Hartley A.J.

A.J. Hartley

Technology, Project
and Content Management

Name:A.J. Hartley
Address:New York, NY 10040

• Accomplished technology leader with strong interpersonal and customer service skills who guides workgroups and organizations by bringing teams together to reach common goals.

• Expert in technology integration, hands-on implementation, systems analysis and application usage in addition to leadership and management functions.

• Specialist in understanding the dynamic nature of content management who can speak the languages of information, technology and business.


01.2015 - present

Senior Systems Analyst

The New York Times

Provide scripting, integration and scrum-master and product/project management expertise for content management systems for a variety of New York Times print and digital content channels.

  • Hands-on experience in AWS cloud technology, specifically Elastic Beanstalk, EC2 instances, S3 storage and Lambda functions.
  • Tech lead for 2018 redesign and re-platform of, The New York Times Company website for job applicants, investor and press. WordPress; AWS Elastic Beanstalk; Fastly CDN and image optimization.
  • Tech lead for 2019 redesign and re-platform of New York Times internal websites.
  • Relationship owner for spell-checking system; product owner for abstracting and indexing CMS.
  • Publisher’s Awards:
    • 2017: Rollout of NewsGate print CMS and publishing system.
    • 2018: Re-platforming of International New York Times worldwide publishing.
    • 2019: Launch and re-platform of corporate website.
  • Leadership skills and technical acumen are combined in project management with underlying use of Jira and other PM tools.
  • Expert in systems integration, often bringing together dissimilar file formats for multiple uses and content channels.
  • Team member primarily tasked with identifying, automating and streamlining processes once manually performed by editors and editorial assistants.
  • The go-to team member for XSLT, perl and php with recent growth and emphasis on cloud functions written in nodejs.
  • Superior writing, editing and graphic design skills are used often for both user and technical documentation.
2012 - 12.2014

Assistant Managing Editor/Technology

Detroit Free Press

Director of Technology, responsible for internal and public-facing systems

  • Site technology leader for the successful launch of Presto, the Gannett Digital CMS, at Leader for training and implementation. Contributor to site organization efforts. QA for handheld apps.
  • Site project leader for rollout of CCIEurope NewsGate, Gannett’s federated editing system. Led site meetings and conference calls, coordinated multiple constituencies including corporate technologists and contractors for support and training of 175 employees, determined local workflow and documented with user guides, led integration efforts with ancillary systems.
  • Led highly successful project Coming Up Roses, a Rose Bowl commemorative book. Negotiated contracts, wrote P&L, oversaw marketing and customer service, liaison to production and printing.
  • Led deployment of iPhones (4S) to 50 journalists. Implemented enterprise tools for mass deployment, worked with colleagues to train employees in basic operation.
  • Oversaw the conversion of 235 laptops and desktops to Windows 7 from Windows XP.
  • Co-chaired the Digital Advisory Board, a team of 7 peers in the six-month “Freep 2012” initiative to retool workflow and staffing for digital-first publishing.
  • Site co-chair of “Content Evolution,” a company initiative to realign content with the interests of customers. Led cross-discipline steering committee of 8, participated in brainstorming, conducted market research interviews and assisted writing the final report draft.
2008 - 2012

Assistant Managing Editor/Databases & Tech

Detroit Free Press

Direct the news-gathering and production technology of 24-hour metropolitan news organization

  • Promoted to member of senior management committee of eight top managers.
  • Completed development and rollout of Sharepoint-based story-planning CMS. Assemble team; coordinate cross-department efforts; development of forms, views and pages; train staff.
  • Developed database application to tabulate real-time election results for metro Detroit. Outputs to Twitter, print, web and broadcast in XML and HTML. Inputs from reporters, clerks offices, county data and AP-ATOM. Saved hundreds of staff setup hours; best results in market. PHP/MySQL/Ajax.
  • Responsible for innovating web-based journalistic tools. Examples include using the Google Maps API to streamline online mapping, implementing centralized tweeting with Twitter API and rolling out Caspio database tools to streamline online database display.
2005 - 2008

Senior Editor/Databases & Technology

Detroit Free Press
  • Bridged dissimilar content management systems with PHP/MySQL middleware to complete an XML data integration for the launch of Metromix Detroit, the region’s leader in entertainment and dining information. Data were primarily geocoded records of event and venue information.
  • Oversaw the newsroom library (manager and staff of 4). Signed off on all acquisitions of research databases, coordinated information sharing with ProQuest, Lexis-Nexis, Kindle and Gannett.
  • Formed “Data Desk” in January 2007, a team of editorial assistants and a supervisor to mine data from press releases related to area events. Exceeded goal of being the most comprehensive online events listings in Detroit: 25,000 listings and 19,000 venues in 4 weeks.
1993 - 2005

Technology Director

Detroit Free Press
  • As project manager in 2004-05, successfully implemented CCI NewsDesk — Oracle/Word-based CMS — during 18-month project. Met all project milestones; delivered under budget.
  • Supervised the installation of SCC MediaServer archiving CMS. Dell EMC fiber-channel RAID and MD1000 SATA RAID. More than 3 million text, photo, PDF and multimedia assets.
  • Wrote Mac-based publishing system used by the Free Press from 1996 until 2004 from Quark software and EdPage composition engine. Wrote AppleScript middleware and Unix shell scripts.
1987 - 1993

Design and graphics leadership

Detroit Free Press

Performed all managerial functions, art directed artists, designed pages, assigned illustrations, diagrams and maps, developed concepts in broadsheet and magazine formats. Developed first desktop publishing effort at Detroit Free Press. Many national design awards for self and staff.

1985 - 1987

Copy Editor

The San Diego Union

Swing position as copy editor, designer, composing room editor and news editor.

Other experience

01.2013 - 12.2014

Operations and Business Manager

Detroit Free Press Bookstore

Manage the Free Press book publishing operation: Maintain the website, Yahoo! storefront and the relationship with the fulfillment vendor. Oversee all facets of customer service. Negotiate printing and publishing contracts, determine publishing workflow, hire editors and designers. Annual revenues of $300k with a year-over-year increase of profit of 20 percent.

2000 - present

Founder and developer

Launched regional weather portal as a test-bed for web development experimentation. Combines live sensor data and images with worldwide data, forecasts and RSS feeds using Ajax, GoogleMaps mashups, XML, PHP, MySQL and both Windows and Mac server technology.

2006 - 2012

Technology Consultant

The Skillman Foundation

Provide expertise in databases, Windows networking, Microsoft Exchange and Cisco VPN for Detroit-area educational foundation. Review technical proposals including their web site redesign, CMS selection and equipment orders.


University of Kansas

Bachelor of Science in Journalism, News/Editorial Sequence, University of Kansas


Top Innovation Award

James K. Batten Award for Technology Innovation, 1997. Highest award of its type for 25,000 employees of Knight Ridder. Received for creating a pagination system and implementing it in seven months for a price tag of less than $300,000.

2003 - 2006

Enterprise CMS Task Force

Chosen by Knight Ridder (then-Detroit Free Press parent company) CIO to set enterprise standards for editorial system on special task force, 2003-2006. The team’s work resulted in a unified contract with a CCI and standards that streamlined system installation and content sharing across the company. Traveled to other company sites to assist in RFP specifications and implementation standards.

1986 - 1993

Major Design Awards

More than 25 print design awards from organizations such as Print Magazine, National Press Photographers Association, Society for News Design and Society of Illustrators.

Depth and flexibility

2014 08.
Stefanie Murray, Director at Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University

A.J. Is a one of the most dependable and flexible co-workers I’ve ever had. He’s done it all, from editing to news design to art direction to technology management. He shines in every role.

Strong leadership

2014 04.
Amalie Nash, Executive Editor / Local News at USA Today Network

Whether it’s helping an employee who is locked out of her computer or heading a massive undertaking to roll out new technology across the newsroom, AJ adeptly handles any challenge or task with efficiency and professionalism. He successfully works across departments and shows strong leadership, challenging the status quo and asking, “How can we do this better?” He’s a strong voice at the table and someone who helps set the agenda at the Free Press. Any organization would be lucky to have AJ.

Empathy and professionalism

2013 08.
Omari Gardner, News/Copy Editor & Social Media Coordinator at Automotive News

AJ has a rare combination of journalistic, technological, project management and problem solving skills that make him absolutely indispensable.

In my 14-year tenure at the Free Press, I watched him oversee the implementation of two radically new newsroom content management systems — massive, complex, long-term projects that involved programming, workflow logistics planning, multidisciplinary training and other work behind the scenes — with an extraordinary level of calm, persistence, professionalism and empathy. Besides those projects, he’s managed the implementation of countless newsroom technological applications by a wide range of vendors to improve workflow and communication, and he fixes sudden problems that flare up around the clock. There is no problem that he can’t solve.

Knowledgeble and responsive

2013 11.
Sarah Steinhoff, Senior Consultant at Red Badge Consulting, Inc.

I worked with AJ during a newsroom content management system rollout at the Free Press. I came in as a consultant to conduct training and provide end user support. AJ was my main point of contact for this project. I was impressed in every way with AJ’s skills and professionalism. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the project. He knew the newsroom staff extremely well and was able to provide crucial knowledge to help ensure the success of their training and a smooth rollout. Besides his technical skills, journalistic knowledge and his project management credentials, it is a genuine pleasure to work with AJ. He is extremely responsive to staff concerns and is dedicated to finding solutions to any issues that arise.

Technologist and innovator

2006 08.
Steve Dorsey, VP / innovation and planning at Austin American-Statesman

AJ is a rare talent — a high-test blend of journalist, artist, technologist and innovator. I’ve been privileged to work with him in many capacities. He’s the first I.T. director I’ve seen truly demonstrate that technology at a newspaper should serve journalism and journalists. He’s able to manage numerous, complex tasks during high stress times and still communicate in common language to users.

Patience and expertise

2013 08.
Laura Varon Brown, Executive Director at Gilda's Club Metro Detroit

AJ comes with the highest recommendation from me and anyone who has worked with him or benefited from his expertise, his patience and his strategic thinking.

AJ has handled technology, communication and the integration of just about every medium imaginable and he does that through some of the most stressful, taxing and urgent news events and corporate situations imaginable. I have always simply been in awe of his problem-solving and smarts.

Along with AJ’s incredible skills comes a remarkable human being — which in any business setting, is as important as the skills. It would be a privilege to work with AJ again and any company will profit immensely in so many ways by his all-in and can-do performance. Truly a gem

A sense of equanimity

2013 08.
M.L. Elrick, investigative reporter at Fox 2 News

If ever there was a man/co-worker/manager who epitomized “equanimity,” it’s A.J.
He is up-beat and can-do.
His goal is to get the job done, and get the job done he does!
I have known A.J. for years and had the joy of working with him off-and-on for over a decade. A more talented and even-tempered man you will not meet. While everyone else panics, he coolly assesses a situation and comes up with a solution, which he then executes.
I consider it an honor to know him, I considered it a privilege to work with him, and here is something I don’t say about many people I’ve worked with: If I were a boss, I’d hire him in a minute.

Digital navigator

2013 08.
Ron Dzwonkowski, retired editor

I was a colleague of A.J.’s for 20-plus years at the Detroit Free Press, where he basically guided the newspaper into the digital age, managing huge and constant changes in computer and communications technology; patiently assisting a staff that required instruction, correction and, too often, emergency help; and managing a crew of productive technicians who clearly enjoyed working for him. In a sea of swirling changes, A.J. was a major navigator for the Free Press and, dealing daily with everyone from top executives to copy aides, all with the same even and helpful hand. He works hard, works smart and works well with others.I was a colleague of A.J.’s for 20-plus years at the Detroit Free Press, where he basically guided the newspaper into the digital age, managing huge and constant changes in computer and communications technology; patiently assisting a staff that required instruction, correction and, too often, emergency help; and managing a crew of productive technicians who clearly enjoyed working for him. In a sea of swirling changes, A.J. was a major navigator for the Free Press and, dealing daily with everyone from top executives to copy aides, all with the same even and helpful hand. He works hard, works smart and works well with others.

Experienced leader

2011 03.
Laura Healy, media communications & technology specialist

Mix together one part in-depth publishing knowledge, one part technology smarts and one part creativity, and the result is AJ Hartley. He takes projects to the next level by looking at the big picture and keeping the company’s and user’s needs in mind. His deep understanding of the news business – even in today’s changing world — and his technology knowledge give him much-needed insight that often results in taking a project in the direction it should go, rather than where it was headed. AJ will stand up for what’s right, even if it isn’t the quick and easy solution. As a manager, AJ pushes his employees to learn, ask questions and take risks while providing just the right amount of guidance.

Creativity with structure

Dale Parry, Innovation & Product Development at Detroit Media Partnership

AJ is a visionary project engineer who brings a great mix of creativity and structure to his work. He has the courage to resist “easy” and to keep pushing for “excellent.” He’s capable of pragmatic solution, but his most impressive quality is his dogged pursuit of hardware, software, and systems that exceed expectations. On large projects and small, he often surprised me, and it was never an unpleasant surprise. I also admired the high degree of personal and professional respect that he allowed every colleague, at every level.

Embraces emerging technology

2007 03.
Sharilyn Hufford, Media & Technology Specialist, New York Times

AJ adeptly juggles priorities and manages resources to keep projects moving forward, combining his understanding of the big picture with his technical skills and expertise. A champion of technological innovation in news gathering, he embraces emerging technologies and applies them with a journalist’s sensibilities. AJ is a great resource in a time of intense change for the newspaper industry!

Teamwork ahead of software

2011 11.
Carole Leigh Hutton, President and CEO, United Way Silicon Valley

Some of the things I learned from AJ Hartley:
The project team is more important than the software, the hardware and all the other elements you can think of.
None of the above matters if they don’t serve the mission.
Patience is only a virtue when it’s not an excuse to tolerate inaction.
(And, of course, how to use a Palm, how to use a Blackberry, how to think about network security and integrity, etc. The list is long.)
AJ was a trusted colleague, advisor, subordinate and expert whose excellence improved the performance and capacity of the entire organization.

Good with end users

2013 08.
Howard Davy, Communications Manager | Designer, MSU

AJ taught me a lot about how computers and computer systems work. He was the first, and one of the only, IT professionals I’ve known to work from the users perspective in teaching and solving a problem. His thoughtfulness is infectious. I later emulated many of his tactics in dealing with users who had problems. Not taking over the mouse and doing it for them, but walking them through the issue so they too are empowered to help themselves and others around them. Talented and thoughtful are rare traits in a daily problem solver, AJ has both.

On time and under budget

John Totoraitis, controller at Traverse City Record-Eagle

I had the pleasure of knowing and working with AJ for a number of years while I was in Detroit. The project that we worked most closely together on was the 300+ seat installation of a CCI NewsDesk editorial system for the Detroit Free Press. I was the V/P of Information Technology for Detroit Media Partnership and responsible for coordinating the installation. The project involved numerous departments, and presented significant challenges; it required implementing workflow changes, software customization and significant end-user training. It was a challenging project that involved coordination and collaboration among DMP, the software vendor, and the Detroit Free Press. AJ was the project leader for the Free Press, and was tasked with the greatest challenge; implementation of the new system had to be seamless, as there is no “downtime” when you publish a major metro newspaper every day. AJ was responsible for insuring that the new system workflows would work in the newsroom, and he was responsible for insuring that the entire newsroom was trained and ready to go on Day 1. AJ demonstrated professionalism, leadership and teamwork on the project. He was an integral part of the CCI implementation team and worked effectively and cooperatively with DMP and CCI personnel during this project. AJ’s participation on the team was the major reason CCI was seamlessly implemented for the Detroit Free Press both on time and under budget.

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