Journal Register Taps Jim Brady For ‘Digital Transformation’

Former editor Jim Brady will be managing the *Journal Register* Company’s ongoing “digital transformation” of its newsroom. Specifically, Brady, who departed Allbritton’s hyperlocal startup last fall, will immediately be responsible for Project Thunderdome – Journal Register’s plan to increase its digital presence.

Brady left Washington DC-based TBD in November following a dispute with Publisher Robert Allbritton over the direction of the site and its business. Lately, TBD has scaled back significantly, such as shuttering its ad network and, last month, laying off many of its staffers and handing over of operations to Allbritton Communications’ local broadcast property WJLA Channel 7.

JRC, under CEO John Paton, has been working diligently to reform itself as a local newspaper company to a “multimedia one.” Granted, this is something that every publisher has been saying for years, and certainly, many have come a long way toward restructuring their businesses in what continues to be a dark time for print advertising. At the same time, digital continues to show significant growth at newspapers collectively.

Paton has been one of the more forthcoming newspaper CEOs when it comes to publicly wrestling with the issues and ideas forming around what a newspaper means in the digital age. He’s maintained an open dialogue about his thoughts and plans on his person blog, Digital First.

“Jim has a deep understanding of how the audience both creates and consumes news and information in the digital world,” Paton said in a statement. “The debate of bloggers vs. journalists or citizen journalists vs. professionals is now over. The new business models of news demand we understand and incorporate both. Jim has been at the very forefront of that debate and is a leader in implementing solutions.”

Before TBD and, Brady spent more than four years at AOL (NYSE: AOL), where he held a number of posts early on in that company’s pursuit of a content strategy, including Group Programming Director, News & Sports; Executive Director, Editorial Operations; and Vice President, Production & Operations. Release