Steve Buttry Leaving ‘Cedar Rapids Gazette’ for Washington Local News Digital Startup

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Steve Buttry said Friday he is leaving The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to join the online-only local new operation being launched by the owner of Politico.

Buttry was a former editor of the Gazette who since June has been its “C3 innovation coach,” responsible for developing strategies for implementing the “Complete Community Connection” of reaching and engaging the community with the newspaper and its related products.

At the still-unnamed Washington local news operation, Buttry will be the “director of community engagement.”

“I’m going to be in charge of getting the community involved in providing content, in conversation, in social media,” he told E&P. “I’m going to be very closely involved in the mobile aspects of the operations because of, obviously my interest in thinking along those lines of ‘mobile-first.’ I will be in the newsroom reporting to the editor, but working with people on the business side to make the community engagement a productive part of the business model.”

The Allbritton Communications startup is being led by Jim Brady, former executive editor of washingtonpost.com. In addition to Politico, Allbritton also owns a television station in D.C., and the digital local news operation will use video from it, Buttry said.

On his blog Buttry wrote that Gazette Communications CEO Chuck Peters “is interested in a possible continuing role for me in that work as a consultant.”
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This story has been changed from an earlier version to correct Buttry’s current title and responsibilities at Gazette Communications.

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