Kebbel, Spanfeller, and Wohrle in New Posts


Congratulations to Gary Kebbel (left) for being named Journalism Initiatives Program Officer for the the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he’s assigned to identify the people, processes and projects that will advance quality journalism in this century.

Kebbel most recently was in charge of content development, strategy and planning at Education Week’s web site,, and before that was news director at America Online when it became the world’s largest online news site. He earlier helped create and, and was a home page editor at

He also online journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he is an adjunct instructor. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University. Kebbel holds three masters’ degrees: one in social work from The Catholic University of America and one each in political science and journalism from the University of Illinois.

“Gary understands both the power and the perils of new media,” said Eric Newton, Knight Foundation’s director of Journalism Initiatives. “He’s the right news person at the right time to help us map and navigate the future of journalism.”

Meanwhile, President and CEO Jim Spanfeller has been named chairman of the U.S. version of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), where he had served as vice chairman for the past two years. Spanfeller promises to get the IAB involved with public policy and legal issues.

“Clearly, we want to have at least a little bit of voice at the state and federal level on things like rpivacy issues, out of control advertisers and spyware,” Spanfeller told ClickZ.

And Hachette Filipacchi Media has named Marta Wührle as director of digital media. She’ll be responsible for the development of Hachette’s 16 web sites, four moible applications, video-on-demand, joint ventures in new media, and digital editions of the company’s magazines.

Wührle had previously been a director of Mercer Management Consulting, where she’d been engaged in a six-month review of Hachette’s digital strategy. (We also rather liked her the little engine that could white paper for Mercer.)

Hachette Filipacchi Media Chief Operating Officer Philippe Guelton told Crain’s New York Business magazine that his company, “intends to multiply by three to four times the investments in content and promotion online. We’re going to double our staffing on the Web, to about 60 fromabout 30. We will be starting to implement cross-platform strategies across all magazines.”

That same Crain’s article notes that some other media company’s layoffs have ostensibly been aimed at freeing money for ‘high growth’ online initiatives. It says this was Time Inc. Chairman Ann Moore‘s rational for the more than one hundred employees and executives her company let go last month.

The Media Guardian yesterday reported that half of the staff of Time magazine’s 40-person London office had been offered ‘voluntary redundancies’. The magazine has already shutdown its Moscow, Beijing, and Seoul bureaus and the magazine’s Hong Kong-based international editor, Michael Elliot, now divides his time between Asia and Europe. We’ll see if Time does indeed route these savings into new-media. I doubt it.

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