that followed:

  • Everyone applying for a new job
  • An end to conventional desks and beats
  • Letting go of some less important work
  • Using their entertainment vertical as a test bed for new tools and concepts before adopting them more widely
  • Forcing the newsroom to think about the business plan
  • Deputizing a “print team” to worry about the newspaper, freeing the rest of the staff to think like a website