Daily Archives: December 12, 2011

What I tweeted to @romenesko followers today:

* Reporters (but not the public) now allowed to email, text and tweet at Sandusky’s prelim
* Check your Facebook hidden “Other” messages for old emails
* How much did Mark Cuban invest in Brotips? “1 billion dollars and 17 cents,” he jokes (?)
* Lee Enterprises files for bankruptcy protection, plans to borrow $40M to keep running
* Hearst buys new press for its Albany paper, says bulk of its revenues still print-based
* “Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an email interview. An interview is a conversation”
Oprah’s network considers catering more to blacks to boost ratings
* Sports journalists now asking tough questions of the leagues and their execs

A recent report by Canopy environmental group and the Green Press Initiative says the New York Times Co., Hearst, McClatchy, Tribune Co. and The Globe and Mail are among the greenest in the newspaper industry. “These publishers understand that sustainability is more than a social responsibility; it is a business priority and offers a competitive advantage,” says Tara Sawatsky of Canopy.

Excerpts from the report are after the jump. Read More

Gawker Media chief Nick Denton sent this memo to this staff at 1:51 p.m. ET today:

Despite the holiday party and subsequent hangover, we brought in 7.8m people last week.

Nick Denton

That’s the highest in the last year — and the highest sustained audience ever. Earlier spikes were to do with extraordinary one-off stories like the iPhone 4 prototype.

Gawker and Jezebel gave the overall numbers a particular lift. Gawker — though in between site leads — came neck and neck with Gizmodo with 2m people in the last week. Jezebel’s Obamacare story hit the front of Reddit and gave it 1.1m, second only to the Duke fuck thesis.

Graph #1

Graph #2

Time editor-in-chief John Huey and managing editor Rick Stengel tell their employees:

It’s hard to describe what Michael Duffy does at TIME because he does so much and he does it so discreetly. He presides over Washington and our political coverage — and there’s no one better at that than he — but he also plants the seed for cover stories on everything from Hell to yoga. (Plus, he has the knack of making you think it was your idea.) He can restructure the most broken story and not touch the flawless one.

The full memo is after the jump:

Read More

“God bless those who got a call today,” Tim Smolarick wrote on the Tampa Tribune Alumni Facebook page this morning as 165 people got word that they’ve been laid off.

Tony Zappone wrote:

A few years ago, I thought the Trib was posturing itself to be sold to another holding company. After today, there really won’t be much to hold. Maybe they’ll give us the printer and let us do our own thing.

* 165 layoffs under way at Tampa Tribune (
* TV critic surprised to get the call this morning (

I’m told that the American Press Institute (API) is expected to become part of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) early next year, possibly as an asset of NAA Foundation.

“Both NAA and API have shrunk considerably in recent years, just like all journalism nonprofits,” my source points out. This has been discussed for at least two years, I’m told, and the talks intensified after Caroline Little — a former API board member — was named NAA president in June.

Little told me this morning: “We’ve been talking about possibly putting the two together, but there’s nothing definitive at this point.”

I hear that an official announcement could come as early as February.

API board chairman Tom Silvestri was in a meeting this morning at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he’s publisher. I’ll post his comment after we talk.

A 45-year-old factory worker in Brookville, Pa. was charged with disorderly conduct after placing a obituary for his living mother so he could take three days off from work.

Jeffersonian Democrat editor Randy Bartley tells me that Scott Bennett emailed the brief obituary on Tuesday afternoon — the cause of death and funeral services weren’t listed — and it ran in Wednesday’s paper.

“On Thursday morning, I got a call from the undead woman’s granddaughter telling me her grandmother wasn’t dead,” says Bartley. The employer of the man who placed the fake obit also called the newspaper after trying to send flowers to the local funeral home. The editor then called police.

“I’m sure the funeral director was wondering why he wasn’t getting any calls” from the family, says Brookville police chief Ken Dworek.

He tells me that Bennett “was very remorseful, very sorry” that he emailed the obituary. “He wanted three days off, and that was the reason for it. We charged him with the least thing that we could — disorderly conduct — because he’s going to have enough problems as it is” after being fired from his job.

Editor Bartley tells me he’ll be running a correction in Wednesday’s paper, “although it’s probably redundant at this point. We’ve received calls from the BBC and the AP; [the story’s] got legs.”

* Man prints fake obit of mom to get time off (Associated Press)

A real journalist has forgotten what it’s like to have a week off, writes Chris J. Ortiz, and has replaced one of the major food groups with coffee. Also, a real newsperson eats in the car more often than at a table. Also, he or she has:

* Written a 15-inch story in 30 minutes
* Corrected a loved one’s grammar in a greeting card
* Gotten fired/laid off for no good reason
* Slept in your car and not because you were too drunk to drive home

Ortiz — founder of the Stuff Journalists Like website — tells me about his 20-item checklist:

I wrote the list based on personal experience. Though 15-19 were reader contributed, I have done a phone interview naked (technically I was in a towel), I’ve taken notes on a napkin, and have threatened to quit over a story assignment. So mark me down for 19 (I actually don’t drink coffee).

* Checklist for being a “real” journalist (
* Follow on Twitter

Ben Smith quits Politico for BuzzFeed

“A move that is sure to surprise the political and journalistic classes.”Brian Stelter, writing in the New York Times about Ben Smith quitting Politico for BuzzFeed. (“Mr. Smith will hire more than a dozen reporters right away,” reports Stelter.)

On his Politico blog, Smith writes that at BuzzFeed, “I’ll be trying to help build the first true social news organization.”

@gabrielsherman: Ben Smith is the most entrepreneurial reporter I know. When we worked together at the NY Observer in ’04, he recognized blogging was future

University of Mississippi journalism professor Samir Husni has long called himself Mr. Magazine, but it looks like former Current TV InfoMania host Conor Knighton is bucking for the title. “My girlfriend says my apartment looks like a doctor’s waiting room,” he told CBS “Sunday Morning” viewers yesterday. “I’ve got magazines everywhere.”