Daily Archives: March 2, 2012

A self-described “loyal reader” tells Romenesko readers:

There’s a good story brewing at USA Today. The online managers are in control and all reporters AND editors of the print sports section were told in a meeting Thursday they will have to reapply for their jobs. Obviously they won’t be rehiring some, and others will get lower pay. That’s some 90 or so people. Even the ME of the section has to re-apply for job if he wants to keep it.

Jim Hopkins has some of the story on his Gannett blog, but he doesn’t seem to have it all. Some posters there have said the ME was away on vacation when the announcement was made.

I have asked USA Today spokeswoman Heidi Zimmerman for comment. (UPDATE: “I can’t discuss personnel issues,” says Zimmerman.)

USA Today sports staffers (and others who know what’s going on): Please tell us more in the comments section.

The mother of the DePauw student whose arrest records were used in an Investigative Reporting Techniques class says in a letter to The DePauw that “it appears to me that [journalism professor] Mark Tatge wanted to create news – he wanted an academic freedom discussion, he wanted The DePauw to print a controversial story, he wanted to highlight the drinking problem on campus, he wanted to make himself the center of a story – and he didn’t care if a student or the university was damaged.” Betsy Stephens adds:

There is lesson here – it’s about people in power using information on people they influence in a negative light publicly – socially it’s called bullying, in the corporate world it’s called harassment. Usually these offenses are shunned and punished. I guess at DePauw it gets you article in the paper. Shame on Mark Tatge and shame on The DePauw for printing it.

* Letters to the editor of The DePauw (second letter)
* Tatge has heard from many journalists about the matter
* Earlier: J-prof’s public records packet creates controversy

Washington Post chief revenue officer and general manager/digital Ken Babby is leaving the paper after 12 years “in order to pursue other digital ventures.”


From: Katharine Weymouth
Date: Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Announcement: Important Organizational Changes Effective Immediately

To All Post Employees,

We regret to announce that after 12 years, Ken Babby (Chief Revenue
Officer, General Manager, Digital) has decided to leave The Post in order
to pursue other digital ventures. We will miss Ken greatly.

Ken Babby

Since assuming the CRO & GM, Digital role, Ken has made tremendous
contributions to the growth of and our other digital
properties. Under Ken’s leadership, all three of the company’s emerging
businesses (mobile, video, and email) saw exponential growth in traffic,
downloads, engagement, and revenue. The site experienced record traffic in
2011, with Ken working alongside his partners in News. He implemented many
of our e-commerce efforts on the site including the launch of Post Tickets.
In addition to his digital contributions, Ken and his team oversaw the
success of many of our new businesses including: Washington Post Live, The
Capitol Deal, and Capital Business. On the sales side, Ken was also
responsible for leading the Washington Post Media and Washington Post
Digital sales teams, working with VPs Wendy Evans and Steve Stup. Read More

Jill Abramson, Mike Allen, Malcolm Gladwell, Ana Marie Cox, Matt Drudge, Roland Martin, Andrew Sullivan, Howard Kurtz, Michelle Malkin, Dana Priest, Jake Tapper, Gwen Ifill

Patch communications vice president Janine Iamunno scolded me a bit last week for not contacting her office before posting the “Patch president” vs. Main Street Connect founder spat at Business Insider, so I wanted to make sure I got in touch with her before posting the new Pando Report about AOL/Patch reportedly laying off hundreds of employees next week.

I got this auto-response from Iamunno: “I’m out of the office but if you are a Patcher or a reporter with an urgent inquiry, please contact Joe Wiggins. Otherwise, I will respond on Monday. Thank you, and go Patch!”

I then emailed Wiggins and got this reply: “There is no comment.”

Well, I tried.

* Source: AOL planning to lay off hundreds next week
* Earlier: “There are no layoffs planned,” says Patch spokesperson

The Watertown Daily Times — the smallest paper in the country with a full-time Washington bureau — is closing that one-man office on March 30. Bureau chief Marc Heller tells friends and colleagues: “I have nothing but gratitude for the newspaper and the generations of Johnson family members — also Columbia alums — who’ve owned it and run it in the old-fashioned tradition of an editorially-driven, independent newspaper.”

From: Bert Gault
Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 3:27 PM
To: [Staff list]
Subject: Washington bureau

Because of continuing financial pressure, we have decided to close the Washington bureau, with the target date being the end of March. Bob has been working with Marc for several months now to make this cutback as painless as possible. Unfortunately, word of the closing got out before we were prepared to announce it, and an item has appeared this afternoon on Bob will post an announcement on our website momentarily, and we will publish the information in Thursday’s issue.

Bert Gault

Rebecca Schoenkopf

Ken Layne writes this morning: “Your longtime editor will finally stop disappearing for months at a time and officially hand over this Important American Publication to a deserving and talented political writer/editor, Ms. Rebecca Schoenkopf. She is a feared and respected Liberal Woman, so the wingnuts will just love her (as they plot to send her to Gitmo).”
* Your Wonkette has a new Publisher/Editor

Bill Simmons’ interview with President Obama quickly hit #1 on the iTunes podcast chart Thursday — easily beating Adam Carolla’s chat with Mr. Skin and other broadcasts. (I’m trying to get a B.S. Report downloads figure.)

* B.S. Report: Barack Obama (transcript, podcast and video clips)
* Why President Obama sat down with Bill Simmons
* From 2008: ESPN nixes Bill Simmons/Barack Obama podcast

Molly Ivins

* Fort Worth Star-Telegram is shutting down the Austin bureau where Molly Ivins once worked. (New York Times)

* OC Register apparently decided that slideshows are more important than a veteran sports columnist’s words. (

* Slate to launch monthly book review section; sneak previews start today. (New York Times) | (Slate)

* Shafer: “I liked the idea of Andrew Breitbart better than I liked any of his work” at his various sites. (Reuters)

* Two students have become the first black editors-in-chief of their college newspapers in Oregon. (

* Ombud: Don’t move Stars and Stripes to military PR offices. (Stars and Stripes)

* New York Daily News photo director Gretchen Viehmann submits resignation. (Capital New York)

* NBC News to expand its presence on the radio. (New York Times)

* Steve Buel named San Francisco Examiner editor; he’s worked at the Mercury News and East Bay Express. (San Francisco Examiner)

ProFlowers’ Twitter stream is filled with responses to complaints about the florist running ads on Rush Limbaugh’s show. “We heard about the comments and we will reevaluate our marketing plan,” reads one tweet. @SleepTrain has responded to complaints, too, on Twitter.

* Sleep Train pulls Limbaugh show ads over “slut” remark

* Limbaugh calls college student a “slut” for advocating contraception