By TOM HONIG
The single-most dominating force in media news and gossip is someone that most people outside the media business have never heard of. It's a man by the name of Jim Romenesko. His daily aggregation of media news is required reading by anyone in the news business. He puts the site together mostly from his home in Evanston, Ill. (or from nearby coffee shops) and it's sponsored by the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank.
Actually, it's more than that. Some of us who occasionally pontificate on the ins and outs of the news business rely on news coming from Romenesko about what's happening at newspapers and other media outlets around the country. One of his services has long been to reprint internal memos from media companies -- a practice that at one time was criticized and later became welcome. (My own departure from the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 2007 was documented in his column -- which I took as an honor.)
Romenesko has announced his semi-retirement. To get an idea of his impact on the industry, check out this story by Michael Calderone in the Huffington Post.
What's fascinating about Calderone's profile is that it demonstrates 1) how influential Romenesko has been and 2) how he had no interest in doing what most entrepreneurs would do -- make a ton of money off such an influential site.
Semi-retirement for Romenesko means getting away from the aggregation and back to -- gasp! -- some original reporting. His new site, JimRomenesko.com, will be well worth reading.