Daily Archives: January 23, 2012

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg “has declined repeated requests during the past year for an interview about herself because she prefers to talk about the company,” writes Benny Evangelista. But “in many ways, Sandberg’s become more visible than Mark Zuckerberg, who prefers to focus on the technical aspects of developing the social network.”
* Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook’s Grown-up Face

The Chicago Sun-Times announced this morning that it will no longer endorse candidates. What about its rival, the Chicago Tribune? Here’s what editorial page editor Bruce Dold tells Romenesko readers:

We will keep doing election endorsements. It takes a lot of work to investigate these races and talk to the candidates and make an informed recommendation to readers, but I think endorsements are at the heart of what an editorial board does. We recommend an agenda and ask readers and government leaders to push that agenda. We push ideas for better public schools and economic growth and government that won’t tolerate the miserable culture of political corruption in Illinois. I don’t think it makes sense for us to recommend how to have better government but avoid recommending who is best to lead that change.

Editorials have impact. (Ask Rod Blagojevich, who tried to get the Trib editorial board fired.) Endorsements have impact, too. In a high-profile race, a newspaper endorsement is one of many opinions a reader will consider. We make a choice, we invite readers to tell us their own choices, we help to create a debate. In low-profile races, such as judicial races, readers don’t have much information. In Cook County, they may not know much more than which candidate is endorsed by the Democratic Party. I know from going to slating sessions that party loyalty is the first priority in those endorsements. We make an independent recommendation and many people trust us for that.

We plan to run an editorial on this tomorrow and it will be posted later today.

UPDATE: Here’s the Tribune’s editorial.

— Penn State’s newspaper is in hot demand! || Read the PDF edition.

Reuters has hired Jack and Suzy Welch as weekly columnists. (They once wrote for Businessweek.) They couple will “focus on management lessons derived from the week’s news events and deliver insight into business challenges across corporate and this election year’s political landscapes.” Their column debuts this Friday. The press release is after the jump. Read More

“Each week we design a few cover possibilities for the upcoming issue,” and this was one that didn’t make the cut, says Businessweek editor-in-chief Josh Tyrangiel. (New York magazine’s did run, though.)
* Bloodied-Romney cover explained

Andrew Adler

Remember the Atlanta Jewish Times owner and publisher who apologized after suggesting “a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence”? He’s now resigned and is looking for someone to buy the paper. The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta said earlier today that it would suspend its relationship with the paper until Andrew Adler removed himself from the newspaper’s operations.
* Atlanta Jewish Times publisher resigns over Obama assassination column
* Earlier from Gawker’s John Cook: “It’s hard to tell whether or not Adler is just some crank, but…”

“We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before,” the Sun-Times says in its no-more-endorsements story. “Research on the matter suggests that editorial endorsements don’t change many votes, especially in higher-profile races.”

The paper recently changed hands, and I wonder if the new owners are behind this change. (The lead investor gave $25,000 to McCain-Palin in 2008, and gave the same amount to Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign last year.) I’ve send the question to publisher John Barron and will post his response when it comes in. I’ve also asked Chicago Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold to comment on his rival’s decision.
* Why we will no longer endorse in elections

I asked Dan England to elaborate. Here’s what the Greeley Tribune adventure and entertainment editor told me:

I said a principal was fired at a school when she wasn’t; [it was] based on a note an editor gave me. I failed to confirm it because I couldn’t reach anyone and wrote a brief anyway because I didn’t want to get beat. It cost me my job, but I found a better one a month and a half later and it turned out to be a good learning experience for me about the precariousness of our job and how it’s our job to make sure we’ve got things right first, even if it means we’re not first to report it. I’ve never remotely had any problems again. In fact I’ve won many state and national awards and still appreciate the chance to be a journalist every day. My only advice is to obviously learn from it and take what I said to heart and he should be fine.

* Paterno’s premature death report: How the Star Tribune got it wrong

The Wisconsin man who has owned is selling the domain name and hoping to get up to $1 million for it. “[Francis Diederich] bought the domain back in 1994 or 1995 and always thought he would do something with it, but he never developed it,” says broker John Cribb, who is handling the sale. (The site is currently a newspaper website directory.) “He turned down big money for it in the old days — he had offers of $750,000 and $1 million,” says Cribb. “My guess is that somewhere between $400,000 and a million is what he’d like to get now.” Cribb says appears as the first or second result in a Google search for newspapers. (The New York Times, he notes, owns || The press release is after the jump. Read More

What would you do if you ran a newspaper and half of your employees didn’t bother to read your product? That’s the question I asked on my Facebook page when I linked to John Robinson’s “What Would You Do? blog post. Here are some comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers:

Martin L. Cahn
First: not all writers in a newsroom fit the paper’s demographic. I know our newspaper skews higher than the mid-20s staff reporters we have. That’s neither an indictment of them or the paper; just reality. Second: not everyone that works for a paper has time to read the very paper they work for. I’m the associate editor of my paper and goodness knows I don’t always have the time to read every single word in it.

Tony Marcano
Many many years ago on “The Odd Couple,” the Oscar Madison character said, “I don’t have to read the paper. I write the paper.” I’ve known many reporters and editors with the same view.

James Brinton
Whether one subscribed or not, everybody in our place was expected to read the pub cover to cover. It was surprising how many half-baked, and already-covered stories went away when they did. Always stay up to date on what your pub has covered.

Peter Ashkenaz
i was a TV assignments editor in the late 70’s and none of my reporters (all in their 20’s) or shooters even watched our newscast if they didn’t have a story in the rundown. Most had no idea what anyone else was working on, which resulted in a lack of context. I wanted to give them a quiz on local news on Fridays but my news director wouldn’t let me.

Amy DeVries Calder
Would a restaurant fire employees who didn’t eat there? I don’t understand why a person who works for any company should be expected to pay to use their services./CONTINUES Read More