Christian author-blogger Nancy French reports she successfully pressured Books-A-Million into changing its Sexuality display. “I suggested to my Twitter followers to Tweet the corporate headquarters to raise awareness. You guys did just that!” A note from the book chain followed:
We are removing the top shelf presentation and ensuring that no graphic covers are front-faced within the Personal Growth section.
French — co-author of Bristol Palin’s recently published book — thanks Books-A-Million “for helping parents protect themselves – and their children – from seeing these inappropriate images.”
* Books-A-Million listens to concerned shoppers, changes display (Patheos.com)
* Author objects to racy display at Books-A-Million (JimRomenesko.com)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying Media General’s newspapers for $142 million in cash. The Tampa Tribune isn’t included in the deal; Media General says it’s talking to people interested in that paper. (The newspapers being acquired by BH include 63 daily and weekly titles in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.)
Richmond, VA-based Media General disclosed in February that it had “received inquiries from several third parties regarding the potential purchase of certain of its print assets,” and Buffett said earlier this month that “we may buy more newspapers.” (He bought his hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald, last November. Here is that paper’s story on today’s deal.)
* Berkshire Hathaway buys Media General papers (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
* Read Media General’s press release about the deal
* What Buffett said about newspapers in 2009
* Buffett talks newspapers with Bloomberg TV
* Buffett performs at Omaha Press Club annual banquet
NPR’s sharp downturn in corporate “underwriting” (aka advertising revenue) this year has resulted in discussions about staff and program cuts, reports Paul Farhi.
NPR president Gary Knell says of his radio network’s growing deficit ($2.6 million through March): “NPR has been withdrawing from the bank and we can’t keep doing that. We have to be at break-even or be in a positive position on an annual basis, or I can tell you at some point we’re going to have to turn the lights off.”
Another problem area: The strong audience growth that NPR’s news and entertainment programs experienced over the past decade appears to have flattened, a potentially worrisome development because more stations are carrying NPR’s programs.
Farhi’s sources say there’s talk at the network about dropping “Tell Me More, a show aimed at African Americans and other minorities.
WILL THIS MEAN A PAY FREEZE FOR NPR STARS?
Here are the top-paid NPR on-air people, according to the radio network’s most recent Form 990 [PDF]:
Robert Siegel — $341,992
Renee Montagne — $328,309
Steve Inskeep – $320,950
Scott Simon — $311,958
Michele Norris — $279,909
* NPR sees sharp downturn in advertising revenue (Washington Post)