* OK…my ego’s back to normal today. Found out earlier this week that Tribune Co. president Randy Michaels circulated my assessment of TribCo.’s chicagobreakingnews.com to company execs. Although prefacing “don’t start paying attention to blogs,” he used mine to tout the new site as a hit and that future products should have a similar focus.

Nice to know this lowly scribe can be such an big influence. Wished my wife was as easily swayed.

* More good things … I love blogger Chris O’Brien’s recent entry on ten little things newspapers can do now to reinvent the newsroom.

The beauty of O’Brien’s suggestions is that they are small, cheap and not too labor intensive. But more importantly, they create portals by which folks in the newsroom can interact with their readers. This can break down walls that keep reporters and editors from knowing what their readers are interested in, as well as keep an eye on the community’s pulse and be more flexible in changing directions if the need warrants it.

The problem with newsroom reinvention is that too many of them are focused on trying to do major overhauls, when tweaking would better serve the cause.

I’d bet if a newsroom just enacted one or two of O’Brien’s suggestions, it’d improve staff morale and confidence much more than a total overhaul of the operation. And, frankly, that’d go a long way in retaining newsroom talent … something that we as an industry need to be very, very worried about right now.

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