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Monthly Archives: January 2012

* David Carr: Murdoch says what’s on his mind on Twitter


New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital — one of 32 investors that acquired the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News in 2010 — wants to unload its stake in the newspapers’ parent company, according to the New York Post. A spokesman for the papers tells the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Armstrong: “It would not be appropriate for Philadelphia Media Network to comment on a decision that Alden Global is making about their business.” Armstrong writes:

Private companies do not have to disclose when major shareholders increase or decrease ownership stakes. But such activity often occurs. And in general, a single minority shareholder controls only its shares and cannot, by itself, force an entire private company to be sold.

Meanwhile, the New York Times points out today that investors acquired newspapers in several major U.S. cities in the second half of 2011, including San Diego, Omaha and Chicago. Alden bought Journal Register Co. last July.

* Hedger pausing on print, reports New York Post
* Inquirer, Daily News cold be headed for sale
* Online ambitions and a dash of real estate drive newspaper deals

Texas journalist Jeremy Pafford recalls his only face-to-face meeting with Rick Perry. It was in 1998, and the then-agriculture commissioner wanted to know, “Where’s the Aggie?” — referring to the reporter who usually covered him.

Pafford explains his colleague’s absence:

-- Texas Monthly cover

That reporter, while working on his graduate degree, was working with chemicals in a lab that somehow made him sick, and he didn’t recover. He unexpectedly died, leaving behind a pregnant wife. It was a tragic reminder of how short our time on Earth can be, and now a month or so later I was breaking that news to our ag commissioner.

“Um, Mr. Perry, he unfortunately died about a month ago,” is what I remember starting out saying. Perry asked for some details, and I did the best I could, but the conversation derailed whatever the light-hearted ceremony was I was assigned to cover. Everything was off-script from there, and Perry isn’t good at going off-script — as everyone in the country now knows.

* A veteran Texas newsman on Rick Perry’s awkward ending

Adam Lashinsky discussed his new book, “Inside Apple,” during a stop at LinkedIn headquarters. During the Q&A, a former Apple employee had some observations and questions for the author and Fortune magazine writer. Some excerpts:

Audience member: It’s clear that Apple’s culture is very homogeneous.

Adam Lashinsky: Homogeneous in what way?

AM: The talent is very much alike. In fact I did work for Apple for about six years, and I could tell just — it’s sad, but just by looking at someone whether they were going to be a good fit for the company or not during the interview.

AL: Based on the 43 minutes I’ve spoken so far. how am I doing?

AM:Very, very well — very accurate.”

More from the Lashinsky/ex-Apple employee exchange:

AM: Even [Apple CEO] Tim Cook has so much charisma that he could certainly be our next president. I can say that very, very confidently.

AL: You mean of the United States?

AM: Yes.

AL: The only thing I would disagree is I don’t think he has the political chops to put up with the BS that politicians have to put up with.

Also:

AL: For 14 years there was only one ego that really mattered at Apple, and that was Steve Jobs’. This is true, I assume, in the middle of the organization — it’s very true at the highest ends of the organization — for a senior Apple executive it’s very bizarre: anywhere else they would be famous people. They might have their own PR person, they would have their own budget to do this sort of thing and they don’t.

* Watch the full 50-minute Lashinsky talk/Q&A at LinkedIn HQ


Tony Grossi

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s ombudsman has weighed in on the reassignment of Browns beat writer Tony Grossi, who got in trouble with his bosses after tweeting that team owner Randy Lerner “is a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.” Ted Diadiun writes:

This was not an issue of First Amendment rights or of censorship. Anyone who works at the paper has the right to say, write or Tweet anything they wish. But they do not have a corresponding right to say it in the newspaper or on the website or on their newspaper Twitter account. If they do, the editors who are in charge of maintaining the credibility of the newspaper have the right to change their assignment.

* Tony Grossi’s reassignment a painful necessity
* Earlier: Plain Dealer confirms Grossi has been reassigned

The shrinking Shep Smith

Former Page Six gossip Paula Froelich — not a fan of my Fox News PR piece — has a series of photos on her Tumblr showing how Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is “disappearing.” “Seriously, I’m worried,” she writes. “My favorite anchor (and I’m not being facetious, he’s actually awesome) is taking this gym thing a bit too far…”
* The Disappearing Shep Smith

“Soon after Patrick Witt ’12 announced his decision to play in The Game, the News received a tip that a Yale student had filed an informal complaint alleging sexual assault against the quarterback,” says a Yale Daily News editor’s note posted at 10:19 p.m. Friday. “In order to be fair to all those involved and the process they had adhered to, and because the nature of the complaint meant that all its details remain allegations, the News chose not to print a story.”
* For our readers: Regarding Patrick Witt ’12
* Yale Daily News editors sat on Witt story for over two months

Steve Fainaru

Steve Fainaru, who has been with The Bay Citizen since its 2010 launch, announced Friday night that he’s resigning as interim editor-in-chief to work on a book project with his brother, sportswriter Mark Fainaru-Wada.

Fainaru’s exit comes at a time of extreme transition for the nonprofit news organization. In September, the company’s founding editor-in-chief, Jonathan Weber, left the organization for Reuters. The following month, its CEO, Lisa Frazier, announced she would stepping down as chief executive.

* Steve Fainaru to leave The Bay Citizen next month
* Earlier: Fainaru leaves Washington Post to join The Bay Citizen

Credit: Imgur

Facebook didn’t want reporters snooping and finding out about its Next Big Thing while attending yesterday’s press conference at its Seattle offices, so it ordered them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Journalists were told the NDA “only applies to things that you might accidentally stumble upon while you are there and covers nothing discussed during our news conference.”

The NDA-is-required email went out at 8:10 a.m. Thursday, and was rescinded two hours later. KPLU public radio points out:

Somehow inviting a pack of journalists to a press conference and then telling them they have to wear blinders and not talk about anything they might see in a side office, overhear from a water-cooler conversation or perhaps a yelled statement revealing an intellectual property secret, seemed like a bad PR move.

No kidding! (The above are comments from my Facebook friends.)

* Facebook wanted journalists to sign NDAs before news conference