It was announced on Tuesday that Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck was given a $500,000 bonus for refinancing the bankrupt newspaper chain’s debt. On the same day, at least two Lee newspapers laid off staffers, including the sports editor at the Montana Standard. I called Gerry O’Brien — he edits the Standard and Helena Independent Record — and he refused to discuss the cuts. He also declined to tell me the size of his news staff.
Here’s just one comment posted below the Junck bonus story on my Facebook wall:
Tim Mullaney also wrote on my Facebook wall: “All [Junck] ever was was a decent ad-sales head. I worked for her in Baltimore, and she was no strategist even at the division level. That anyone made her a CEO in the first place is baffling — you could have thrown water balloons in the newsroom and hit 10 better candidates.”
Bill Reader wrote in comments on this site: “Newspaper companies used to condemn robber barons. Now they create them from within.”
It’s only fair to let Junck respond to her critics and explain why she deserves a $500,000 bonus, so I called her office and left a message. I’m waiting for her to return my call.
* Lee Enterprises refinancing results in $500,000 bonus for CEO
* Lee-owned newspapers in Montana lay off staffers
* January 2012: Junck named AP board chairman
UPDATE: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Wisconsin’s largest news organization — says none of its journalists signed recall petitions.
UPDATE 2: The weekend columns by Gannett editors and publishers were nearly identical and — I guessed — were written by one person. I asked Green Bay Press-Gazette publisher Kevin Corrado about that. He responded:
Editorial leaders and top management at all of Gannett Wisconsin Media locations worked together to discuss what happened, and to respond in light of Gannett’s Principles of Ethical Conduct for newsrooms.
Some common talking points emerged and we wanted to make sure we were upholding those principles at all of our newspapers. So, the columns in all of the newspapers shared common themes. Each publisher was free to add his or her thoughts, but the key points were common.
We all stand by what we wrote and signed our names to it.
Compare these columns by:
* Fond du Lac Reporter’s executive editor
* Green Bay Press Gazette’s publisher
* Oshkosh Daily Northwestern’s executive editor
* Appleton Post-Crescent’s publisher
* Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter staff
The Wisconsin State Journal says six of its employees signed petitions calling for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker. One signer is staff photographer, three are imaging technicians, and two are part-time sports clerks/writers. Editor John Smalley says the paper is “surprised and disappointed” by the staffers’ actions, and “we apologize to our readers for the lapse in judgment by several staff members.”
Jay Rosen made fun of the editor’s scolding in a tweet this morning: “If imaging technicians who do graphics processing sign a petition how can we trust anything in your freakin’ newspaper?”
Last weekend, editors and publishers from several Gannett papers in Wisconsin told readers that their employees were caught signing the recall petitions, and that “we are now in the process of addressing discipline and presenting supplemental ethics training for all news employees.”
* Six Wisconsin State Journal staffers signed recall petitions
* Employees at Gannett papers in Wisconsin signed recall petitions
The 24-year-old man tells The Daily Dot that “Pinterest is by FAR the easiest social network to spam right now. Quite possibly the easiest ever to spam.” Steve reveals this much:
Currently I have no ‘real’ 9-5 job. My only source of income is from the earnings I make online. I have three associate degrees, all in aviation. I did two years of Avionics, one year of powerplant and one year of airframe. I have an FCC license and soon when I’m not so lazy I will go and test for my A&P (airframe & powerplant) license. I live in one of the lower 48 states.
* A Pinterest spammer tells all
Jack Limpert, 78, has stepped down as Washingtonian editor at large and will now work out of his home office as writer at large. Limpert, who joined the magazine in 1969, shares with Romenesko readers the note he sent to his staff on Sunday. It is, he says, “an attempt to tell the story of 43 years as an editor through my old typewriter.”
THE OLD ROYAL FINDS A NEW HOME
Well, it finally happened. On Saturday morning Jack came into the office, took me off the desk, carried me out to a car that was double-parked on L Street, put me in the backseat, and drove me away. I’m now on a beat-up typewriter table in what seems to be a basement office in a house. Very different. No car horns, lots of birds singing and a big dog that looks at me and occasionally barks.
Jack Limpert's typewriter
Not a big surprise but still kind of sad. I knew I was being used less and less but I still felt useful–I was always really good at short notes.
Yes, I knew the world had changed. I still remember the first hint way back in the 1980s: Jack was talking to a writer named Fred Barnes about joining the staff and he asked if we had computers. When told we didn’t, Fred said he couldn’t write stories on a typewriter. What kind of journalist would say something like that? Well, he didn’t come to work at the magazine and we did begin to buy some really dumb-looking computers.
I remember hearing the computer people say that if we spent $100,000 on their computers, we’d be able to save that much in salaries because the computers were so efficient. Ha! The staff is bigger than ever and we now have two people called IT managers and the attitude seems to be that they are now the most important people at the magazine. /CONTINUES Read More
The Daily Texan editorial board says:
A controversial editorial cartoon on the Trayvon Martin shooting was published Tuesday on the Opinion page of The Daily Texan. The Daily Texan Editorial Board recognizes the sensitive nature of the cartoon’s subject matter.
The views expressed in the cartoon are not those of the editorial board. They are those of the artist. It is the policy of the editorial board to publish the views of our columnists and cartoonists, even if we disagree with them.
* A statement from the editorial board about Tuesday’s cartoon
The Digital Texan asks: Did the Daily Texan pull its Trayvon Martin cartoon off its site?
Yes it did — and the paper explains:
Editor’s note: This comic was temporarily taken down at 2:20 p.m. to alleviate web traffic and prevent the web site from crashing. It was republished at 4:50 p.m.
* Check out the portfolio of Stephanie Eisner, who drew the cartoon
In 2010, secured lenders took over the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News after winning a bankruptcy auction with a $105 million cash bid. Today it’s reported that a group of Philly investors has offered $60 million for the papers and their website. Their letter of intent also mentions a proposal by PMN management to cut 35 more jobs within the next six months; 45 positions were eliminated earlier this month.
* Investors group’s offer for PMN: $60 million
Michael Wolff points out that web advertising dollars are only a fraction of old media money and that mobile is now a fraction of web. “The approximate conversion rate is $100 offline = $10 on the web = $1 in mobile.” Here’s what that means:
If the news business on the web is depressing, contributing to the existential angst that has gripped every established news organization, mobile turns the story apocalyptic: there is no foreseeable basis on which the news establishment can support itself. There is no way even a stripped-down, aggregation-based, unpaid citizen-journalist staffed newsroom can support itself in a mobile world.
* Mobile and the news media’s imploding business model