Pioneering Media Blogger Jim Romenesko to Launch Own Site, ‘Semi-Retire’

Early media blogger will launch his own site, jimromenesko.com, and continue part-time with the Poynter Institute

Jim Romenesko, the out of sight but never out of mind media blogger and reporter, has decided to "semi-retire" — or something like that.

Romenesko, who has spent the last 12 years anchoring the eponymous media-news blog for the Poynter Institute, will be launching his own site, JimRomenesko.com, in January.

"There is something in a dozen-year itch for me," Romenesko said. "I think that with jimromenesko.com I can start fresh, do something a little different and there will be all reported pieces — at least contact with individuals, longer features and there will be stories behind the stories."

Romenesko will also stay on part-time at Poynter, where his blog will continue under the banner "Romenesko+" until January, at which point it will adopt an alternate name. Current contributors like Julie Moos, Steve Myers and Jeff Sonderman should pick up some of the slack as the frequency Romenesko's contributions decrease.

Unlike the Poynter blog, Romenesko's new venture will not be exclusively focused on the media, its tagline reads "A blog about media … and other things I'm interested in."

"That gives me some license to do general interest where I see it," he said. "I saw a quirky sign recently and I'm doing a story about that, and an internet-related story. I'm interested in business, technology, food issues. Im very anti-fast food, I'm kind of a pseudo- vegetarian. Cord cutting, I don’t have cable service.

"I have a fairly long list of ieas and I'd say one-third are non-media related."

Romenesko says this will be "more of a hobby site," like his blog "Starbucks Gossip," and that he eschewed turning himself into a large online brand like others before him.

"There's no funding behind jimromenesko.com," he said. "It's just me.

"I guess my strategy is to not lose a lot of money."

Romenesko has said he will do less aggregation — a specialty of the Poynter blog — and more original reporting, including face-to-face interviews. That is quite a change for a man who generally declines invitations to appear on TV or attend industry functions. 

He noted that because of the rise of social media, there are endless aggregators and thus the value of what he has been doing has been watered down.

The media reaction to Romenesko's decision was instantaneous, as many reporters took to Twitter to pay tribute.

Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch: "The great @romenesko is launching a personal site. Guy has done God's work for years."

Yahoo's Joe Pompeo: "sighs all around! RT @koblin @romenesko planning semi-retirement, reports @mlcalderone huff.to/oJPIpT #sad"

The New York Times' Brian Stelter: "@Romenesko is semi-retiring: journ.us/p0zcO9 Jim & a few others inspired me to start @TVNewser–& to treat aggregation as journalism."

Meanwhile, Poynter faculty member Bill Mitchell penned this piece on Romenesko's impact on Poynter.