Toledo Free Press founder and publisher Thomas Pounds tells his readers that “between years of legal wrangling [with the Toledo Blade] and ongoing struggles with predatory ad pricing from a competitor, business conditions are such that we can no longer continue.”
Closing hurts, but even more painful would be to have never tried. This newspaper has been a dream. We have enjoyed offering area readers an alternate voice and relished the challenge of changing the status quo of news reporting in Toledo. By adding to the conversation, we did what we set out to do, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done.
Commenters write below the Blade’s story about the weekly’s demise: “Sad that corporate America has won over the small guy again!” and “Blade wins. So much for a diverse community. Congratulations Big frog in very rusty watered small pond.”
The Free Press was recently sued by home-improvement chain Menard Inc. over circulation numbers, but Pounds says that had nothing to do with today’s announcement. “Hell I haven’t been served yet on that,” he writes in an email.
New: Free Press founding editor Michael Miller writes on Facebook: “Don’t be sad about the closing of Toledo Free Press. Be angry. Be sick that an independent voice has been silenced. …”
“We think the time is right to buck convention every day.”
- Times sports editor Jason Stallman
@GlibandBitchy asks about this text-only New York Times SportsMonday front: “Has this become a ‘thing’ too common for comment or still worth noting?” I don’t know if it’s too common, but it’s clear the page designer’s message is: Forget art; you need to read this story.
Dave Tepps . It seems the NYT recently used the same design strategy — giant amount of white space to indicate nothing going on in sports that day, or one thing worth emphasizing. I think you can only play that card about every five years.
Joe Hass. The design fundamentally matches the tone of the story. It’s a gutsy call, and I think it works well.
Dave Tepps: it was in July last year. The front page was simply the “Transactions” section of agate type with a single line highlighted: “CLEVELAND CAVALIERS — Signed F LeBron James”
Apparently someone saw me on TV "texting" during the dinner. FTR I was taking notes. On my phone. Because it's 2015. #WHCD
— Helena Andrews (@helena_andrews) April 26, 2015
Really, there’s no reason to play the “National Anthem” at Nerd Prom.
* A Romenesko reader spotted this obit in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. (legacy.com)
* A video shows Baltimore City Paper photo editor J.M. Giordano being beaten by police. “They just swarmed over me,” he says. “I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out.” (citypaper.com)
* CNN decides to stick with “nerd prom” coverage even though “they knew that the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore were all that folks wanted to talk about.” (philly.com) | “The annual affair has become, for better and worse, Washington’s Super Bowl.” (washingtonpost.com) | “A bizarre event.” (pressthink.org)
* A Las Vegas man admits he fabricated a story about Harry Reid and his brother that was picked up by conservative media. “What I did was fucked up,” he says. (lasvegassun.com)
* CNN’s Peter Hamby heads to Snapchat. (politico.com)
* “Frontline” producers say they declined to air “Bigger Than Vegas” because it “did not live up to the journalistic obligations to accuracy, fairness and proof that ‘Frontline’ demands.” (pbs.org)
* Dan Rather says it’s hard to see NBC News bringing back Brian Williams. (adweek.com)
* Give Williams his job back, says Michael Wolff. “What is gained by the sudden insistence that a network anchorman represents the highest standards of journalism?” (usatoday.com)
* The winners of multiple Webby Awards include Vice Media, New York Times and Mashable. (webbyawards.com)
* New York Press Club announces its contest winners. (adweek.com) | Sigma Delta Chi winners: (spj.org)
* JOBS: Bankrate.com is looking for a personal finance reporter, or work in Indiana as a marketing/communications director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert vs. Detroit news site. (motorcitymuckraker.com)
* The Styles section in the New York Times doesn’t have to be frivolous, says public editor Margaret Sullivan. (nytimes.com)* Cartoonist Dan Perkins (aka Tom Tomorrow) was surprised to be a Pulitzer finalist. (washingtonpost.com)
* “A lot of cartoonists have second jobs and so I’m not sure it’s the brightest future,” says Garry Trudeau. (nbcnews.com)
* Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner refuses to take questions after speaking to business journalists. (talkingbiznews.com)
* Mizzou gets $1 million to create the Timothy D. Blair Fund for LGBT Coverage in Journalism. (lgbtweekly.com)
* Send news tips, link suggestions, memos, reports of comment spam, and typo alerts to firstname.lastname@example.org (I’ll protect you, of course – unless you do want a h/t.)
* Interested in placing a very reasonably priced job ad or sponsored post on Romenesko? Contact Tom Kwas and he’ll get you on the site.
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— Eric Scott Johnson (@HeyHeyESJ) April 24, 2015
The big announcement at Tuesday’s Gannett Town Hall meeting was that the broadcasting/digital side would be renamed TEGNA, but most of the emails I got from employees that day were about the “Everything is Awesome” video, featuring Gannett CEO Gracia Martore and her executive team lip-synching and “playing” guitars. I finally got a copy of that video, which includes at least one misspelled word (at right). The opening lyrics:
Everything is awesome.
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.
Everything is awesome when you’re living out a dream.
Everything is better when we stick together…
Arthur Raney (Florida State University), Mary Beth Oliver (Penn State), Sophie Janicke (University of Arkansas) and Robert Jones (Public Religion Research Institute) will spend the next three years researching whether good news can help make us better people.
The proposal that got them $1.95 million from the John Templeton Foundation was titled, “Your Daily Dose of Inspiration: Exploring How People Use and Are Impacted by Media Content that Elicits Self-Transcendent Emotions.”
From the Penn State release:
Inspirational media can take many forms: viral videos, social media, television and films, and even newspaper stories.
The research team will take a deeper look at what makes media inspiring, who seeks out such content and why, and how people use it to stimulate positive emotions. It will also explore how those emotional experiences might build character and promote greater care and concern for other people.
I’ve asked lead researcher Raney if he’ll share his proposal with us. Update - “The proposal is actually quite long and (at times) technical/jargony,” Raney writes in an email. “So, we have no plans to post it. However, we will launch a website this Fall for the project (which officially begins in August). It will contain information that might prove interesting to you and your readers.”
Chaz Repak, the global real estate and facilities services director at Dow Jones, gives us a tour of the 7th floor workspaces at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, home of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. (I like the music that Chaz has playing in background. Please email me if you can identify it. Update: Thanks to Debbie Hoffman and her son for telling me that it’s “Still a Soldier” by Ancient Astronauts.)
[Left] “We’ve got fun seating, to stimulate creativity.”
[Right/Chaz turns very serious] “I’d like to talk to you right now, but I’m in Focus Space. This is for individual work. So if you don’t mind, I’d prefer not to be disturbed.”