New job for me at The Seattle Times: VP of innovation, product and development

Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) Paranormal Studies Lab in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

I’m thrilled and thankful that in a world infected with fake news, I’ll get to drive innovation for a company that is all about fact-based, in-depth, independent journalism.

I’m moving to a new job at The Seattle Times! I’ll be the new Vice President of Innovation, Product and Development.

My job is to build innovative products so The Seattle Times remains an independent, family-owned provider of kick-ass public-service journalism. I’ll also get to work with the data mavens in our business intelligence team to spread understanding of our customer throughout the company.

I’ll continue the work of fund development for journalism initiatives that deepen coverage and conversation about urgent public issues that are critical to our region’s future.

This does mean I’m leaving the newsroom :( . It’s been so much fun leading our Audience Development team as deputy managing editor the past year — we’ve run lots of experiments to build audiences through email, social and search and turned many of them into best practices (which will need continual improvement).

It’s a privilege to work for a company now in its fourth and fifth generation of family ownership. Check out this 120th anniversary message from our publisher and CEO Frank Blethen.

In the (paraphrased) words of the 1896 Blethen, “Raise hell and sell news.”

Have ideas? Let me know at sharon@sharonpianchan.com

Here is The Seattle Times press release:

For Immediate Release — Dec 21, 2016
China Levy, Public Affairs
206.464.2033 | clevy@seattletimes.com

Sharon Pian Chan named The Seattle Times’ vice president of innovation, product and development

SEATTLE — Sharon Pian Chan has been named vice president of innovation, product and development for The Seattle Times, effective January 2017. She first joined The Seattle Times as an intern and spent many years as a reporter covering global institutions rooted in Seattle such as Microsoft and T-Mobile.

The position is new to The Times and unique in the industry. It brings, under one umbrella, The Seattle Times’ innovation in developing non-traditional funding for impact journalism with the newspaper’s evolving capacity to create new products and services for digital, engagement and print platforms.

Chan currently fills both the positions of director of journalism initiatives and deputy managing editor for audience development.

In her new role, Chan will continue to lead content funding and development as well as maintain funder relationships. A new director of development for public service journalism, reporting to Chan, will be hired soon.

She will also lead the Times’ product team in building innovative products to distribute Seattle Times content, engage readers and acquire subscribers. Additionally, Chan will take on the responsibility of managing Business Intelligence, a group using data insights to drive business success.

“Sharon has a deep understanding of the newsroom, and the business units which support it,” said Publisher Frank Blethen. “She’s demonstrated the ability to work cross-functionally to drive business outcomes, and will be an instrumental part of our future. We’re excited to see what Sharon will do in this new role. I’m confident that under her guidance, we will continue to evolve and expand as the region’s leading provider of award-winning independent journalism.”

This new position builds on Chan’s journalistic experience and expertise devising audience development strategies.

Prior to her current role, she was associate opinion editor, where she expanded opinion outreach and its community forum. She was responsible there for overseeing the engagement work of Education Lab – the nation’s most innovative newspaper education effort, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new role at The Seattle Times,” Chan said. “In a world of fake news and clickbait, The Seattle Times remains committed to fact-based, in-depth, independent journalism about the place our readers care most about: home. My job is to get our journalism to them with innovative products that cut through the information overload and improve their lives.”

Chan holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from Pomona College. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has served as national president of the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association and as a board member of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. Before joining The Seattle Times, she was managing editor for Orange Coast magazine in Newport Beach, California.

Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) Paranormal Studies Lab in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

I’m thrilled and thankful that in a world infected with fake news, I’ll get to drive innovation for a company that is all about fact-based, in-depth, independent journalism.

I’m moving to a new job at The Seattle Times! I’ll be the new Vice President of Innovation, Product and Development.

My job is to build innovative products so The Seattle Times remains an independent, family-owned provider of kick-ass public-service journalism. I’ll also get to work with the data mavens in our business intelligence team to spread understanding of our customer throughout the company.

I’ll continue the work of fund development for journalism initiatives that deepen coverage and conversation about urgent public issues that are critical to our region’s future.

This does mean I’m leaving the newsroom :( . It’s been so much fun leading our Audience Development team as deputy managing editor the past year — we’ve run lots of experiments to build audiences through email, social and search and turned many of them into best practices (which will need continual improvement).

It’s a privilege to work for a company now in its fourth and fifth generation of family ownership. Check out this 120th anniversary message from our publisher and CEO Frank Blethen.

In the (paraphrased) words of the 1896 Blethen, “Raise hell and sell news.”

Have ideas? Let me know at sharon@sharonpianchan.com

Here is The Seattle Times press release:

For Immediate Release — Dec 21, 2016
China Levy, Public Affairs
206.464.2033 | clevy@seattletimes.com

Sharon Pian Chan named The Seattle Times’ vice president of innovation, product and development

SEATTLE — Sharon Pian Chan has been named vice president of innovation, product and development for The Seattle Times, effective January 2017. She first joined The Seattle Times as an intern and spent many years as a reporter covering global institutions rooted in Seattle such as Microsoft and T-Mobile.

The position is new to The Times and unique in the industry. It brings, under one umbrella, The Seattle Times’ innovation in developing non-traditional funding for impact journalism with the newspaper’s evolving capacity to create new products and services for digital, engagement and print platforms.

Chan currently fills both the positions of director of journalism initiatives and deputy managing editor for audience development.

In her new role, Chan will continue to lead content funding and development as well as maintain funder relationships. A new director of development for public service journalism, reporting to Chan, will be hired soon.

She will also lead the Times’ product team in building innovative products to distribute Seattle Times content, engage readers and acquire subscribers. Additionally, Chan will take on the responsibility of managing Business Intelligence, a group using data insights to drive business success.

“Sharon has a deep understanding of the newsroom, and the business units which support it,” said Publisher Frank Blethen. “She’s demonstrated the ability to work cross-functionally to drive business outcomes, and will be an instrumental part of our future. We’re excited to see what Sharon will do in this new role. I’m confident that under her guidance, we will continue to evolve and expand as the region’s leading provider of award-winning independent journalism.”

This new position builds on Chan’s journalistic experience and expertise devising audience development strategies.

Prior to her current role, she was associate opinion editor, where she expanded opinion outreach and its community forum. She was responsible there for overseeing the engagement work of Education Lab – the nation’s most innovative newspaper education effort, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new role at The Seattle Times,” Chan said. “In a world of fake news and clickbait, The Seattle Times remains committed to fact-based, in-depth, independent journalism about the place our readers care most about: home. My job is to get our journalism to them with innovative products that cut through the information overload and improve their lives.”

Chan holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from Pomona College. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has served as national president of the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association and as a board member of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. Before joining The Seattle Times, she was managing editor for Orange Coast magazine in Newport Beach, California.

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