On the Move: Star Tribune beefs up Vikings coverage with Tesfatsion’s digital efforts

By Daniel Paulling

Minneapolis Star Tribune sports editor Glen Crevier thought his department’s Vikings coverage — by far its biggest beat — lacked something entering this season.

Readers flocked to the paper’s website in the hours after the game, but with just two beat writers, there was only so much digital content they could produce with print deadlines looming.

Enter Master Tesfatsion, who became the Star Tribune’s Vikings digital reporter during the season.

After each game, he quickly writes three or four blog posts and shoots, edits and uploads videos. Because the two-year apprenticeship was created just last year, he has been able to experiment.

“The best part about it is that I have a blank canvas,” said Tesfatsion, 22. “I can do whatever I feel can enhance the beat. I love that freedom.”

Added Crevier: “We feel like we can’t fail. We try something — if it works, great. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We’ll move on and try something new.”

While Tesfatsion writes features, news stories and notebooks for print during the week, he'll also analyze games in video standups. For the draft, he plans to do a series critiquing players.

His work meshes the skills he developed while earning his broadcast journalism major in 2013 at Arizona State but also through internships with ESPNDallas.com, MLB.com and the Seattle Times.

His position as a newspaper reporter hired mainly for web responsibilities on a major beat seems to be rare. But his skills, the ability to write a story but also being able to produce video, are something Crevier believes every young reporter should have.

Tesfatsion believes those skills will only become more important.

“I think in our age, a lot of people want to see stuff digitally rather than reading it,” he said. “They can take it in better and understand it better digitally. It goes to a wider audience.

“It’s all about telling a story. The medium might be different, but it’s like making a painting on a blank canvas. Oil pastel or charcoal, I’m still making a painting.”

 

Personnel moves across the nation:

NATIONAL

—Associated Press: Promoted AP deputy central editor Noreen Gillespie to deputy sports editor

—Sports Illustrated: Hired former OregonLive Oregon State sports reporter Lindsay Schnell … hired Greg Bishop from the New York Times … hired Joan Niesen from Denver Post Broncos beat

—USA Today: Hired Nick Toney as social media editor for USA Today Sports Media Group … hired former Alabama Media Group sports manager Izzy Gould as NFL editor

GREAT LAKES

—(West Bend, Wis.) Daily News: Hired Jason Clary to cover preps

—St. Paul Pioneer Press: Lost sports editor Mike Bass, who leaves the paper after 11-plus years …promoted Tad Reeve from deputy sports editor to sports editor

—Wisconsin State Journal: Hired Jason Galloway to cover preps … lost Nick Sunderland, who will cover James Madison men's basketball for Daily News-Record in Virginia

GREAT PLAINS

—Colorado Springs Gazette: Hired Tom Fox as sports designer from Idaho Press-Tribune

—Kansas City Star: Hired Andy McCullough, previously the Star Ledger's Yankees beat writer, to cover the Royals

—Lawrence Journal-World: Hired Bobby Nightengale as preps reporter … Added KUsports.com editor responsibilities to Matt Tait … Promoted Benton Smith from high school reporter to sports

reporter/digital editor

NORTHEAST

—Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star: Hired Kevin Pearson as sports designer

—Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel (Maine): Lost sports editor Scott Martin, who became online news editor at Runner's World

NORTHWEST

—OregonLive: Promoted Tyson Alger to University of Oregon beat from covering preps … hired Danny Moran to cover preps

—Wyoming Tribune Eagle: Moved Dave Shelles from copy editor to sports writer … moved Spencer Elliott from news copy desk to lead sports copy editor

SOUTHEAST

—Memphis Commercial Appeal: Moved Kyle Veazey from sports enterprise role to politics/government team leader … moved Zack McMillin from metro department to sports enterprise/

columnist job

—Miami Herald: Named deputy sports editor Alex Mena as night operations chief

—NOLA.com: Hired Christopher Dabe from Gannett Central Wisconsin Media as managing producer

sports/HSSN

—Palm Beach Post: Moved Jodie Wagner from news to high school reporter

—Tuscaloosa News: Hired former Meridian Star sports editor Tony Tsoukalas as page designer

WESTERN

—Bay Area News Group: Hired former MLive Michigan State beat writer Diamond Leung to cover Golden State Warriors

—Denver Post: Lost assistant sports editor David Krause, who became executive producer of sports for 9News in Denver … lost University of Colorado beat writer John Henderson to retirement

—Los Angeles Times: Hired Nathan Fenno from the Washington Times to be sports enterprise/GA reporter

—Orange County Register: Todd Harmonson promoted to assistant managing editor/sports

—Salt Lake Tribune: Moved Kevin Winters Morriss from high school sports editor to digital director

—U-T San Diego: Lost Padres beat writer Bill Center, who retired after 46-plus years

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