Twitter's 'head of news' position up in the air as company files to go public
One of the hottest journalism jobs on the market in recent months has been "Head of News and Journalism Partnerships" for Twitter, which is on the road to an initial public offering.
"You will be responsible for devising and executing the strategies that make Twitter indispensible to newsrooms and journalists, as well as an essential part of the operations and strategy of news organizations and TV news networks," the job description read when it was first posted in early May.
"You will be also Twitter’s representative to the News industry. You will manage Twitter’s partnerships with newsrooms in the United States as well its relationships with journalists. You will be responsible for representing Twitter at industry events."
The listing got a lot of buzz in media circles: It appeared that Twitter was finally ready to formalize its relationship with the press, where the ground-breaking social-media service has become an indispensable platform for spreading news and driving traffic to websites.
Five months later, as potential shareholders begin to swarm, future-of-media types are dying to know when Twitter will finally pluck someone for the coveted perch, and who that person will be.
One candidate you can likely cross off the list: Emily Bell, head of the Columbia Journalism School's Tow Center for Digital Journalism since it launched in 2010 and one of Twitter's go-to sources for 140-character media-innovation commentary.
Bell was in the running for the job and had recently been in discussions with Twitter, sources told Capital, but she plans to remain at Columbia running the Tow Center, which "provides journalists with the skills and knowledge to lead the future of digital journalism and serves as a research and development center for the profession as a whole," according to the description on its website.
Bell declined to comment. And Twitter's press office did not immediately respond to questions about the candidate search or the timeline for filling this role.
Whoever they pick will end up working for a more high-profile entity than Twitter is today. The company announced its plans to go public last month; it made its I.P.O. filing public just yesterday.
UPDATE: Minutes after this article was published, AllThingsD reported that Twitter is close to filling the position, and that Jim Roberts, who recently stepped down from his post as executive editor of Reuters Digital, has also been approached.