Neff earns publisher’s award for excellence

Guild Executive Board member Tim Neff is among the current honorees for the Publisher’s Quarterly Award for Excellence.

It is no surprise to his colleagues that Tim does great work, and we are grateful the Times Union recognized him. It just shows that you can take great pride in your work and be active in the union.

Here’s what the company said about Tim:

“During a dramatic downsizing of our staff, Tim has gone above and beyond to make sure that timesunion.com not only succeeds but stands out among all Hearst news sites. During the past few months, our site has seen phenomenal growth, and much of that is due directly to Tim’s efforts.”

Associate editor Mike Spain, one of the newsroom’s top managers, said: “Tim’s knowledge and experience in our newsroom operation combined with his skills in the digital platform have made him one of our biggest assets. The evidence of this is our continued climb in online audience.”

Go Team leader Mike Goodwin, another newsroom manager, said this about Tim: “To understand Tim Neff’s impact on the website, you need to simply look at the traffic numbers from a recent week he was on vacation. Traffic was down on several days. Tim is always easy to work with and suggests plenty of ideas for the Go Team and the newsroom. But he also creates plenty of content on his own, photo galleries and such, that help fatten the numbers.”

As the company wrote: The negative impact when Tim is away was echoed by city editor Teresa Buckley: “I’ve never heard so many people ask when someone is returning from vacation as when Tim took time off over the summer. There is a different air when he is around. It’s not so much his outward energy, but the knowledge that he’s cooking up ways to drive traffic, creating galleries or enhancing packages, and asking the newsroom to put together the key elements that bring in readers.”

Tim works in an area that has seen a sharp reduction in staff, from nine full-time employees to four.

Hearst executives Steve Swartz, Mark Aldam and Lincoln Millstein have praised the website’s outstanding performance, the company said.
Editor Rex Smith, the newsroom’s top manager, said in the company bulletin: “Tim is the very model of a journalist who has adapted to our changing professional environment. What’s admirable is that as he has shifted from a print-based job to a digital role, with all the learning about technology and new modes of content presentation that such a change requires, he has not wavered a bit in his devotion to high standards. He’s a thoughtful journalist and a valued colleague.”

Tim joined the Executive Board this year after his colleague Mark Ramirez left for a job in New Jersey. We’re proud of the work Tim does with the Guild, and we’re especially proud to see his hard work at the Times Union recognized.

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