Joe Donnelly Opts for Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative

UC Berkeley Master’s journalism grad Joe Donnelly has spent the bulk of his career working for instantly recognizable local outlets: the LA Times, LA Weekly and quarterly Slake. But now it’s time for something a little different in the form of a tremendous enterprise journalism opportunity.

Donnelly has been hired by the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative to be the non-profit organization’s inaugural executive editor. From yesterday’s announcement:

“It became clear from our first conversations with Joe that he believed strongly in the collaborative opportunities the initiative could and should pursue with established area media outlets,” said Steven Ainsley, board chairman for the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative. “This will be an important driver for everything the initiative hopes to accomplish and it was critical the editor understood this. Joe clearly endorses this approach.””

Donnelly starts next month, with plans to permanently relocate to the Santa Barbara area later in 2013. The Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative is being funded by the Santa Barbara Foundation and a matching fall 2012 grant of $500,000 from the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.