Now retired, but still online. Thank you for checking my latest tweets and occasional retirement-era posts. (I’m still posting to Facebook, too.) Please continue to send your news tips and memos to Sorry, but I’m no longer accepting sponsored posts or job ads.

* Check out Romenesko’s posts – and reader comments – on Facebook

A Romenesko reader writes: “I am not eligible for the early retirement buyout, but several of my colleagues are. They feel like they are now being pressured to take it, even though it’s supposed to be completely voluntary.

“They also see this line as a veiled threat: ‘If we don’t achieve our goals, we will need to re-evaluate where we stand and we can’t rule out implementing other actions in the future.’

From: Harmon, David
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2015 11:11 AM
Subject: Voluntary early retirement program follow up

Good afternoon –

About a month ago, you were presented with the opportunity to take advantage of a voluntary early retirement program.Unknown

I wanted to remind you that the deadline to accept this offering is by 11:30 PM (EST), Monday, October 12, 2015. We thank those of you who have considered this offering and turned in your acceptance early.

We hope that those of you who have not accepted are giving careful consideration to this offering.

In addition to being a benefit for those who want to retire, our early retirement program will help us reduce costs in the long term and provide savings. If we don’t achieve our goals, we will need to re-evaluate where we stand and we can’t rule out implementing other actions in the future.

As mentioned earlier – the program is completely voluntary. We will finalize acceptances after the 45-day consideration period has closed, which is Oct. 12, 2015.

Best regards,
Dave Harmon
Chief People Officer

Earlier on
* Gannett offers earlier retirement packages to staffers 55 and over
* David Harmon is named Gannett Chief People Officer

* Read comments about the memo from my Facebook friends and followers

California Lawyer, which called itself “the nation’s leading legal magazine,” has been killed by parent company Daily Journal Corporation.09Cover-210x276 Two employees confirmed that the memo below was distributed on Wednesday. I’m still trying to find out how many people lost jobs. Please email me if you have information. UPDATE: A tipster writes: “The toll is seven full-time staff: Editor, a senior editor, associate editor, copy chief, design director, art director and production manager.”

At 9:30 this morning a representative from the Daily Journal Corporation announced to staff that CALIFORNIA LAWYER would cease publication in the print and digital editions, as of the October issue.

Termination for all staff is immediate, as of September 30, 2015. At the close of work today our email will no longer function.

Letters to Romenesko
From LOREN WASSELL: Today’s lead (only) editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, like several others recently, bears a footnote:

(This editorial was commissioned from freelance editorialists and edited by the Post-Dispatch editorial board.)

Are other papers also outsourcing their institutional voice? I know freelance and advocacy op-eds are common, but not (in my experience) main page editorials.
I asked the Lee Enterprises-owned Post-Dispatch about the outsourced editorials and got this response from deputy editorial page editor KEVIN HORRIGAN:

Since [former editorial page editor] Tony [Messenger] became metro columnist here in early September, we’ve been using two editorials each week from “Opinion in a Pinch.” That’s a service created by Christian Trejbal and Miriam Pepper for papers that find themselves short of editorial page help. Chris formerly worked for the Bulletin of Bend, Oregon. Miriam was editorial page editor of the Kansas City Star. Like Tony, both were/are active in the Association of Opinion Journalists. There may be others who work with Chris and Miriam, but so far, they’re the only writers who have written for us./CONTINUES Read More

Salem News courts reporter Julie Manganis writes: “I thought you might get a kick out of the name of the person who sent this press release.”Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12_Fotor

Clifton Flack

Clifton Flack

I asked PR man Clifton Flack if he gets many comments about his name, and how he responds to jokes about it. Flack, who works for a firm in Israel, asked:

why is Flack insulting for a PR person?

I sent him this link, which notes that “journalists sometimes use [flack] in a disparaging way, to describe clueless PR people — a counterpart to the word ‘hack,’ the rhyming descriptor of similar meaning as applied to journalists.”

He responded:

Hi Jim… amazing, i’m 42 years old and spent half that time in Marketing… I never knew about this

I’ve never had a good response when reaching out to journalists, could this be the reason?

* PR name-calling (

Romenesko reader Joseph Hauger writes: “This was the original AP news alert, which was corrected less than a minute later.”

* Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra dies at 90 (

New: “The headline writer has been exiled to Jellystone Park,” and other comments (

Letter to Romenesko
From MICHELLE LEDER, SEC filings expert at footnoted*: There’s part of financial disclosures that we track pretty closely called the “forward looking statements” which is basically where the company lists all of the what-ifs that could cause problems.
Some companies are pretty succinct and others list everything under the sun. We pay close attention because we’ve found companies burying significant disclosures in there. Tribune filed something late Friday, but it did not become available until this morning because the SEC cuts off filings made after 5:30 est and this was filed at 6:50 pm on Friday.

There’s a couple of interesting tweaks to the forward looking statements which I sent out to Pro subscribers. For example, the company introduces the words “revenue softness” for the first time and also adds language about management changes, presumably related to the Austin Beutner firing and fallout.

Here’s what I sent out [about Tribune publishing]:

Tweaks language in its forward-looking statements in a release that provides updated lower guidance on its earnings. The release was made on Sept. 18 but filed at nearly 7 pm est on Friday evening.

Adds the words “revenue softness” and “execution and integration of management changes” as well as “the Company’s success in implementing expense mitigation initiatives” in its long list of forward-looking statements. Also replaces the words “cost management initiatives” with the words “expense mitigation efforts”.

On Sept. 8, the company announced the firing of California Newspaper Group CEO Austin Beutner, which has led to several other high profile departures over the past 10 days.

* Michelle Leder’s footnoted*

- Don't miss Seth Borenstein's comment on the right

– Don’t miss Seth Borenstein’s comment to the right of the hed

* “Tom Cruise: The new breadbox,” and other comments from my Facebook wall

– h/t Kevin Hoffman

Tim Ryan, who was named publisher of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, will receive an annual base salary of $625,000, according to Tribune Publishing’s 8-K SEC filing. It adds:

He will also be entitled to receive an annual cash bonus with a target of 100% of base salary. The Company will pay Mr. Ryan $75,000 for relocation expenses, all or half of which will be subject to repayment if Mr. Ryan’s employment is terminated for cause or he resigns without good reason prior to the one- or two-year anniversary of the employment agreement, respectively.

Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan

Mr. Ryan will receive a housing allowance of $175,000 by September 30, 2015, and $87,000 on September 30, 2016. In addition, the Company will provide Mr. Ryan with temporary housing and a rental car for up to four months.

Mr. Ryan’s employment agreement also provides that for 2016, 2017 and 2018, subject to his continued employment, he will receive annual equity grants having an aggregate fair market value of $550,000 on the grant date, of which half of the value of the award will be stock options and half restricted stock units.

Footnoted‘s Michelle Leder, who tipped me off to the 8-K filing, tells Romenesko readers that Ryan’s base salary is $50,000 lower than former Times publisher Austin Beutner’s – he was fired on Tuesday – but the $337,000 in housing/moving perks for Ryan “seem a bit generous for a company that’s supposedly concerned about expenses.”

Ryan joins the Los Angeles Times from Tribune’s Baltimore Sun, where he’s been publisher since 2007.

Update – An emailer writes: “Did you notice that Tim Ryan gets an unusual two years of severance if the LA Times changes hands and he gets fired?”

* Tribune Publishing Company Form 8-K (
* Beutner abruptly fired as LAT publisher, Ryan steps in (
* Los Angeles civic leaders protest Beutner’s dismissal (

Earlier on
* Tribune discloses $625,000 base salary for digital chief Denise Warren